Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When To Cease

“And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.”  (Acts 21:4)

        This verse, like the all too common lament, “All we can do now is pray,” leads me to suggest that in far too many situations in life, our last resort should have been our first. The “he” referred to here is Paul the Apostle, who had determined to got to Jerusalem, over the pleadings of Christians in Caesarea and the warning of the prophet, Agabus. It was the latter who told Paul, if he went to Jerusalem, he would be bound over to the Gentiles for incarceration. Paul, however, chided these dear saints for trying to break his heart, assuring them that not only was he ready to be bound, he was ready to die, if need be, “for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Even now, argument still ensues over the right or wrong of his decision.

        Here is my point, though; I fear we waste a lot of time and energy trying to persuade people not to do things they are determined to do, or conversely, to do things against their will. As wives, after we have voiced our opinion and given our arguments, we should leave it at that, unless sin in involved. To feel we must cajole or connive in order to change the minds of our “misguided” husbands, is proud at least and dangerous at worst. The same holds true for our grown children and anyone else in our sphere of influence. Our arguments may be sound, but repetition will not add anything to their credence; and often, as long as we are talking, God cannot be heard. We run the real risk of missing a chance to see the Lord work on our behalf, in answer to prayer, when we insist upon taking upon ourselves the duties of the Holy Spirit. And maybe—just maybe—we could be wrong.

        I wonder, my friend, if it’s time for you to cease and say, “The will of the Lord be done.”

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