ACTS 21:1-17

How do you know when a word or a prompting is from God?

Sometimes I experience a prompting from God. There was a time when I would not follow through in making contact with the person. Days later I would reflect on that particular moment and regret not actioning it, strongly feeling I had disobeyed the Lord.

In this chapter we read that Paul is continuing the journey to Jerusalem. Several stops were made in coastal towns. At Tyre, v4 “We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. The text suggests that “through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.” The people were adamant that Paul should not go on to the final destination, but was it the Holy Spirit’s directing or were they worried for his safety? Paul continued on towards Jerusalem and New Testament Scholar F.F. Bruce says “It should not be concluded that this determination to go on was disobedience to the guidance of the Spirit of God; it was under constraint of that Spirit that he was bound for Jerusalem with such determination.”

As we see Paul did not bow and break to the peoples cries, he continued on. Back in Acts 20 v16 Paul had this urgency to reach Jerusalem. He is still has that insistence now. Paul then went on to Caesarea and stayed for several days. A prophet named Agabus came to visit him and prophesied that there would be suffering for Paul in Jerusalem. Again Paul boldly declared he was ready and would not be dissuaded to journey on.

While the believers in v4 wanted him to stay, those in v11 proclaimed the suffering coming his way, yet in Paul’s demeanour his courage is pronounced. He demonstrates that his priority is still to “testify to the good news of God’s grace” (20:24). Paul demonstrates an incredible steadfastness to the call of God to minister in Jerusalem. He is not swayed by the voice of the people, nor the possibility of suffering.

What might it look like for us to know and stay steadfast to the call of God on our lives? Have we spent time listening and discerning the voice of his Spirit and the scriptures for what he might be calling us to? Pray that God might give you an openness to his voice and a steadfastness to his call, that your life might testify to the good news of God’s grace.

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