Friday, February 14
Scripture: Leviticus 23-24, Acts 21
As Paul traveled to Jerusalem, believers along the way, both men and women, prophesied to him (Spirit-inspired speech) that he should not go to Jerusalem, that he would be arrested, bound and handed over the Gentile authorities. Hearing this, his friends begged him not to go.
But Paul told them they were breaking his heart, and that he was ready not only to be jailed, but to die for Jesus if necessary. Earlier, in Ephesus (Acts 20:22-23) he had told the elders there that he was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem even though in every city the Holy Spirit had warned him that prison and hardships awaited him. He had to finish the race and complete the task Jesus had given him!
First, both men and women were prophets. The Spirit empowered men and women both to speak on His behalf, as promised by Joel and noted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17-21) that the Spirit would be poured out on both men and women and they would prophesy. Can women speak with full Scriptural and spiritual authority in church? Absolutely.
Second, I’m fascinated by the Spirit compelling Paul to go and the Spirit telling everyone else to warn him not to go! Who was right? Both were! The believers begged him not to go based on the word of the Spirit, but when they saw that Paul was determined to go based on his own word from the Spirit, they gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” Dueling prophecies end with trust in the Lord.
Third, I’m inspired by Paul’s complete devotion to Jesus. He’s all in, willing to give everything, including his life, to complete the task Jesus gave him. I want to be like that!
Prayer: Lord, help me to be all in for all of my life!