Summary: The writer of the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts was on this ship in Acts 27 bound for Caesars Palace recorded all of the details of this perfect storm. So with those thoughts in mind, I want to talk with you about The Perfect Storm. What are those details about the Perfect Storm?
I. LUKE RECORDS THE FORECAST OF THE PERFECT STORM. (vs.9-10)
1. THE SEASON FOR STORMS. (Acts 27:9a)
"Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous; because the fast was already past:"
They were already sailing from East to West in the Mediterranean Sea and they were sailing slowly because of bad weather. They had already been sailing with much difficulty. They had no meteorologist to predict storms. They had no evening news to watch. They had no seven day outlook in the forecast and they did not have the National Weather Service to warn them that there was a storm on the horizon.
But; they were educated about weather conditions. Luke made it clear when he said, "The fast was now already passed" which was "The Day of Atonement". They all knew that late September and early October was the most dangerous time to sail. They all knew better! But; because they did they created their own storm in their lives by making unwise foolish choices like ignoring the forecast.
We are guilty of doing the same; we create storms in our lives as the result of making some unwise foolish choices.
2. THE ADVICE OF PAUL. (Acts 27:9b)
"Paul admonished them."
When I was around eight years old we planned a trip to Wilmington NC to go fishing. The folks I was with already had a boat lined up to take us out. The morning we were to go out I remember as we reached the mouth of the ocean how we were confronted with dark thunder clouds and whipping waves all around our little 30 ft. boat. The driver of the boat wrestled with those breakers so long that almost all of us on board got sick. Finally the decision was made to turn around and go back through the inlet to the house. Do you know what happened? Somebody forgot to watch the news that morning. Somebody forgot to check out the weather forecast. Somebody thought that fishing was more important than safety. Nevertheless, I never went fishing with them again.
Did you catch the words of Luke; "Paul admonished them?" In other words Paul advised them, he recommended that they take another course, he tried to steer them in another direction. Paul tried to warn them that trouble was ahead if they left that port of Fair Havens and put out to sea. You know prisoners don't give advice or so it seemed with Paul. Perhaps prisoners were not educated enough, not smart enough, not wise enough. You know the old saying; "If I want your advice I'll ask for it." They didn't ask for the advice of God's man but he gave it and the ignored advice of God's man led them into the worst storm in their lives.
3. THE DISCERNMENT OF PAUL. (Acts 27:10)
"And he said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives."
When Paul said "I perceive" that word means "discernment" (Insight into the things of God). Discernment; that is what Elisha had at Dothan, the insight into the military strategic plans of the Assyrian King to attack Israel. "Discernment" that is what Peter the Apostle had when Ananias and Sapphira came to present their gifts to God; and lied to the Holy Spirit and dropped dead right in front of the Apostle.
What the church needs more of today is spiritual discernment in our adversity, discernment in our decision making, discernment in our storms. "Perceive" also means to perceive from past experiences. When Paul said to them "Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives, he was speaking from past experience. He had already been ship wrecked three times. He had been there and done that! Paul's discernment was from the Holy Spirit, they didn't need Ginger Zee or Jim Cantore from the weather channel to convince them there was a hurricane coming. All they needed was the accurate discernment of the man of God and that was enough.
So then; there are those circumstances surrounding the forecast of our storms. The season for storms... The advice of Paul...and the discernment of Paul.
We watch the weather daily. We plan our schedules around the weather forecast; we make major decisions around the weather forecast...we totally depend on the weather forecast don't we? We watch it on TV, watch it on our tablets and even our cell phones and in a matter of seconds we are looking at today’s weather. With these thoughts in mind there are several ways we can apply this message in our lives.
1). Don't create storms in your life. You have enough storms blowing in and out of your life without you creating more, so stay close to God!