dependent: because we choose to be? (Acts 27)

shipwreck2Paul, once again shows the power of God by feeding those on the ship.

They had not eaten for 14 days because they did not feel like eating.

What is up with that? Why was this?

35-38He broke the bread, gave thanks to God, passed it around, and they all ate heartily—276 of us, all told! With the meal finished and everyone full, the ship was further lightened by dumping the grain overboard.

Regardless of the reasons for not eating, Paul took on a leadership role in the process. They did not listen to him about the journey itself, for the took sail without yielding to his advice, but now they are listening. God worked in the situation to feed them, and then they threw the grain overboard. Hmmm. Interesting. So why did God allow them to be shipwrecked in the end, but chose to feed them and promise them safety?

The relationship of man’s choice verses God’s will is an interesting area that deserves some exploration.

As a church we see something like this now. We must move in a direction, and only after we commit do we see His hand. There are many times in scripture where God says go, but there are no instructions as to how to do it at the time. God is who He is and we as created beings, we are automatically connected to Him, whether we like it or not. So by definition, we are to be dependent on Him. The first example we see is in the Garden of Eden, and we are still facing it today. Adam and Eve chose to claim independence. Looking back at Paul, he thought it best not to set sail. This was wisdom. They decided to go anyway, did God stop them? No. They proceeded on the journey and faced hardship. But God promised Paul that everyone would not only live, but do so without a scratch. This is my opinion, but I think the whole picture we see in this chapter points to God and our place under Him, dependent. It is not that God wants to teach us a lesson, it is just who He is.

Another important point is this, no matter what decisions you have made in life, God is still there. He has not left us because of a decision we made. So there is hope, regardless of where we are. He will bring Glory to Himself, not because He needs validation, but because it is who He is. Being the creator makes it so. Many do not understand the character of God. Who is He?

We have all seen Christians who are living day in and day out, everyone saying they believe in the same God. However, the behavior of each person is different. Their map of the world is slightly different from one person to the next. Oddly enough, I see a dad who is harsh with his son. He wants what is best for his son, he really does. So why does he think the harsh measure will instill a positive change? It is my belief that he is programmed into thinking this is the character of God, and that is the way God sees him. The father thinks God expects him to live a certain way, or God will be harsh with him. So he in turn passes that trait onto his son, and his son will raise his son in a similar way.

Using the father/son example, how does our perception of the character of God form our behavior.

  • Is our perception correct?
  • How does it shape our church?
  • Will God allow us to go down a difficult path?
  • What is the answer to finding the right direction?

I think the answer is very simple, that we are to be dependent on Him for everything. It is our quest to abide in Him.

It is a lamp onto my feet, and a light onto my path, not headlights.

Posted by Keith Senator

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