Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

Obey the Spirit
Dr. Randy White

After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.” (Acts 21:4)

We live in a world that loves mystical experiences.  I am convinced that the church has gone overboard with the mystical, and seemingly prefers the mystical to the concrete.  We want to be “in the Spirit” to really “feel His presence” before we “follow His will.” 

In Acts 21, there is an interesting contrast in Spirit-led experiences.  In verse 4, the disciples (not Apostles, but the regular, Spirit-filled believers of Tyre) were “telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.”   Only a few days later, a Prophet in the town of Caesarea, whose name was Agabus, predicted the arrest of Paul if he went to Jerusalem.   With this, Luke, Paul’s traveling companions, and the local believers all began to beg Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

But Paul would hear nothing of it!  He complained that they were breaking his heart, but that he would go to Jerusalem, even if it meant he would die “for the name of the Lord Jesus” (v. 13).  Paul did go to Jerusalem, he was arrested, and soon was brought back to Caesarea for his encounter with King Agrippa.

Was Paul being disobedient to the Holy Spirit or were the people misreading their sensitivity to the Spirit?  Since Paul is an Apostle, I have to line up with him on this one.  And in today’s world, when you, I, or anyone senses an impression of the Spirit, we must allow Scripture to lead us as we recognize that our spiritual sensitivities are too open to spiritual misinterpretation.

In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White

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