Hearing the voice of God – Part 3
In Acts Chapter 27, Paul was travelling with others in a ship to Rome. They encountered difficulties sailing through the sea because of the storms. When they arrived at a place called fair havens, Paul perceived that this voyage would end in disaster and warned them not to continue further.
Paul said, “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on—shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.” (Acts 27:10 (NLT))
They were trying to make a decision about the trip, whether to make or not to make the journey. There were five factors/decision points, which they considered in reaching a decision.
Five Factors of Decision Making/Decision Points
Expert Opinion: The captain of the ship said the ship could sail, based on his experience. That was expert opinion. The people in the ship listened to the captain, instead of what Paul was saying. Many times, when we want to do something, we want to find out what the expert thinks, instead of what is God saying. (Acts 27:11).
Financial Consideration: The owner of the ship opined that it would cost them more, if they didn’t continue with the journey. In making most decisions, we want to know how much it would cost, like the owner of the ship, rather than what God is saying about the matter.
Majority Advice – The majority of people in the ship was of the view that they should sail on, so they could get to Phoenix, farther up the coast of Crete, and spend the winter there.
Common Sense – The Bible says winter was suitable and weather was fine at Phoenix and they felt they could go.
Spiritual Perception – Paul introduced this fifth consideration. Paul said, “I perceive that this voyage will end in disaster.” Paul perceived God saying they should not continue with the journey, despite competing opinions.
Spiritual perception is knowledge, which comes by the Spirit. Paul heard God speaking about the journey, because he was a man that walked in the Spirit. You cannot have spiritual sight if you walk in the flesh.
Many times, we are confused on which way to go, when the expert, public opinion, financial opinion and common sense have spoken, because for us, these are the authoritative ways of making a decision. Paul was in the midst of expert, financial, majority and common sense opinions, which said, “let’s go,” but he was more interested in what God would say and God said, “Don’t go”.
The words “I perceive,” which Paul said didn’t make sense to the majority of the people in the ship. If you were there, you might have been tempted to follow any of the opinions. Their disregard for spiritual direction landed them in trouble. They had hardly begun the journey before a northeast wind began to blow. It was almost of hurricane force. The ship was wrecked and they suffered loss.
You cannot miss the way, when you consistently seek to hear God’s voice in the midst of other circumstances. You must walk and be led by the Spirit. If you can’t tell the voice of God in the midst of common sense, majority view, expert opinion and financial consideration, you will never learn how to walk in the spirit and walk in the supernatural.
Today’s Nugget: Spiritual Perception is knowledge by the spirit.
Prayer: Lord, open my eyes that I may see.
Prayer lines: 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria.
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