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We looked up the local disciples and stayed with them seven days. Their message to Paul, from insight given by the Spirit, was "Don’t go to Jerusalem."
Okay, I admit this is confusing. Paul is convicted that he must go to Jerusalem. At the same time, he knows hardship awaits him. Now this warning and command: "Don't go to Jerusalem!" I don't know any way to understand this other than one of two ways. One, Paul is disobeying the Spirit when he goes to Jerusalem. Two, this is more of the Spirit alerting him that grief and hardship await him if he goes to Jerusalem. Here's the bottom line: either way, God uses this trip to Jerusalem to get Paul to Rome, where the good news of Jesus needed to be heard and where Paul was determined to go. Somewhere in the confusion we all face in trying to follow the Spirit's lead, we have to trust that God will get us where we need to be and doing what we need to do to fully honor him. The question is whether we are willing to fully invest and trust in the Spirit leading us no matter what the short-term consequences of our commitment may be.
Gracious Father in heaven, I trust that you will use the Holy Spirit to lead me where I need to be to do the work you want me to do. I ask, dear Father, that my life glorify you no matter where that is or what that entails. My deepest prayer, Lord, is that I never, ever, outlive my love and trust of you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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