Take heed…

Acts 27:1-12

And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment.  So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.  And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care. When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.

When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.

 Paul received warning in his spirit that all would not be well.  He was faithful to share this.  Those in charge did not follow this advice and in the next passage we will see the consequences of that choice.  We have an example here of being spirit-led and following the promptings we sense in our spirit.  Paul was faithful to advise according to what he ‘saw’ not with physical eyes but within his spirit.  It is possible to miss these promptings when distracted by the everyday life that surrounds us.  When we do sense these promptings let us be like Paul, and take heed.  Where advisable let’s be faithful to share what we sense.  God’s protection and provision will rest upon us. 

Having moved to the coastal region, it is impressed upon me the necessity to pay attention to the signs that God gives us.  Life has been likened to a voyage and that means it will be subject to prevailing winds and storms as well as smooth sailing seas.  Can we see the parallel to taking heed to the signs we receive in life.  The storms give warning that they are coming, we can prepare and ride them out surviving with little to no damage.  Or we can ignore them and be shipwrecked, suffering the consequences of not taking heed. Paul was given the sense of danger coming if a course of action was to be followed and the signs presented were not heeded.  He was faithful to share this with others who needed to know.  We may find ourselves in situations where we can see, perceive, that all may not go well.  Let us be faithful to share what we sense with those who need to know.  Let us be the channel of light and understanding to those who may not be able to receive except through us.

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