NT Fire Starters – Day 195: Acts 23:12-35
READ: Acts 23:12-35
THINK: Isn’t it ironic that Paul’s accusers–those who were so irate because they thought Paul was undermining their laws and so smug in their claim to uphold the law–were actually planning to violate God’s law by lying about their motives and plotting to murder Paul without legal appeal (vv. 12-22)? But human plots and opposition could not hinder God’s plan for Paul to testify about Jesus to more leaders. God can use whatever means necessary– including soldiers, horsemen and armed defenders (vv. 23-24)–to get His people exactly where He wants them.
RESPOND: What do you suppose were some of the thoughts running through Paul’s mind as he waited in the barracks through the night and into the next morning? Since the Jews’ main complaint and accusation against Paul was that He had disregarded their law and incited others to do so (which was not true), what was ironic and hypocritical about the men’s plot against Paul? Why do you think that so much effort and manpower was put into protecting Paul (vv. 23-24ff)? How can you see God’s plan and hand of protection at work in all of this? In what ways has God guarded and protected you in order to get you where you needed to be?
PRAY: Give God thanks for His care, guidance and protection. Praise God for His ability to get you exactly where He intends for you to be, despite the efforts of both spiritual and human enemies to prevent you from fulfilling His plans.
ACT: Perhaps you’ve sensed in the past that God had a particular plan or course of action for you, but you don’t see any way to fulfill that plan or to reach the goal from where you are now. Allow God to renew your hope and vision and to begin revealing to you day by day how you are to proceed on a path toward that goal. Don’t get overwhelmed by the destination or by the fact that you don’t understand everything. Take one day at a time and do what you feel God is directing you to do at the moment. Trust Him to help you fulfill your destiny in His time and way.