Under Control

Acts 20:22-24 

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Deer Crossing

Have you ever driven in a highway where there are no street lights? During the day, it would be very convenient. But at night, it’s dangerous especially along highways where animals cross the street.

For example, “Deer Crossing” signs are installed along the highways as warnings to expect that deer would cross the street at anytime. There are other warning signs along the streets to warn motorists from any danger.

Many believers are scared to explore more of their spiritual life because they are afraid of unknown dangers. Many new believers are scared to give the tithes of God because they are afraid that they might not get back what they offered to God. There are many different frightening thoughts that may disturb us, but for believers, we should have more courage in this life because we have the Holy Spirit who would warn us if there’s danger awaiting us or that would likely happen.

1.   Warning

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.

Have you had that experience? Have you ever ventured into anything, and you don’t know what will happen, and you have peace that everything will be fine?

Paul didn’t have any idea what to expect. The Holy Spirit compelled him, meaning, he is controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired and guided him when he planned to do something. He didn’t know what was waiting for him in Jerusalem. Figuratively, he was bound and tied by the power of the Holy Spirit.

There are many things that the Holy Spirit does in our life as believers that we cannot understand. He would not reveal everything at one time. Faith is displayed when we obey God without knowing what happens. The Lord knows that we have the tendency to doubt or complain of difficult situations.

In Paul’s situation, the Holy Spirit impressed in his heart the worst possible scenario. He expected that he might experience similar hardship he experienced during his missionary journey.

 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 

In his journey, hardship, imprisonment, and persecutions were Paul’s regular diet.

And in all those struggles and difficulties in life, Paul have experienced that God’s grace is sufficient for him. He was able to finish the race of life God has designed for him. Paul has narrated in his letter to the Corinthians some of the difficulties that Lord has allowed him to experience. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

Some of you might have experienced similar persecutions and hardship as believers. Keep on keeping on because the more trials that comes our way, the more we grow deeper in our spiritual roots in Christ. Trust that when God allows hardship while we live our life as believers here on earth, His grace will also sustain us so that we can persevere. Persecution is a mark of disciples. The more we are persecuted, the more we become worthy as “disciples of Christ.”

 2.  Worthy

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Truly, when Paul was testifying about God’s grace, the Holy Spirit warned him of possible persecution. Paul had the courage to face possible imprisonment in Jerusalem because he was experiencing the abundant grace of God in his life. He expected persecution and faced it without any fear. It wasn’t because he was immune from persecution. It wasn’t because his body has become calloused from any harm. No human threat can scare him. There’s no fear but peace that transcends understanding would prevail when the Holy Spirit is in control of our life.


A teenaged North Korean soldier walked across the world’s most heavily militarized border on Monday in a bid to defect to South Korea, South Korean Defense Ministry officials said.

While there are more than a thousand defections from North Korea to South Korea every year, most defectors come via China and it is rare for a North Korean to crossing the heavily mined Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The last such crossing was in 2012.

The soldier approached a remote South Korean guard post in Gangwon province’s Hwacheon county, in the central area of the peninsula, at about 8 a.m. on Monday, one Defense Ministry official said.

There was no exchange of fire or warning shots as the soldier clearly expressed his desire to defect, the official said. The soldier was being held in custody while officials ran checks.

Stretching across the Korean peninsula, the DMZ is 4 km (2.5 miles) wide and is fortified with landmines and barbed wire. There are telephones on the South Korean side for defectors from the North to call seeking help.

What has inspired the North Korean soldier to face possible death, just to defect to South Korea? As a soldier, he should have a better life in North Korea but he still hoped for much better life down south of the border.

Defecting from North Korea to South Korea is a life example of leaving the old life and trusting Christ for New life. We have no idea what God has prepared for us but we have a hope that we will have a better life as children of God.

As we live as Christians, we are not exempted from problems. When God allows persecution, trials, or difficulties in life, He uses them to bring the obedient disciple to the next level of spirituality. The grace of God is sufficient for us.

Paul has written his personal experience of God’s grace. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What concern do you have right now? That concern maybe unique for you and it’s time for you to check if you have really trusted God. Your concern is really hard because God’s standards are higher than our standards. He allows trials that we cannot solve or very hard to carry because the Lord wants us to rely only upon Him for help with sincerity heart, mind, and soul.

Pray that God will sustain you with His grace and peace. Have you observed that Paul always greet with God’s grace and peace the churches he has written? God’s grace and peace are the totality of anything we love to experience with God.

><((‘> … ><(((‘> tmec\2021 <‘)))>< … <‘))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.