“Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so MUST thou bear witness also at Rome” (Acts 23:11).
Much like the Apostle Paul, God has new and challenging places for many of us to bear witness of Jesus. Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” For those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus wherever He might lead that statement carries much weight! As one author noted, when we choose to follow the Spirit’s leading in our life, there is “an element of danger and an air of unpredictability.”
This is absolutely true!
The same author wrote these words:
If you would describe your relationship with God as anything less than adventurous, then maybe you think you’re following the Spirit but have actually settled for something less— something I call inverted Christianity. Instead of following the Spirit, we invite the Spirit to follow us. Instead of serving God’s purposes, we want Him to serve our purposes.
If, and when, we choose to follow Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s leading, He will take us to places we never could have imagined on paths we never knew existed, and to be honest with you, occasionally on a course of life, we never would have chosen. Another author wrote:
He calls us to faith, and faith is always dangerous. Faith always feels like risk. God doesn’t call us to be the same as everyone else. He calls us to be different. He calls us to the lunatic fringe. He calls us to be renegades. A renegade is a person who rejects conventional behavior, who refuses to do what others are doing, and who realizes there’s a different beat they can dance to— and it’s better. Once they start walking their unique path others may follow, but at first it can be lonely. But that’s okay, because a renegade realizes “normal” isn’t working for anyone else, nor is it working for them. So they abandon normal to find right. It isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to truly live for God. It isn’t easy because it requires something radical from us. God isn’t looking for the halfhearted or the lukewarm. Anywhere we look in the Bible, we see that we are meant to be all-in when it comes to following Jesus.
It would have no doubt been far more comfortable and convenient (not to mention safe) for Paul, an established apostle, to stay in Jerusalem and Judea, and even continue to travel with his team on his missionary journeys, but Paul had a commission from the Risen Christ. GO TO ROME!
While the circumstances and consequences may not be exactly what we had in mind (for Paul it was imprisonment and eventual martyrdom), what really matters is that we bear witness of the Living Christ to men and women who are dead in their sins, even if it means GO TO ROME!
What is God calling you to do today? Where is God calling you to go tomorrow? What are you going to do about it?
Just taking a few moments to reflect on the Acts of the Apostles!