“The Lord’s will be done.”
When we face a difficult decision, how do we discern the difference between God’s will for us and just a thoughtful suggestion by a loved one? Bad advice can come from our best friends. This is the decision Paul faced in Acts, Chapter 21. Paul knew he would most likely die if he traveled to Jerusalem. He knew his well-meaning friends did not want him to suffer. In verse 13 he says, “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.”
In this chapter Paul gives us a great example of how to discern God’s will versus suggestions from caring friends. It wasn’t easy for Paul to say good-bye to these people he loved. It was a tearful goodbye and Luke describes it at “tearing themselves away”. Paul informs them that he would not see their faces again because imprisonment and persecutions awaited him in Jerusalem. Their love for each other was deep and genuine.
When Paul told his friends, “I am ready to die,” he didn’t have a death wish. It simply revealed his level of commitment to God’s will. He had a purpose and his conscience was clear. He knew without a doubt that this was what he was called to do.
What is clear to me is that when someone (Paul) has decided to follow God’s will, (to die for Jesus to fulfill his mission) there will be resistance, sometimes even from those close to us. However, in the final analysis we must obey God, even when our hearts are breaking. When Paul insisted on going to Jerusalem, all of those who had sought to dissuade him from going ceased their resistance with the words, “The Lord’s will be done” (Acts 21:14). He knew his path.
Wow! It is an amazing lesson to see how amidst all the pushback --Paul kept his eye on the Lord and His will. My hope is that we all be in prayer daily to obey God’s leading and path for us and our lives. This requires a personal decision each one of us must make. This is a call for all of us to follow the example of Paul, keeping our eyes on Jesus and devoting our lives to Him.