Acts 22:21,22: At what point do you switch off?
“21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!” NIV UK
‘’The crowd listened to Paul until said this’’ (22a, underlining mine).
Sometimes you will not like what you hear from the pulpit, and it will be for all the wrong reasons.
What is your ‘until’ moment? What makes you switch off? What gets you ‘hot under the collar’? What themes press your ‘buttons’?
You may not yet know of course; but I think most of us can identify with the honest Christian who said to the preacher after church one morning, ‘I feel like I’ve been sitting on a drawing pin all through the service.’ That’s the work of the ‘uncomfortable Comforter’, as the Holy Spirit has been called. Conviction of sin can be excruciatingly painful. We feel its sharpness.
It may be that your ‘until’ experience will trigger some other emotion. In the case of the ‘rich young ruler’ it was sadness (Luke 18:23).
PRAYER: Lord, I know there will be times when I feel the bite of your Word. In those moments, help me not to close the Bible, or get angry with the preacher, or choose diversionary tactics. I know that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. So I ask for your help with my often wayward heart. Please strengthen me to face your challenges, to welcome your rebukes, and to be willing to embrace your will.