In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
Today, we recognize that achievement. For most people, it’s an opportunity for a day off work or school, or a day they wish they had off. But five hundred years ago, it was pretty remarkable that Columbus and other explorers took off on the open seas in search of lands yet unexplored.
Two thousand years ago, another ship set sail, this one bound for Rome. On board was a prisoner, Paul of Tarsus, a Jew and a Roman citizen en route to Rome for trial. He wanted to his testimony to be heard by the highest government. And despite storm, shipwreck, and snake bite, he was supremely confident that he was going end up in Rome. He was so confident he assured the seasoned sailors to stick with him because God said he was going to Rome and as long as they stayed with him, they’d make it (Acts 27:24). This was pretty remarkable too.
Several years before that, Paul wanted to go to Asia. But he was stopped twice by the Lord (Acts 16:6-7). After having a vision of a man in Macedonia urging him to go there, Paul did a 180o and headed to Europe instead of Asia.
The question for us is: How did Paul know on the one hand, to turn tracks and head in a different direction, while later on, he persevered through many circumstances that would deter even the most stalwart believer.
The answer lies in not in his brilliance in the moment of decision, but in his daily relationship with the Lord. If we wait until the times of trial to engage deeply with God, asking for wisdom and direction, it’s less likely that we will discern His voice than if we have an ongoing conversation with God in the mundane, ordinary days.
Paul didn’t make these decisions according to the emotions he felt on any given day.
He didn’t make a list of pros and cons reasoning out the best plan to follow.
He based his decisions on a lifelong sensitivity to God’s leading.
In prison, he worshipped and prayed. He didn’t decide to develop a prayer life when hardship hit. This godly wisdom in tough times came from a life of prayer and worship in the ordinary times. <<Click To Tweet>>
Want to know God’s will in the difficult times? Get to know His will each day, whether there are big decisions to make or not. Spending time with Him in prayer and praise will increase sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading. There’s simply no shortcut or substitute.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:12
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2