And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
The word compelled means “constrained as through a channel.” As we study God’s Word and experience God’s love, we grow in our desire to serve Him. Little by little, as we are transformed into His image, we increasingly desire to follow Christ wherever He takes us. I remember when the Lord began to stir in my heart to start the ministry of Drawing Near to God, I was fearful to step out in faith, but my love for Christ and desire to be obedient compelled me to follow His leading. Often God leads us to do things where we are stretched because then HIS power can be demonstrated through us. It is the sense of the “compelling” of the Spirit that drives us to move forward. In Acts 20:22-24, Paul was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem not knowing what he would face. Paul’s life was so completely surrendered to God’s will that his only goal was to complete the task the Lord gave him.
Have you ever been compelled by the Spirit to follow wherever God leads? Disobedience was not an option because you were constrained to follow. There have been times in my life when my friends did not understand my call to follow Christ, times when I have been misunderstood, and times when I have had to give up things that I liked to do in order to follow Christ.
Paul considered his life nothing if only he could finish the task that the Lord had given him to complete.
Like Paul, when we are compelled by the Spirit to do something, we need to obey whatever it is that God is calling us to do. His grace is sufficient to lead and direct us as we follow the call. Fear may try and disrupt God’s plans, but the compelling leadership of the Holy Spirit will continue to keep you in His constraining love and power as you seek to obey. What is God calling you to do today? Are you willing to obey?
For some time now I have been sensing that You have been calling me to do something (fill in the blank). I have been disobedient, and yet Your Holy Spirit continues to draw me into obedience. Today I choose to follow, and, like Paul, I pray for Your grace to accomplish Your will.
In Jesus’ name, Amen