PAUL'S JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
After bidding farewell to the Ephesian elders, Paul set sail through Cos, Rhodes, and landed at Patara. From there, they boarded and set sail through the island of Cyprus, then arrived in Tyre. Paul and his companions stayed there for seven days with the believers. They urged Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem because persecution awaited him. However, Paul was determined to go back to Jerusalem. So he went back on the ship and sailed to Ptolemais and stayed there for one day, then continued to Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip, the evangelist, for a number of days. Then a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea and prophesied what would happen to Paul if he continued to go to Jerusalem. Agabus prophesied that the Jewish leaders would seize him and hand him to the Romans to be persecuted. After the believers heard the prophecy, they pleaded with Paul not to go to Jerusalem. However, Paul answered, "Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus." After hearing these words, the believers gave up persuading him and said, "The Lord's will be done." (Acts 21:1-14). (Third Missionary Journey Map).
Paul was determined to return to Jerusalem to face whatever persecution he would face. Paul was not about preserving his life, but he was about accomplishing the will of God in His life. Paul said this in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Although the Spirit of God warned him of the impending persecution that he would face in Jerusalem, It was the will of God for him to go to Jerusalem. It was not about avoiding the pain of life, but it was about fulfilling the will of God. We need to understand, as believers, that suffering is inevitable in our lives, but trusting God through our suffering is what God wants us to live. Paul could face difficulties and persecution because He believed God was always with Him. Paul said in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things thorugh Christ who strengthenes me."
Complete surrender to God means trusting Him completely with our life. It is about living for Him regardless of the consequences.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Am I willing to live for God no matter the consequences? What does it mean when I surrender my life to God? Am I willing to follow God's will?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, You are my God, and I surrender my life to you. Please help me to trust you completely and be willing to do whatever you ask of me. Please help me not to be afraid to live for you even if it leads me to suffer. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.