Acts 21:7-16: Your will be done.
“7 We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day. 8 Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. 10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, ‘The Holy Spirit says, “In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.”’ 12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, ‘The Lord’s will be done.’ 15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.” NIV UK
As you travel through life, there will be times when you want to see something happen, or, as here, you will face a scenario you really don’t want to happen. However, as the inevitable begins to dawn, it is good and right that we should kneel with Jesus in our lesser ‘gardens’, and say, ‘Not my will but yours…’ God is sovereign; He is good all the time, and, ‘we weep over blessings clothed as sorrows.’
Did Philip’s single girls ever have to say ‘’Let the will of the Lord be done’’ (14b) regarding their single state? I don’t know, of course. The Bible doesn’t tell us, so it’s not important to know. Still, I wonder all the same. I find verse 9 fascinating. There’s so much more I’d love to know about this dad and his girls and their home life. What had happened to their mum? Was she still around? She’s not mentioned.
What the passage clearly does show is the value of prophetic ministry, and the importance of being open to it, even while we acknowledge the need to be discerning.
‘Agabus joined the happy party, with prophecies of peril ahead, but these only served to bring out the courage of the apostle. His purpose was inflexible. An unseen hand was beckoning; a Voice which only he could hear was calling. He had no doubt as to God’s purpose and went straight forward, though he was not insensible to the love and sympathy of friends.’ F.B.Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’,p.497.
‘’Pursue love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy’’ (1 Corinthians 14:1)