“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
As we look at this passage, we again see Paul’s determination to know and do the will of God for his life. He knew that hard times were ahead. He knew that there would be discouragement and temptation ahead, yet he had a determined spirit to deliver on the decisions that he had made for God. Paul was determined not to let people or problems detour him or get him off track.
God never changes and He is always faithful, but so many times we are not. So many times we make commitments to God, but as time goes by, temptations arise, and discouragement comes, we waver in our commitments to God. As the song writer wrote, “prone to wander Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.”
Trials are a part of life. As we learn from James 1, trials come to every person and they come in all shapes and sizes. What matters is what we do when they arrive in our life. We also know that if we are going to live Godly, we will suffer persecution. Paul understood this, but he announced in verse 24, “none of these things move me…”
Paul said in verse 22 that he was “bound in the Spirit”. Paul couldn’t escape the moving of the Holy Spirit in his life. He was bound to do as the Holy Spirit wished. The decisions that Paul had made were put there by the Holy Spirit.
Paul was also burdened for people. In verse 27 he says, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Who have you and I shunned away from sharing the gospel with this last month? Matthew 9:36 says that when the Lord saw the multitude “He was moved with compassion.” What do you feel when you see the multitudes of people. May God forgive us for not seeing people who will die and spend an eternity somewhere.
I am convinced that the reason Paul was so bold in his faith and willing to endure persecution is because his entire life was centered around Jesus Christ. Everything else was secondary. That’s why Paul wrote, “For me to live is Christ…” What could be said about your life? For you to live is what? Is it sports? Is it entertainment? Is it technology? Perhaps that is the reason we lack a burden and boldness. A good test of this is what we talk about. The Bible says, “Out of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” If we don’t talk about the Lord much, it is because our life isn’t centered around Him. Paul was willing to risk it all for Christ.
Let me give you 4 things from this passage that will help us to “Deliver on our Decisions” if we apply them to our life.
1. Don’t over value yourself.
|In verse 24 Paul said, “neither counted I my life dear unto myself…” We have a lot of Christians today who are willing to serve God as long as life is going good, but the moment trials arrive, they fall out of the race. Determine not to be a Conditional Christian who only serves God when things are good. The world has a lot to say about self esteem, but God has much to say about self denial. God usually does His greatest work in our life when things are not going great in our life. Paul said, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS.” We often value the glory of self over the glory of God.|
2. Rely on the Holy Spirit.
|Again, Paul said that he was “bound by the Spirit.” So many times in my life, I have made decisions for God and have failed to follow through or deliver on those decisions because I tried to follow through with those decisions in my own power instead of the Holy Spirit’s. It takes a daily dying to self and surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit in our life. Crucify your flesh daily and take up your cross and follow Him. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”|
3. Place a great value on serving Christ rather than serving self.
|Paul said in verse 24, “and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus…” God has a purpose for all of us. We all have a ministry given to us by God. We are to be His servants. Determine to live life for more than just a paycheck or a position. No matter what you do in life, make your ministry to Christ the most important thing.|
4. Decide to finish your course with JOY.
|Paul was determined that nothing was going to move him away from the things that God put in his heart to do and he was going to finish it with joy. Paul said at the end of his life, “I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.”|
When you don’t think you are going to be able to do what it is God has put in your heart to do, you are in a good position because you can’t. But, if you surrender your will to the Holy Spirit, He can do it through you. Remember the Bible says, “Faithful is He who called you, who also will do it.”
“God does not call the qualified, but rather He qualifies the called.” Deliver on your recent decisions!