Acts 21:12-14, “12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.”
Stay the course is a term that one would hear from a leader, when one a mission, and is tempted to take an easier road. Scott Peck wrote a famous book, The Road Less Traveled, and Jesus said that there were two roads as well, the wide way and the narrow way. The narrow way is the road, or course, less traveled which is why Jesus said few find it (Matthew 7).
The Apostle Paul seemed to always live his life on a mission. If you recall his life before his conversion, when his name was Saul, his mission was to kill Christians (Acts 9, 22). When Paul was converted Jesus spoke to Ananias saying about Paul, “For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake”, Acts 9:16. Although Paul would face suffering on the course that he was on for Jesus, he refused to be deterred. In the above verses, there were some well-meaning believers who tried to persuade Paul not to go up to Jerusalem for fear that Paul would be killed. Paul however would not be persuaded, or taken off course. What kept Paul to stay the course?
1. Paul’s eyes were fixed. Hebrews 12:2 reads, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV) Paul kept his eyes on Jesus and he knew that Jesus would keep His eyes on Paul. If Jesus calls you then He will keep you. Are your eyes fixed on Jesus as you make your daily decisions? What decision are trying to make, and is Jesus’ will even a factor in the process?
2. Paul did not swerve Proverb 4:27, “Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” It’s easy to be deterred when your eyes are not fixed on Christ. One doesn’t intend to go off course; usually one slowly drifts away from the course. What causes you to swerve left or right? What are the obstacles? Have you identified your “course – deterrents?” Laziness? Time/business? Wrong or unbalanced priorities? If your lazy, stop; too busy, change it; priorities wrong, alter them. Stop swerving!
3. Paul was ready to die. 1Corinthians 15:31, “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily”. Paul was even ready if need be to die for Jesus. Now I don’t want to die, however, Paul died to his selfishness, his agenda, his course, and embraced Jesus’ course for his life. Do you die daily to these things? At the end of Paul’s life he was able to say these words, which we should all hope to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”, 2Timothy 4:7. Will you be able to say that one day, will I? Will you STAY THE COURSE!
Dear Father, guide me to stay the course. Father help me to identify my course-deterrents. Help me to resist the temptations that enter my life, that push me off of Your will and plan for me. Lord, help me slow down and spend more quality time with You. Help me make the moment-by-moment decisions in my life that please You. Lord, forgive me for veering off Your course. I pray all this in Christ’s name, Amen. Blessings Pastor Phil
- Don’t Move While Jesus Wants You To Tarry, Pastor Phil Sessa (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)
- A Picture Worth Living, Pastor Phil Sessa (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)
- Hinged Upon Emptiness, Pastor Phil Sessa (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)
- When God Interrupts Your Job, Pastor Phil Sessa (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)