It’s OK to abandon even the best laid plans. Plan yes, but don’t be a slave to any plan that might pull you away from God’s purpose.


I suppose Paul was convinced that going to Jerusalem to die was God’s plan for him. My personal thought? Having persecuted Christians so severely before he met the Lord, rather before the Lord met him, he had a conviction that he too, should die for the Lord.
Or maybe it was, he knew the opportunity that would provide for him to testify before the highest ranking officials in the empire. He had become truly Christian. he was not ashamed of the gospel and he wanted to proclaim it at all cost.
His plan? O how much Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem. He was set on that. In the previous chapter we read how he literally bypassed Ephesus and had the elders from the Ephesus meet him at Miletus – all because returning to Ephesus would have robbed him of time to get to his Jerusalem stop.
The ship sailed past Cyprus and landed at Tyre to unload its cargo. Paul continued his pattern of checking on the disciples with whom he spent seven days. The Spirit, we read, used them as the channel to instruct Paul not to go to Jerusalem. They prayed and bade farewell to Paul’s party who embarked ship and went on to Ptolemais. There while he stayed with Philip the evangelist, the prophet Agabus from Judea demonstrated quite graphically what would happen to Paul in Jerusalem. There, the Jews would take him, and bind him hand and foot, and hand him over to Gentiles.
Paul’s heart would not be broken. “I am ready,” he said, “not only to be bound but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
They could not dissuade him and so they prayed that the Lord’s will be done. Paul
‘s farewell party grew larger as some disciples from Caesarea joined the group and took him to enjoy further Christian hospitality along the way to Jerusalem.

Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will; remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure I still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent till
The night is gone;
and with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
John Henry Newman (1801-90)

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