Summary: God, in His wisdom, will guide us through every circumstance we face but we must surrender to His will. Thanks to Pastor Jason Jones for the original submission.
What is the Providence of God? Acts 25:1-12
Millard Erickson once said, “The providence of God means the continuing action of God in preserving His creation and guiding it toward his intended purposes”
What this means is that we are able to live our lives knowing that God is present and active in every part our lives and that things are not happening by some strange coincidence or by accident.
“In the late 1800’s a member of Britain’s Parliament went to Scotland to make a speech. He got off the train in Edinburgh, and took a carriage south toward his destination but unfortunately, the carriage became stuck in deep mud. A local farm boy came to the rescue with his team of work horses and after pulling them free, the grateful politician offered a reward, but the boy refused to accept it.
Determined to pay the young man for his help, the politician asked, "Is there anything I can do for you? What would you like to do with yourself when you grow up?"
"I’d like to become a doctor" the young man replied.
The Member of Parliament promised to do what he could, and in fact secured admission to the university for the young man.
During World War 2 more than 50 years later, Winston Churchill lay dangerously ill in Morocco, suffering from pneumonia. A new wonder drug, called penicillin was administered to him.
Penicillin was discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming, the Scottish farm boy who pulled the politician’s carriage out of the mud.
That’s pretty cool isn’t it? BUT the story gets better. You see the politician who had sponsored the farm boy, now physician was Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill’s father.”
The providence of God is, sometimes, mind-boggling and we can never tell how God may choose to execute His plans.
In our text, today, Felix is gone and there’s a new sheriff in town. Actually a new Governor named Festus. The Jews tried to trick Festus into sending Paul to Jerusalem because they were plotting to kill Paul before he got there. Their little trick failed and God moved in powerful ways to secure Paul’s trip to Rome.
I want you to know that God, in His wisdom, will guide us through every circumstance we face but we must surrender to His will in order to make it through.
There are 3 things I want us to get from our passage today.
1. Sometimes God sets up intentional roadblocks (v. 1)
Sometimes in order to be right where God needs us, when He needs us; He must put up a few roadblocks.
Paul has been stuck in this prison for over 2 years. He knows the Jews want him dead but he also knows that God said he was going to Rome
Sometimes we face delays that drive us crazy because we know God is guiding in a certain direction. During those times we need to remember that “time spent waiting on God is not wasted time.” If we keep our focus we will see more clearly the work God is doing in and through us. And we will know that He is working out His kingdom plan even when we seem to be stuck and going nowhere. God set up this two year delay in order to put Paul right where he needed him and Paul was able to do amazing kingdom work.
Paul tells us in, [Rom 8:28 NKJV] “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.”
The next roadblock you face could be because God is working something out for you. He may be working something out for someone else THROUGH you.
Think about this…Jesus performed some of the greatest miracles or shared His most powerful teachings because His schedule got interrupted and He was delayed.
When Jesus got interrupted He didn’t spin out of control because for Him, it was more about the person than His own agenda.
He knew that each and every interruption could very well be an opportunity to do some of our greatest work for God. If we look through His eyes we’ll be able see that neighbor or the people next to us in that waiting room or in the grocery store/restaurant and yes even in church. When we look through His eyes, we’ll understand that these are not interruptions but divine appointments to touch someone’s life.
What I am about to say may be a bit shocking because when God shared this with me it was a shocker.
If we get angry because our schedule gets interrupted, we are actually angry at God, Who set up the appointment.
Sometimes when I gripe because someone interrupted my busy schedule…When you are stomping and pitching a fit because you can’t do something you planned because someone keeps changing your plans…WE are yelling, gripping and complaining about God…