by Impact Church
3rd in a series of wisdom points drawn from Acts 27
“And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.”
Invariably and strangely, the warmest breezes seem to comfort those who resist their rudder of conscience. The soft winds of consolation and convenience blow; and with subtle persuasion soothing breezes coerce the shallow and distant heart. So that weak hearts in moments that demand a choice, often allow the presence of some comforting circumstance to cast its decisive vote.
Exactly why the ship’s captain, centurion and passengers rejected Paul’s sharp admonition to remain at the port of Lasea is open to debate; but it’s certain the decision to leave port and sail further came from their sense-driven logic. Certainly they discussed at length their reasoning. And certainly they justified their decision to lift anchor and sail on. And certainly they had serious misgivings and trepidation on their course of action. And isn’t it fortuitously nice sometimes when outside confirmation tips the scale in our fleshly favor? Even when we know, oh yes we know, we ought to slow down and rethink?
Maybe Paul’s unsolicited advice, he being prisoner under the centurion’s care, was deemed rude. Maybe his prophetic words were unwarranted and unmerited, they being ignorant of his spirituality. Maybe his words were pompous intrusions into the world of sailing of which he possibly had little expertise. Or maybe he, being older, was simply viewed as uninformed and insensitive to the younger guy’s interests. Or maybe, their decision to loose anchor and journey on came from casting lots. Or maybe, they even appealed to Lady Luck. Or maybe, and most likely (from a red blooded American male perspective, of course), just the thought of being holed up an entire winter in a small town with few bright lights, drinking holes, beautiful ladies or Wifi, was sufficient reason to sail on to the more pleasured port of Phenice.
But may the consequences of choices be remembered and analyzed; for the results of a decision determine the wisdom of it. And a grain filled ship with 276 passengers headed to Rome has a lot to lose. Should you read ahead, the tragedy awaiting this ship is worthy of a world-class documentary. History books should include the details. And students of life should read it a second time. It’s that invaluable to the sincere. So consider well the risks and rewards of life, and consider the entire volume of wisdom and available information before choices are rashly made.
Either way, whether with logic or lust, the decision to leave port was supported by the providence” of those southern soft winds. Wow! So that any remaining doubts as to the decision to sail to Phenice were removed by the convincing evidence of favorable winds! Thus how easily we leverage our actions with circumstances that bolster our predetermined decisions. How quickly we assuage our troubled conscience when other things around us advance our cause! And how assured we are of our own unpublicized uncertainties when a few positive circumstances come alongside to console us!
However, the world we now inhabit demands the virtue of faith for our success, not sight and externals. To prevail and overcome, a more sure and stable source of wisdom is needed. The Word to us is that unmovable Rock! Trusting the wisdom of the Word directs our decisions and choices, and ultimately determines our victories and successes. Man’s way is never the right way. For his wisdom is drawn from fleshly pride- sensual, shortsighted and short term. It seems right at the beginning, but its end is death. And it’s not so much that man’s way screams of peril and perversion, it’s just that man’s way circumvents the process through which God’s grace is exalted.
Moses, honoring heritage and lineage, chose rather to suffer with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season; a choice that rescued and replanted a nation. Joseph’s dreams competed against his day to day reality; choosing faith to grasp promises in spite of predicaments till his leadership was established. David, hunted down by Saul as a despised fugitive, trusted still that the mantle of kingship was his rightful possession and patience had her perfect work. Jesus, though Creator and Head of all things, chose to give cruel and murderous sinners right to His body, before His Father could elevate Him to His rightful place as King of kings and Lord of lords.
They all had moments of temptation, hours of sufferings, and seasons of discouragement. They all withstood the cultural winds of compromise, the soft winds convincing a change of course, and the cool breezes hoping to calm zeal and fervor. But they all remained true to the Word they’d received, and the fruit of their decision-making is legendary!
So as volatile times increase: Father, my eyes are on you. My heart is fixed. My mind is set. My feet will not slip. My words will be Your will. My thoughts will rest in Your Word. My future is secure and today I’ll live for Your glory! Thank You that I’m no longer moved by the fickle winds of fate and sight. My faith rests in the victory of Your Son. I’m more than dust, and I’m more than a conqueror. I am what I am by Your grace, no more, no less; and I’m completely content with what You’re doing in my life! Thank You, Father. In Jesus name, Amen!