Acts 21:4 (KJV)
And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
When Paul went to Jerusalem he went fully aware of the risks he was taking. God had provided brethren, who were led of the Holy Spirit of God to tell him. That these disciples were speaking through the Holy Spirit and not their own is apparent to us; their prophecies came true. This leads to a more challenging question, why did Paul disobey the Spirit of God? Men like John R. Rice clearly believed that Paul did wrong in not listening and paid dearly because of it.
I understand that Paul was a man and subject to making mistakes but I don’t believe that he made a mistake here. I believe the lesson is that God’s Spirit can speak truth to us through another person but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are obligated to obey it. What the disciples said through the Spirit was true, but what Paul was responsible to do with that message was personal, between him and God.
We are wise to hear godly counsel but we should not necessarily follow it. From time to time faith requires us to step out where we most certainly cannot succeed in order that God might teach us greater lessons.
Paul did not disobey the Spirit of God. Instead he pressed on with what he believed to be God’s will, being fully aware of the cost.
Sometimes you count the cost, find it to be greater than you can pay, and for the sake of righteousness, pay it anyway.
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Acts 21:4 Pay It Anyway
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