Acts 20: 22-24: Paul, a Spirit-led leader.

“22 ‘And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” NIV

Dr. Karl Bates made the observation that if the Holy Spirit had been removed from the first Christian church, ninety-five per cent of what they were doing would have ceased; but if they Holy Spirit were to be removed from today’s church, ninety-five per cent of what we are doing would continue.

I don’t know what you think about the above. I sadly believe there is probably much truth in it. However, what is clear is that:

  1. Paul knew the compulsion of the Spirit (22a). That compulsion gave him propulsion. It brought an urgency to his daily life;
  2. The Spirit-led life does not equate to what we might call ‘triumphalism’. It is not a guarantee of an easy life. The Spirit-filled people we meet in ‘Acts’ were regularly in trouble (yet so full of joy!);
  3. The apostle did not allow the prospect of storms at sea to prevent him from embarking on this voyage. He’d heard the weather forecast, but the Spirit impelled him to go. (See also 21:10-15). The prospect of heavy rain and stormy winds did not stop him.

Commit to following that ‘still small voice’ of God wherever He may lead, but don’t expect a pot-hole free road. The leading of the Spirit does not equate to a lack of suffering.

PRAYER: Lord, so fill the leaders in your church with your Spirit that we may walk in your paths. Please fill us all. May we settle for nothing less than the fullness of Spirit-filled living.