Read: Acts 19-20
Introduction: What type of flyer are you? Here’s what I mean: when you are sitting in an airplane, do you put headphones on and read a book or are you that person that talks to the person next to you? Maybe you are a sleeper on flights and have your sleeping mask and pillow on every flight (also, what a crazy thing that you can fall asleep in Billings and wake up in Seattle). Most of the time I am the talker on a flight. Nothing like having someone stuck next to me for a couple of hours with nowhere to go. In one particular flight, I was praying that God would give me an opportunity to share the gospel, and he did just that. There was a middle aged woman that sat next to me, and when the conversation started to lead to the gospel, I froze up. At that very moment, I knew what the right thing was, but selfishly I was tired and knew it would be a long conversation. Selfishly, I told her a little about my faith but didn’t pursue the conversation with her. God had given me the exact opportunity I had prayed for and I valued my comfort more than the Good News of Jesus. I think of that lady frequently, wondering if she was ready to hear the gospel. I learned a valuable lesson that day: when God directs me to share the gospel to someone or a group of people, I want to be faithful to follow through with it.
And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Think about it: Paul is put at a crossroads with his decision. He knows that the Spirit is leading him back to Jerusalem to preach the gospel where he knows affliction waits for him there. His other option is to stay where he is comfortable and reject the leading of the Spirit. But his response is to say that he doesn’t count his life as precious to himself. Instead, he says he will finish the ministry that he received from Jesus. When you are at a crossroads between following the Spirit or staying where you have security and comfort, which do you choose?
Take away: God’s plan is better than our security.