Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
“Are you guys ready? Okay, let’s roll. ”These were the last audible words of a heroic young man called Todd Beamer who was a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93 that was hijacked as part of the September 11 attacks in 2001 in the USA. Instead of allowing wicked men to decide their fate, a group of young men aboard the aircraft led by Todd Beamer opted to wrestle their destinies from the hands of the terrorists.
Because of their extraordinary act of courage on that day, the aircraft was forced to crash into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, rather than allow the terrorists to use it as an explosive missile to kill hordes of people on the ground. These gallant young men exhibited a laudable characteristic that must be emulated by noble men and women during certain situations in life. Spirit-filled Christians must take charge of their destinies by any means necessary in the face of intimidation and attacks of the enemy.
Our scripture reading for today gives an account of how Apostle Paul took charge of his God-ordained destiny amid a very hopeless situation, and in the process saved the lives of all the people in a ship en-route to Rome.
It is worth recounting that the Lord Jesus Christ had earlier revealed His perfect will to Paul regarding the latter’s ministry in Acts 23:11 which states, “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” While on his divinely-assigned trip to Rome, the ship was overtaken by a violent storm and headed into imminent destruction.
The captain and the crew of the ship in the natural realm lost total control of the ship, lost all hope of making it to land safely, and resigned themselves to the eventuality of death on the sea. It was at this juncture that God’s son and minister on board correctly discerned that a notorious “spiritual terrorist” had hijacked the ship in the spiritual realm with an attendant physical manifestation.
A new captain emerged during the ensuing chaos with the following qualities according to today’s scripture reading: a man who knew God and the infallibility of His word; a man who understood the power of fasting and prayer; a man of faith; and a man of deep compassion and strength. The Apostle Paul took charge of his destiny and his circle of influence through prolonged fasting and effectual, fervent prayer; and God granted his request as stated in verses 23-24,
“For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.”
You must understand that there is severe opposition in the spiritual realm by Satan and his agents against your ordained destiny in life. The Lord might have spoken to you regarding His will in your life this year, but you may have made very little progress in accomplishing it. There is a “spiritual terrorist” on the loose who must be stopped by any means necessary. As you meditate on this devotional and seek the face of the Lord during this period of fasting and prayer, may you receive tremendous power and boldness to take charge of your destiny and that of others in your circle of influence.
Each one of us in the precious family has been destined to a life of the highest order of divine efficiency and great success in every endeavor and we should not abandon ourselves to a shipwreck of our faith and destinies. “Are you guys ready? Okay, let’s roll,” must also be our rallying cry to take charge of our lives and possess our possessions in the Lord for the rest of this year and the coming years.
Memory verse: “God has granted you all those who sail with you.” Acts 27:24b
© 2018 Pastor Dr. Isaac Paintsil,
Sr. Pastor, Christ’s Oasis Ministries.
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