THIS ONE THING
SERIES: Unstoppable – The Book of Acts
Sunday, August 27, 2017
- Have you ever taken on project or committed to do something, even though you knew it was going to be really hard and come with a lot of challenges?
- Live out of conviction rather than convenience.
- The things that challenge and cost you the most are the things worth pursuing and the things that matter most when you get there.
- OT-NT / Book of Acts (Acts of the Apostles) / Author: Luke
- Paul’s third and final missionary journey
- Holy Spirit has been showing Paul he was going to be a witness for Him in Jerusalem (Acts 1:8, center of the Jewish world) and in Rome (center of the world at that time)
- Ephesus – farewell address – starts by reminding them of how he lived when he was with them and what he taught them – ends up telling them to beware of false teachers who would come after him
- In the middle of all of that, he tells them why he is going away and why he would not be coming back
TEXT: Acts 20:22-24 (849)
22 “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
You and I might never be led by God to do something that leads to jail and suffering in city after city, but all of us have a purpose and assignment from God that gives purpose and meaning to our lives.
FOUR PHASES OF GOD’S LEADING
- The Spirit’s Prompting (vs. 22)
- “And now I am bound by the spirit to go to Jerusalem.”
- Paul didn’t see this as optional
- He felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to take action
- Have you ever felt compelled to act?
- God often speaks in small ways through everyday life
- Pay attention to those small promptings
- What if I get it wrong? Those small promptings often lead to simple steps of obedience
- Certain Uncertainty (vs. 22)
- “I don’t know what awaits me,”
- Paul didn’t have all of the details – If God showed us all of the details, we might run
- To step toward your destiny often means stepping away from your security
- Paul’s response to the uncertainty ahead of him was to take the next step of obedience – to head for Jerusalem
- God’s leading will almost always come with some uncertainty
- If you’re not stepping out with some sense of uncertainty, you’re not stepping out in faith
- Predictable Resistance (vs. 23)
- “…except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead.”
- Paul didn’t know the details, but Paul knew that resistance would be coming his way – he had been dealing with it for years
- There will always be opposition to your obedience.
- You might experience the resistance of misunderstanding from others – you might experience greater resistance – spiritual warfare
- Often, it is “resistance training” that grows us – when we have nowhere to go but God and we learn things that change our lives
- Uncommon Clarity (vs. 24)
- “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
- When we listen to God’s promptings – and we come to terms with the uncertainty that comes with obedience – and when we press through the predictable resistance – we end up in a place that very few people experience: uncommon clarity
- Very few people have and live out of clarity for their lives:
- 90% of workers feel “emotionally disconnected” from their jobs
- Paul: I have a race to finish (He would later tell his protégé Timothy that he had fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith)
- Paul believed in something that was bigger than his own well-being – he believed in living out God’s purpose for his life as he was led by the HS.
Three Levels of Living
- I want to be happy (contentment)
- I want my life to matter (meaning)
- I want to make a difference (fulfillment)