A Necessary Word from God
In Acts 18 Paul find himself in the city of Corinth and is smack dab in the middle of opposition again. People in the city are believing what Paul is saying about Jesus but there are others who want to kill Paul. It is impossible for me to imagine what this must have been like, though there are followers of Jesus in other parts of the world for whom this is not an unusual occurrence. How can Paul continue? How can he keep going on? I think that God knows what we need when we need it. Paul needed a word from God and so we read this in verses 9-11: 9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”
I have never heard an audible word from God nor have I ever seen him in a vision. But I have “received” a word from God when I needed it. I’m glad to serve a God who knows what I need to hear when I need to hear it. The “when I need to hear it” might not always be according to my time table but it is always according to the right time table. I think it’s also important to note here that the word from God was used by Paul to continue the ministry he was doing. I don’t know that the persecution Paul faced decreased. I know that he continued to face opposition. However, Paul continued to follow Jesus. I believe that God gives us “word” when we need it to enable us to continue.
One final thought. It’s important to put yourself into a position to “hear” God’s words. He doesn’t rearrange the letters in your Alphabet cereal. In my life these “words” come when I’m in prayer or reading God’s word or on a walk with my mind focused on seeking something from God or giving God my undivided attention in worship and praise. Don’t miss out on a word from God by busyness and preoccupation. Like Paul, God will give you the words you need to follow Him.