Daily Radio Bible Podcast
Don’t Be Afraid. Lift Your Sail.
Leviticus 15-17 and Acts 18. We are reading through the NLT.
Jesus appears to Paul in a vision and gives him a simple message,
“Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” (Acts 18:9-10)
God wants him to keep doing what He’s asked him to do. God has a plan for many people in that city. They already belong to Him, they will soon discover what they don’t quite know yet. they just don’t know it yet. He wants Paul to know that he doesn’t need to be afraid. He just needs to speak up and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, as known in the Scriptures. This simple message makes you wonder why Paul needed a vision to have that reinforced. But apparently he did, and sometimes we do, too.
Sometimes we need a clearer or new vision of Christ, in order for us do those simple things that we knew all along. The simple message is to not be afraid, to speak out, to not be silent, to trust that God’s got a plan, that He’s already at work in people’s lives, before we ever say a word. God’s in control. We don’t need to be afraid.
Maybe some of you need some part, or all, of that message that Jesus gave to Paul. Maybe you need the part that says, “Don’t be afraid”. Maybe you’re struggling, locked up with fear and you need to be reminded that God’s got a plan. He’s already been at work. He’s in control and you don’t need to be. Or maybe you need the message to “Speak out”. You need to speak out and pronounce your own faith and trust. Maybe you need to say out loud, “Lord, I trust you in the midst of my own circumstances, my own disappointment, my pain, and my anguish”. Lord, I trust you. Don’t be silent. Resist the temptation to let fear drive you into silence and isolation.
Through Paul’s movements on this journey we see something really important. We see a picture of God moving. We see his Spirit, like a wind, blowing across lives, and regions, and circumstances of the known world and of God’s people, known and unknown. God is at work. He’s in charge. We need not be afraid. Ours is to join with him, and walk in that Spirit, not afraid but in faith. We are to speak out and not be silent.
The Spirit of God is blowing into lives and circumstances, bringing life, hope, and freedom. Where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom – freedom from fear and isolation. His Spirit is drawing us into the life of the Spirit, the life of Christ in us.
Live in His Life. Ride the wave of His leading. He will lead you into Life, into and freedom, and away from fear.
Living the better part of 2020 next to the ocean has reminded me of a few things. The sea is so big, so beyond any one person. it is so powerful you can look out over it and feel afraid. There is no controlling the sea. And yet, there is a way to live next to and even on the sea. You can learn to harness the might of the sea, and draw your life from it.
I feel the winds of God today; today my sail I lift,
Though heavy, oft with drenching spray, and torn with many a rift;
If hope but light the water’s crest, and Christ my bark will use,
I’ll seek the seas at His behest, and brave another cruise.
It is the wind of God that dries my vain regretful tears,
Until with braver thoughts shall rise the purer, brighter years;
If cast on shores of selfish ease or pleasure I should be;
Lord, let me feel Thy freshening breeze, and I’ll put back to sea.
If ever I forget Thy love and how that love was shown,
Lift high the blood red flag above; it bears Thy name alone.
Great pilot of my onward way, Thou wilt not let me drift;
I feel the winds of God today, today my sail I lift.
-Jessie Adams 1906
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