In Acts 27 we find the apostle Paul under arrest and sailing towards Rome to speak to Caesar. By all outward appearances, Paul is under the control of the soldiers responsible for getting the ship’s prisoners to Rome. The passage makes clear however that Paul is actually being moved by God’s design. By all outward appearances the boat, the crew and all passengers are in a perilous position as they are lost at sea for weeks narrowly avoiding death from starvation, the boat sinking and the soldiers’ plan to kill the prisoners. In reality God’s plan is for all 276 to make it safely to shore. They do. On the island of Malta Paul is bitten by a viper. Paul should die a gruesome death but instead incurs no ill effects from the bite. God had other plans.
Paul must reach Rome to share the gospel with Caesar. In truth Paul was never in any danger- uncomfortable maybe but never danger. As an ambassador of the gospel Paul realizes his life is under the control of the Sovereign of the Universe. Storms and starvation are merely details in Paul’s story, not powerful forces endangering his life. Every detail has been carefully and specifically planned from before the world began by Paul’s God. Paul knows that God’s plan of gospel advance must succeed and Paul has surrendered himself to this end. The success of the advance of the gospel is the definition of success too Paul. Paul’s faith is not shaken by the minor details like ship wrecks and imprisonment.
How many of us live with the type of purpose that says, “God, the advance of your gospel is ultimately all that matter to me, so use me in any way you see fit, difficulties not withstanding?”
How many of us live with such faith that on our worst day in the most extraordinarily difficult circumstances we can say, “I am exactly where God wants me, so God please use me and I know that nothing can touch me except by His sovereign decree?”