Monday, January 2, 2012

Follow God's Word When the Wind Blows


When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. Acts 27:13

Paul had warned the centurion in charge that trouble lay ahead, but the centurion ignored him and gave orders to set sail. We know the rest of the story as it is recorded for us in Acts 27, the storm blew , the ship and its cargo were lost, and by God's grace Paul and his companions were saved.

The centurion had to decide whether to winter at Fair Havens or set sail and try to reach the port of Phoenica. There is much we can learn from the centurions mistakes. His approach to making his decision is aclassic illustration of how not to determine the will of God.
  1. He became impatient (Acts 27:7-9, 12). He did not want to remain in the uncomfortable harbor of Fair Havens, because it was too open t the winter storms. Phoenica had a more sheltered harbor. He wanted to get on the move. Impatience is a mark of immaturity and unbelief. The prophet Isaiah reminds us "he that believes shall not make haste" (Isaiah 28:16).

  2. He listened to the "expert advice" of the pilot and captain of the ship, instead of God's word (Acts 27:10-11). No matter what ther "experts" may say, depend on the truth of God's Word.
  1. He took a vote (Acts 27:12). The majority voted to leave and the majority was wrong! The majority, you remember, kept Israel out of the promised land and the majority voted to crucify Christ! Obey God's Word even if the whole world is against you.
  1. He walked by sight, not by faith (Acts 27:13). The "soth wind blew softly and was the signal, for him at least, to start moving. Beware of the "golden opportunities that seems to contradict God's instructions. South winds often become stormy wnds.

Sometimes we get ourselves into storms for the same reasons. The only sure way to pilot your boat is to set your sails on obeying God's Word, come what may!

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