Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
NOTE 4 things God uses to accomplish what He wants in our lives: FIRST: God uses your personal perception and knowledge. Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.” The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?” But the bystanders said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK EVIL OF A RULER OF YOUR PEOPLE.'” But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!” As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.
Paul was perceptive enough to see how to get the crowd side-tracked away from him. He did it by pulling the Pharisee card, so that they fought among themselves.
SECOND: God uses His more direct communication. But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”
As you learn to walk with Jesus, it’s important to listen to his Spirit in you. Listen to those impressions and follow them as they flow, UNLESS they are illegal, immoral or fattening. As you make it a habit of trusting Jesus to lead out in your life, you’ll know what to do next and not too far ahead of time.
THIRD: God uses your enemies. When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who formed this plot. They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. “Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place.” But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul.
God used Paul’s enemies to get him to Caesarea safely. If they had not been so filled with rage in plotting to kill him, they wouldn’t have been found out by Paul’s nephew.
FOURTH: God uses officials and community leaders. Throughout this scene in Jerusalem in the last chapter and in this one God uses the Roman Commander to protect Paul from the crowd, from those who were plotting to kill him, took him safely to Caesarea and presents Paul to governor Felix as a man falsely accused.
God has used non-believer leaders to accomplish His work–the King of Nineveh gathered the people to hear Jonah’s message. God has even used a donkey, when He was without a human willing to speak up.
Here’s the principle: GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT HE WANTS IN YOUR LIFE AND HE IS NOT BOUND BY THE TOOLS HE WILL USE!