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Acts 27: 11

But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship, than by what was being said by Paul.

What a statement. It is also a precise commentary on our times!

Paul was on a ship being taken to Rome. With difficulty the ship reached a place called Fair Havens. It seems to me that a place called Fair Havens might have been a good place for them to have waited out the storms. Paul told the Centurion not to sail because God had forewarned him about the impending danger should they continue. However, the centurion gave greater weight to the testimony of the captain and pilot than he did Paul. The next caption in the story is “shipwrecked”. They lost all their cargo and the ship.

I like to think that I would have listened when Paul spoke knowing, as I do, that he heard the voice of God but in truth we see the same dynamic played every day. People give heed to the voice and advice of the world rather than listening to the leading of God. We have the Bible pointing out the way, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and anointed women and men of God, prophets who have been given the word of truth to give us. Still, we listen to the doctors, TV news and even our heathen brother-in-law rather than to the Word of the living God. It is a crime, a travesty and dare I say, a sin. The next thing you know we are shipwrecked and we wonder what happened. “Didn’t you promise to meet my needs and protect me,” we ask the Lord, but we never wait around to hear Him say, “I tried to keep you from making that choice knowing it would lead to shipwreck but you wouldn’t listen to me, didn’t want to hear what I was saying.”

The truth is, most of us give more attention and weight to worldly advice, to the advice of mere men, than we do to the Word of the Lord. A prophet comes to us and says, “This is the Word of the Lord” and we scoff. We have little respect for our spiritual leaders and teachers. We may at times act like we honor them but when it comes to what we will be persuaded by many of us are like this centurion. It is how we were raised and has become habit.

But you are cut out of a different cloth, out of the very raiment of Jesus. You can make better choices. You can choose who you will allow to influence you. Will it be the world or the Lord? Although you don’t have Paul on the ship with you, you do have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who was sent to be your guide. Give this a hard think today. To whom are you listening? Who is persuading you and guiding your actions? Are you allowing God to speak to you or are you being led by a person. Well, the captain and the pilot of the ship may seem to be authoritative voices and experienced sailors but God knows all and He loves you.

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