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.

Counseled to Succeed

Psalm 1: 1

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.

Do you want to be blessed? Then take your guidance from Godly people. Additionally, make sure you are praying for the people from whom you receive counsel. 

There are a couple of insightful maxims I have picked up recently. Some, perhaps, I have known for awhile but there are levels of knowing but only the level where you consistently apply knowledge is fruitful. So, maybe you have heard some of this before too but this may be the time when it sinks in at a deeper level.

First of all, don’t receive your counsel from someone who is living on their own preaching. What do I mean by that? I have watched ministers and you can predict their fall so easily when they begin to live off of their own preaching. They rely solely on their own wisdom and revelation. That is doom. As soon as we stop receiving counsel from those who are ahead of us on the journey we are destined for the fall. When preachers stop listening to other ministers’ teachings it is only a short time before their own ministry will begin to fail. In real life this means when any of us relies on our own wisdom rather than continuing to be fed by and counseled by those who can instruct us we will begin to falter.

Secondly, do business with Godly people, people who can and do hear the voice of God. I would rather do business with a saint who can hear God’s voice and is sensitive to His leading than a saint who is folded in on himself or is just unable to be led by God. He may be a wonderful person but I want a wonderful person who is being led by God. You should expect the same. Then, as soon as you begin doing business with someone begin to pray for them daily. Ask God to bless them, keep them and to lead them in all they do. Anoint that relationship with prayer. And I would go a step further. Direct them to the 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice which is resourced at Be a blessing to folks. What if we were all hearing God’s voice everyday? Don’t you think things would begin to get easier? And make sure that you avail yourself of all of the resources available at Communing with God Ministries.

Last, this verse and commentary assume that you are receiving counsel. If not, find someone you can receive counsel from. I know it is not always easy but if you don’t have the answer and yet rely solely on yourself for the answers isn’t that the same as the blind leading the blind? At the very minimum there is a ton of free Biblical teaching available on the web. You may be amazed at how much there is. You can have a different preacher speak into your life everyday of the week. Use those teachings to guide you while you seek a personal counselor or advisor. And just a hint: if a preacher ruffles your feathers a little, you have probably found the right person. You are being challenged, that’s all and that is what we want.