Stubborn as Paul

Message:  In Acts 22 Paul hadn’t been in Jerusalem long before trouble found him just as God had warned. Not only did he ignore the recent warnings coming from the Holy Spirit through people, but we also find out that God had warned him of this all along. When the crowd started a riot with intent to kill Paul, he began to speak in front of them and share his testimony. He seemed convinced that they would understand if he just explained. He shared his upbringing of Jewish education and his own persecution of the church. He seemed to hope that would make him relatable, but they didn’t care. They wanted him dead. Then he even disclosed to the people right there that when he saw the blinding light and his sight was restored that God had warned him to get out of Jerusalem and stay away from there because they would not receive him. There he was standing in front of the very people that God warned him about, sharing his testimony and being rejected even as he told them God predicted. This makes me wonder why on earth he still went! It reminds me of a kid who is warned by their parents not to touch the dangerous thing, but the kid won’t hear it. For some reason they move against all logic convinced it will be different for them and they just have to learn from it themselves. There are times where I have fallen into a stubbornness like this. I struggle with the desire to explain myself. When I find a disconnect with someone I often feel like if I just explained myself, my motives, my intent or what I didn’t intend then I will be understood and the issue will be gone. I know that in some cases this is effective communication, but there have definitely been some times where I felt God tell me to shut up and stop trying to explain. I couldn’t! I just kept trying and it became worse each time! In the beginning I was really bad at listening to the Holy Spirit in these situations and even though I still fall into the trap on occasion I have improved at just stopping to ask God what to do. This was a reminder to me of some things I have learned, but it was also a reminder to pay attention to other areas of this kind of stubborn behavior.

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