About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Not Intimidated   


I am often motivated to write articles based on things I hear people say, which is the case with this article.  People inevitably say that they will not allow a terrorist attack to intimidate them.  They will carry on with life because if they don't, they will lose and the terrorist will win. 


The Apostle Paul was one who would not be intimidated.  Despite the many prophetic warnings of hardships and imprisonment heard on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4) Paul would not be diverted from his mission.  In Acts 21:10 and 11 the prophet Agabus predicted Paul's arrest and imprisonment.  Without a doubt, Paul understood the perils that he would face when he arrived in Jerusalem.  Acts 20:23 says this:


"I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me ..."


The Holy Spirit, through various prophecies, warned Paul of pending trouble, but He did not tell Paul to change his travel plans.  With intentionality, Paul proceeded to Jerusalem.  He would not be intimidated.  Acts 21:13 says: 


"I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'"


Was Paul stubborn or was he intentional?  However you answer this question, we can agree that nothing would detour Paul from traveling the road of God's will for his life.  Even after being thrown into jail and then given the opportunity to be released, with impressive intentionality he used his rights of Roman citizenship to demand a hearing in Caesar's court.  I love how Paul made his appeal as recorded in Acts 25:11.  I picture him with quiet confidence and in matter of fact fashion saying "I appeal to Caesar."  He had no mental debate, no hesitation, or no praying it through as we called it years ago.  He simply announced, "I appeal to Caesar."


Why would Paul choose to spend the years of trouble and turmoil that would lead him to Caesar?  Why didn't he just take the easy way out and accept his release so he could preach the gospel across the countryside?  Acts 9:15 and 16 answer this question.  It is there we learn of God's mission for Paul.       


"This man [Paul] is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.  I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."


From the beginning Paul knew he would preach the gospel to the governing authorities of the Roman Empire and by so doing would suffer immensely.  If an illegal arrest and subsequent imprisonment would lead him to Caesar, then so be it.  He would not be intimidated. 


Like Paul, we will not allow trials, sickness, cultural conflict, or anything else, to intimidate us.  We will, with purpose-filled, Holy Spirit inspired, motivation accomplish the mission that Jesus has designated for us.     


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