Summary: It has never been promised that the Christian life would be an easy one. If you’ve been misinformed about the degree of hardship that you would incur, or the level of perseverance that would be required, well, you can always quit. Can’t you?
Title: A Gentle Wind
Scripture: Acts 27
As you recall from the previous chapters, Paul appealed to Caesar and that right was given to him. Luke tells us in Acts 27 that the journey to Rome was beginning. A close scrutiny of this journey that is undertaken strongly resembles life’s journey, and our desire to do the will of God in our lives. When we read these verses, it’s amazing to see the parallels. We see a helps ministry and we see evangelism. We observe rebellion, obedience, and we see evidence of the hand of God. Amazing life parallels all contained in one chapter!
Today’s message, “A Gentle Wind,” is directed at God moving in our life. There are gentle winds that we sometimes allow to fill the sails of our purpose, our direction in life. These are winds that are warm and mild. These are winds that are seemingly innocent enough and offer us a false sense of security. These are winds that we come across while we are navigating the vast ocean of life and are winds that we believe can assist our journey. We believe they can fill our sails and take us closer to the spot we believe God wants us to be. When it later turns into a hurricane force and drives us miles and miles away from God, we blame others and we blame God, but not ourselves.
There are many reasons that we first untied those sails and let them fill with that gentle breeze. But, none stand out in our minds as much as these…
-The winds (before this) were against us
-A False Sense of Security
-I need to get back into deep water
-Not knowing God’s will
-Urgency to do something
I. The Winds (before this) Were Against Us
27:1 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. 3 The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. 4 From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8 We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea. 9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, 10 "Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also." 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.
It has never been promised that the Christian life would be an easy one. If you’ve been misinformed about the degree of hardship that you would incur, or the level of perseverance that would be required, well, you can always quit. Can’t you?
Luke tells us in verse four:
4 From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us.
The winds were against them!
There are going to be winds that will try to rip apart our families. There is going to be blustery weather that will churn up the mud and sand in the waters of life that we won’t be able to see the bottom. There will be gale-force streams of air that will try to tear your job apart, while driving driftwood and icebergs, and even other people, across our path.
Life, at times will seem unbearable. The winds of spiritual origin will blow. Sometimes they will blow for extended periods, causing havoc in our lives. Sometimes they will blow for extended periods, causing our spiritual skin, so to speak, to toughen up. Sometimes they will blow for extended periods, causing us to turn away and take shelter.