April 03, 2015
The Apostle Paul was on a boat of 276 people in the midst of a horrific sea storm. It was so bad that the crew had given up all hope of being saved and had jettisoned the cargo. (Acts 27)
But there was one man on the boat that saw things differently. He was a prisoner, of all things, named Paul. But the uniqueness about this man was that he was connected to the God-Who-Oversees-Storms and the One who controls the lives and fortunes of men.
An ""angel of the Lord"" appeared to Paul and told him that God had a mission for him to stand before Caesar and give a witness. And, that not one person would perish but that they would all come safely to land. God was determined to save many for the sake of one who would take His message to many.
The storm was so intense, that no LOGICAL man who looked at the physical evidence would believe this. It made no human sense, which is the kind of scenario the Divine lovingly orchestrates to display His glory.
Suddenly, the prisoner became the leader. ""Keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told,"" he said. (Acts 27:25)
And then he proceeded to eat a meal and told them to join him. ""Not a hair from the head of any of you heads will perish,"" he prophesied, and then calmly began to give thanks in the presence of them all and started to eat. It was the worst possible life-threatening moment and yet this man is acting like it’s a picnic in the park. (Acts 27:34-36)
All of them were suddenly encouraged and began to eat also. This prisoner, announcing an absolutely bizarre possibility in confidence, became the leader. Why?
Faith gives you courage. It grants you the authority to pronounce things that others see as foolish and to do it with such boldness that it ignites faith in others. It makes you the leader.
It is important to note, though, that Paul's faith was not presumptuous. It was entirely based on a word given to him by God, for ""Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."" (Romans 10:17) And, it’s ultimate purpose was not to exalt Paul, but to exalt God.
ARE YOU LEADING?
In the midst of the incredible swirl around us that is tossing waves and bending the mast of the ship, are you hearing from God as to the true situation? In the presence of all, are you announcing God's intentions to a faithless world? Are you bringing to the people around you that which will lift them to faith and bring them safely home?
If not, why not? There could be only two or three reasons. Perhaps you are swayed by the wind yourself and captured in the vortex of fear. Or, you are not in a position to hear the word of God. Or, you simply will not choose to believe what God is saying.
But, if you want to lead others to Him (and that should be our only real goal in life) you must lead in faith.
When you do hear God and stand in faith and lead others to see the God-Who-is-Above-All, then your story will record statements like this at the end of each chapter…
""And so it happened that they all were brought safely to land.""
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