When We Encounter Obstalces On Our Mission
Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, "This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment." And Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar." — Acts 26:30-32
The decision on the matter of Paul is finally made. Two years later, some of the most notable powers in the region agree that Paul has done nothing wrong. Therefore Paul can be released. But the problem now is that Paul has appealed to Nero, and it looks like this appeal cannot be unappealed. So these officials have to send Paul to Rome. But in their letter to Nero, they can say they found him "not guilty" and that Paul's situation was one of his own making. So now he is in Nero's hand. And Nero is not so just. He is a tyrant.
Now it would be easy to conclude that Paul shouldn't have made this appeal to Ceasar. But when this was all going down, we have to remember Paul was in a pickle. If you remember, Festus was perplexed by the case and was about to transport him back to Jerusalem. The hope in doing so was for Jewish leaders to expose further claims of evidence of the riot in Jerusalem that they said Paul instigated. And this is precisely what the Jews wanted because they wanted to lay in wait and kill Paul on the road to Jerusalem. So Paul was still right to appeal because this puts more pressure on Festus to pursue a prudent course of action. Paul, to some degree, used the power of Nero to get Festus to give preference to a Roman judicial process over this insidious Jewish plot.
Sometimes, things just do not go the way we expect in this life. At times we may feel like powers are working against us. That there is this vocal minority attempting to do us harm. And while this may be true and difficult to wade through, we have to remember that God's power and purpose supersede any opposition we will face. Do not forget, Paul is about to realize his life-long dream. He had wanted to see Rome. And while he didn't get there in the way he would have thought, God just gave him an all-expense-paid trip to the city of his dreams. And in Rome, Paul would live out the final days of his life.
So if things aren't going the way you expect today and you're encountering opposition, don't see these obstacles the way your opponent wants you to see them. Even if you feel like they are plotting against you, stay the course. Live with integrity and be obedient. And keep an eye out for what God may be doing. He might be about to give you the dream of a lifetime, but it may come in the most unexpected way.
ASK THIS: What's the mission God has uniquely given you? (Share it below.)
DO THIS: See God's work and not merely your opposition.
PRAY THIS: God, reveal my mission and step me toward it.
PLAY THIS: Lincoln Brewster - While I Wait.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.