When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” – Acts 21:12-14

Paul had been meeting with some of the early church. A few days here, a few days there. Along the way, someone had told Paul and friends that he would be bound if he went to Jerusalem. Trouble was on the way. They took it as a sign that he should not go. Paul saw it differently.

I seem to run from trouble and pain. If I am heading a direction and there is resistance and pain, I redirect. Often I take it as a sign of God. But does he really re-direct with obstacles? Just because I am uncomfortable or the journey costs me something, does that mean God is not in it? It may mean just the opposite. I have to make sure that I am listening well. Where did I get the notion that following Jesus was easy and comfortable? This crazy notion that if I followed him, every road would be smooth, every day bring sunshine, every person kind.

Erwin McManus says that the most dangerous place to be in the world may be in the will of God. Paul would agree. Things didn’t turn out so pleasant for him in Jerusalem.

God, more than comfort, I want to follow you. Allow me to listen so well to you that I don’t look at obstacles as signs to detour. Help me see them as confirmation that I am walking where you lead. May they strengthen my resolve.

[tags]Paul, pain, suffering, God’s will, devotion, journaling, church, Bible[/tags]

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