“But there is another urgency before me now. I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. I'm completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won't be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead.”
(Acts 20:22-23 MSG)
Paul knew there would be hard times waiting for him in Jerusalem. Paul knew he would be put in prison. The Holy Spirit had shown Paul the tribulations and chains that awaited him. However, Paul was not moved or concerned about all the horrible things that he would face. Paul made it clear to the elders of the church that all the afflictions he would experience did not matter. Those terrible things that awaited him were not important, but what mattered most was finishing what God had started.
God had given Paul a mission. On the road to Damascus, God changed Paul’s agenda (Acts 9). Now, Paul was committed to going and doing whatever God had called him to do. The oppositions he would face were not Paul’s concern anymore.
“But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.”
(Acts 20:24 MSG)
Paul knew what mattered most to him. He knew God was for him more than the world would be against him (Romans 8:31). Paul knew that He who began a good work in him was faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, Paul made up his mind that He would be faithful to the call even if it meant giving his life.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”
(Phil. 1:6 MSG)
Let me ask you something. Have you gotten to a point where the work God has started in you is becoming difficult? Is the fire and the excitement you had at the beginning of God’s mission going out? Have you decided to change God’s agenda because it’s becoming too demanding or too challenging? Has God’s work become unimportant or uninteresting to you?
God has given all of us a mission (Matt. 28:18-20). He has a plan and an agenda that we must follow, but we have to be committed no matter what the cost. Of course there will be tribulations, afflictions, and hard times ahead; however, we can rest confidently knowing that God will be with us every step of the way.
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?” (Romans 8:31 MSG)
My sister, we’ve wasted enough time. Now, it’s time to get back in the race and finish what God has started.