Thought for May 9th. “LET THE WILL OF THE LORD BE DONE”
Our readings in ACTS have now brought us to the time when Paul returns to Jerusalem and is arrested. Those possessed with the Holy Spirit gift of prophecy in Caesarea told him that imprisonment awaited him if he went up to Jerusalem and “the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.” [ch. 21 v.12] But Paul responded, “”What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” [v.13] So they ceased trying to persuade him to stay “and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”
And so Paul went up to Jerusalem – and was arrested! Would we have done so – if we had been Paul? But we are not Paul, we have not been converted like he was – hearing the actual voice of Jesus, knowing the Scriptures (the Old Testament) thoroughly – and then our minds suddenly coming awake to their true meaning and their wonderful message about the Lord Jesus Christ.
But in letting ” the will of the Lord be done.” Paul was opening up the way for other things to happen! After the physically stressful time of his many travels which he summarises in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, writing of his “imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned …” [ch.11 v.23-25] he at last would have time and relative peace to write many encouraging (and warning) letters to those he had converted. He would also testify before a king and a governor, influence a ship’s captain – and other such situations.
Paul’s life, even though he was not “free” in a physical sense, was one of continuing opportunities to serve his Lord. It is a powerful example to us in our lives, to look for how “the will of the Lord” for us – is opening ways for us to be of service to him in new and spiritually stimulating ways. The longer we live the more we should become conscious ” that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” [Rom. 8 v.28] Let us make sure we get the point – for the “good” of “HIS purpose”!
Have you seen things working together for good in this way in your journey in life? We usually only see this clearly when we look back. The value of the struggle in climbing the ‘steep and rugged pathway’ is only clearly seen when we contemplate the value of the end result – and maybe it was not so steep as it seemed at the time – for we come to see that our Lord was with us.