As I have spent some time in quietness before God today, I realized how far behind I have let myself become in my readings. I have finished reading the book of Acts and know that I am a couple weeks behind in blogging what God is saying to me.
As I read each chapter I have been journaling what happened in the chapter, but have also asked the question ‘What is God saying to me?’ It is an important time of reflection and listening as I await God’s message. Eventhough I am behind the schedule, I do not intend to rush through the chapter. But instead take my time and concentrate on God’s message.
Today, I am going to summarize what God has been saying to me over the last several chapters of Acts (Ch.20-28).
Looking back over my notes I see words like: ENCOURAGE, FAITHFUL, KEEP MOVING, COURAGE, PERSEVERE, STRONG, OBEY, and FOCUS.
I think this is the first time I have read the book of Acts with such intention to listening to God. I am encouraged by Paul. He faced a lot of conflict and people doubting his message, but through it all he remained focused on God’s message and God’s plan. Never once in all these chapters did Paul focus on the negative things that were happening around him. How I wish I could be that focused. It is so easy to get trapped into the negative words and actions of others, of focusing on all that is wrong, instead of praising God for all that he is doing. Turning to God for strength and wisdom. My prayer is that as I will continue to listen to God’s voice and turn a deaf ear to those negative influences around me.
Paul was arrested, beaten and put in jail. He did not have a ‘pity’ party, but continued to witness and teach others about God. His location may have changed, but his purpose and mission remained the same. As he travelled to Rome, he did not waiver on his mission. He is a great example of a strong, dedicated soldier of Christ. He learned the importance of staying close to God in all circumstances.
Throughout these chapters, Paul takes every opportunity that is placed before him to tell his story, to witness about God and to provide a role model for us all to follow as we journey through life on earth.
As I read these chapters, I imagine Paul to be a quiet, simple man would not get stressed out or thrown off by the events that were happening around him. He did not scream or pout or blame others for his situation. He just kept focus on the task at hand.
I have been really challenged by Paul’s journey to keep my focus on the task that God places before me. To not get involved in the petty things in life, to avoid involvement in negative talk. It is not easy, but I am determined to be stronger in my commitment to God and focused on Him than on the things that are distracting me from his plan.
Prayers for me on this journey would be appreciated.