The Will of the Lord be Done

Acts 21:14 ‘And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.’

Commentators have debated back and forth whether Paul deviated from the will of God or not by going up to Jerusalem when he did. I am undecided on the matter, but there are other aspects of God’s working to consider in the narrative.

In Acts 20:23, we see that the Holy Ghost was faithful to prepare not only Paul, but also those around him for the troubles that were to befall him in Jerusalem, by warning him in every city, and by the disciples’ conversing with him about the matter. Different ones tried to dissuade Paul from going. These were dear friends of Paul, and although they pleaded strongly with him, he would not be kept from his purpose. No doubt, God was working in their hearts, until they might come to the point where they could say, ‘The will of the Lord be done.’ It is not God’s will for us to strive against God’s permissive providence. It is also not for us to know the future. It is only for us to say, ‘The will of the Lord be done,’ for the will of the Lord shall certainly be done, and although we must do our part, there is also a part that we cannot do—for it is God’s will, not ours, that shall be performed. God’s marvellous work in their hearts after all was to conform them to His own will.

These blessed disciples couldn’t see the matter the way Paul saw it, but what a wonderful testimony that they ceased pursuing the matter when they saw that to do so would not please the Lord.

This issue of surrender is central to victory in the Christian life. Even Christ had to acquiesce to the Father’s will, and the beautiful work of redemption was completed.

When all is said and done that can righteously be said and done, it will forever be honourable and beautiful to say, ‘The will of the Lord be done.’

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