June 12, 2018
The angel said: “Do not be afraid Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” Acts 27:24
Don’t be so quick to leave - One Christian may be the only protection in a family, a business, even a town!
Paul was wrongly accused, beaten, jailed for years, and put on a boat to head to Rome to face Caesar for a crime he didn’t commit. He was surrounded by soldiers, sailors and criminals – none of which cared about his predicament, and most of which were not concerned about God. That was, until they faced a storm that threatened their lives. Then Paul became an important person on the ship, and his leadership and influence protected 275 people from death. One man’s faith affected the entire ship, and saved everyone there. The influence and presence of a faithful believer protects many around them.
That may also be true with Christians in the workforce, those feeling alone in a marriage or family, and even those who are persecuted in towns and villages all around the world. Believers are a light of the world, a reflection of the true light of Jesus. And often their presence is enough to delay judgment on people around them.
You may recall the story of Lot in the book of Genesis. His presence in the town of Sodom held back the judgment of God until the angels finally pulled him and the family out. Or think back to the story of Esther. Her faithfulness was all God needed to save the entire nation of Jews from destruction. Or one of my favorite examples isn’t even a human… it’s the story of Balaam’s donkey, who ended up protecting Balaam from the sword of the Lord, and by doing so led to the protection of the Jewish nation. The impact one believer can have is tremendous!
That’s why we should consider carefully what God wants from us BEFORE abandoning ship in our families, or the company we work for, or the church we serve, or even the town we live in. Don’t be so quick to leave. Make certain you are not jumping ship for selfish reasons, but instead waiting on God to direct you away. You may be the influence God wants to use to save lives! Just because the storm is raging now doesn’t mean the job is done. Wait and listen for God, letting Him tell you when to leave, and what to do.
I’m afraid that comfort and cash have lured people away from calling way too often in the Kingdom. It always saddens me to hear of ministers jumping from church to church because of the salary offered instead of the calling confirmed. Too many people pick up and move to more comfortable locations for their jobs or their homes in order to enjoy their lives more than save lives. Certainly God may call people to new situations, and sometimes even enjoyable ones (I’m still waiting to hear God send us to a megachurch in Hawaii!), but be more interested in reaching the lives around us than the comforts somewhere else.
Paul became God’s man to save the captain and everyone on the ship. How might God be using you to protect those around you?