Scripture:

Acts 27: 10-14 (NIV) “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest. When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island.”


Observation:

These sailors thought they had what they wanted, but soon found themselves in a very undesirable situation. Many times, we think we have what we want only to find ourselves with a huge problem. Our response to these problematic situations is crucial in our walk with the Holy Spirit. Often, our automatic response is, “I wish we had avoided it in the first place!”


Paul warned these men of the dangers in proceeding with this journey: “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also” (verse 10).


Acts 27 is not the only story in scripture where, after thinking they had exactly what they wanted, the people found themselves in a desperate place. Jonah thought he had what he wanted when he arrived at Joppa and discovered there was a boat headed for Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). Jonah also found himself in the middle of a major storm.


In the middle of our storms, the main problem is our short-sighted view. We are limited when it comes to making decisions about the future, since our decisions are based on information we can see and touch. God sees the future and has laid out the best plans for our lives. If we could just find ourselves racing to where he is! Then we can move from a place of his guidance, and not from our striving.


Application:

Think of all the times you look back and see God’s faithfulness walking you through a mess. How many times have we said, “if I had only sought him first?” Or better yet, “Thank you God for seeing me through this situation.” The goodness of God will always help us navigate through every situation for His honor and glory! Storms will come! We will find ourselves in a storm no matter how many times we try to avoid them. Paul was a prisoner. He had no choice but to board the boat. Jonah willfully chose to disobey God. Yet in both cases, God was with them working for their good. Similarly, God will be with you and me, in the storms of life, working for our good as we seek to follow his plans for our lives.


It’s time to renew your surrender. Think of times you took the reins. Repent and release those to God. Make a commitment to God that moving forward, he will always be the first one you run to when you enter stormy waters. Then with an open heart, let him guide you.


Prayer:

Lord allow me to seek you first. Allow me to have a heart and mind open to hear you speaking as you lead and guide me through the troubled waters of life. Amen.


Song:

Awake In Me by Altr Worship


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