We tore ourselves away. Acts 21:1
Though the Spirit they urged Paul not to go . . . we continued on our way. On the beach we knelt and prayed. Acts 21:4-5
Phillip the evangelist had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. Acts 21:9
The prophet Agabus warned, “The Holy Spirit says, the owner of this belt will be handed over to the Gentiles.” Acts 21:11
We pleaded with Paul not to go. Acts 21:12 But then we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” Acts 21:14
Often we think an open door is God’s will. Or that a closed door is his answer to our prayer. Other times the nudging of the Holy Spirit seems to point us in a direction . . . or stop us in our tracks. In all cases we need to test the spirits.
In the above passages, twice the Holy Spirit warned Paul of the trials he would face if he proceeded. Paul’s godly friends begged him to turn back, but Paul remained sure of his calling and God’s will for him. The Holy Spirit did not tell Paul to turn back, but the Spirit of Christ did prepare him for the trials he was to face. And all that the Holy Spirit warned of came true, and yet Paul did not die. Though he was imprisoned, God opened a door for him to witness in Rome to those in the household of Herod.
If we pay close attention we can hear the Holy Spirit speaking of the trials we may face. This warning may not be our call to retreat, but, like Paul, to advance boldly. Are you leaning forward in your walk with Christ, or looking back?