The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome. The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty men were involved in this plot. They went to the chief priests and the elders and said. “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here. BUT when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul. Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” So he took him to the commander. The centurion said, “Paul the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?” He said: some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him. Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.” The commander dismissed the young man with this warning:”Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.” Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.” Acts 23:11-23 NIV
If you didn’t know better, you’d probably think I was writing or quoting a scene from a Hollywood movie. lol. I took the time, rather than asking you to go read it(🤞that you would’ve )😊 because I wanted you to see that whatever you may be facing, known or unknown, God always has your back. What are the odds that Paul’s nephew just happened to be close by and heard the plot against his uncle? Coincidence? Maybe? But I don’t think so. It was all strategic. When God has a plan for your life, even a well orchestrated plot will not be able to stop it . Can I get an amen?
A stranger may have heard of the plot; but it wouldn’t have had the same urgency as a relative hearing it. Right place right time. This account is similar to what is written in Esther chapters 2-4. (You really need to go read that story). Paul was being held, not for a crime, but for preaching the gospel. These Jews were angry because he exposed their rejection of Jesus and their hypocrisy. They were even more angry when he told them that he was going to bring the good news to the Gentiles, he really struck a nerve, because no good Jew would associate with Gentiles. So to teach that Jesus had sent him to preach the good News to Gentiles was nothing short of treason.
A disagreement over customs, discrimination and laws, led to a murderous plot. BUT GOD… And it is happening today. Christians are being persecuted all over the world. Wherever you encounter the pharisaic spirit or religion, you encounter opposition to the Name of Jesus. So as I’m freely writing and sharing these messages, my brothers and sisters in the faith are being murdered and locked up for preaching and teaching about Jesus. We have come full circle. Isn’t it strange, you can mention God in any way at any time you choose, just don’t say Jesus🤔 His powerfully beautiful Name evokes some rather interesting reactions. Just thinking out loud. The Apostles were not martyred or persecuted for breaking the laws of the land, they were primarily killed for daring to preach Jesus. So don’t read passages like the one shared, and think that it’s not happening today, it is.
Don’t be alarmed when you learn that Satan has a target on your back. ( 1 Peter 5:8-9). Just be assured that God, has already planned your safe passage. A simple preacher got a military escort to go fulfill the purposes of God. He didn’t panic, nor was he freaking out! He didn’t ask for protection, yet God provided one. If He did it for Paul and countless others, He will certainly do the same for us. Acts 12, 2 Kings 5 & 6. When you are confident in your relationship with Jesus, you can rest in the storm. Yes! We’re human and things concern us. But we should never allow ourselves to get in a state of panic. We cannot be rational with a panicked mindset. Don’t let your imagination come between you and the knowledge of Christ. See 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 we’re fighting with different weapons.
So my friends! Are you feeling surrounded by enemy forces today? People are aligned against you? Circumstances are greater than your ability to handle? Everything that could go wrong has? The deadline is looming? God sees and God hears. He has already made a way. Don’t panic! Look again! But now instead of through eyes of fear; with faith filled eyes. See Jesus, see the armies of heaven surrounding you. Ready to take you safely to the other side of whatever obstacles or opposition may be standing in the way of your destiny.
There are no plots, that won’t be revealed. No sickness that cannot be healed. No lack that will not be satisfied. No heartache that will not be soothed by His love. Paul made it safely to his destination and we will too! Michael W. Smith has a line in his song “Surrounded “ it goes. “It May look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by YOU.” So my friends, be of good courage. The plot may be well planned, but God always has the way out. You will not die! Unless God, says so! If your assignment is not complete, the enemy may huff and puff, but God always has the final word. Amen. If you believe that! Then throw a victory party before the victory. Esther did lol she fed the enemy before the gallows he prepared for Mordecai became his own demise. SHOUT! God has provided a military convoy to bring you safely to victory.
Heavenly Father! What a friend we have in Jesus! Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the circumstances of life. But help me remember that You have me surrounded. I’m protected, and divinely provided for. There is no need to fret or panic. You’ve given me your Word that I will make it safely to the other side of life’s problems. Not my will, but always Yours be done. I’m confident that you always have my back and my best interest at heart. I fully trust You! In Jesus Name I pray. 🙏
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High God shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1