When the Adversary Stands in the Doorway

Fear is crippling; it is an adversary that stands arrogantly lodged in the doorway of opportunity. As I hear my pastor speak of Paul’s disenchanted journey to Jerusalem, I am reminded that fear is defeated by a single nod of obedience; Jesus said to go.

fearIt wasn’t that Paul traveled unaware to Jerusalem of the suffering that awaited him there. Both the Holy Spirit and friends alike had already assured him it was inevitable.

It wasn’t that Paul was confident of his survival, he said as much, and at multiple stages of the narrative, it appears apparent that he is about to be killed by the angry Jews.

All that Paul knows is that Jesus said to go, and he knows nothing other than his determination to be obedient to his Lord’s command.

There will be no conversions recorded for us in this text to read about. To the observer it seems Paul went there only to antagonize a mob with the truth. This of course isn’t true, for Paul had no greater desire than for his brethren to hear the gospel and respond rightly. They didn’t though. They beat him and asked for his death. Save for a peace-keeping garrison of Roman soldiers, and Paul’s citizenship, they would have gotten their wish.

It is enough for Paul to hear his Lord say, “Be encouraged. You faithfully shared of me in Jerusalem, now you must testify in Rome (Acts 23:11).”

While it’s not to take lightly that there are those in our world who will, the odds are pretty good that I’ll not be beaten today for sharing my faith. But I wonder if as Paul, at the close of this day, I can say that fear hasn’t blocked any open doors?

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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4 Responses to When the Adversary Stands in the Doorway

  1. May each blood-bought, adopted child of the living God be faithful to stay tuned in to the promptings of Holy Spirit and to respond with immediate obedience. All too often we get so ‘involved’ with the business of the day that we neglect to hear Him telling us to stop to speak to someone He wants us to reach.

  2. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Consistently putting God’s word to practice transforms us to tough and formidable beings.
    “I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.” (Luke 6:47).
    “He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” (Luke 6:48).
    We’ve got to put our confidence in God, through every path we take in life.
    Fear inhibits a whole lot, but faith accomplishes much.
    May God help us, to say, like David; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4).
    A relevant and encouraging post!
    Welldone!

  3. What was important was conversion–belief in Yeshua as the messiah. Paul had a genuine zeal to bring belief to the world before the end. He first wished for conversion among the Hebrews, but that was difficult because of Yeshua’s ignominious death, which scandalized the Jews. The Messiah couldn’t have been killed by the Romans as slaves were executed: through crucifixion. Paul probably had greater success with the “god fearers,” groups of people at every Synagogue who admired Judaism and observed many of its practices, but were not willing to be circumcised or follow Mosaic law. Paul had the answer; they could join a Jewish group without following these requirements. The final group he appealed to was the Greek and Latin gentiles, who could believe in Yeshua as a savior, but wouldn’t have to convert to Judaism, follow Mosaic law, or understand the notion of a Jewish Messiah.

  4. May we be perfected in Love that fear may be cast out! My prayer for you, my prayer for me, my prayer for all who read!
    Be blessed, friend,
    Gayle

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