How to Know the Will of God?
More than forty Jewish men bonded themselves by a curse to murder Apostle Paul. However, Claudius Lysias, the Chief Captain, rescued him and accomplished the will of God.
And they included the religious leaders in their diabolical conspiracy.
“And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul” (Acts 23:14).
The band of want-to-be murders included “the chief priest”, the “elders”, and “the council”, that is the Sanhedrin Council.
These men are not only religious but powerful leaders of their nation. They are like bishops and the archbishop, yet they agreed to the murder of an innocent man.
“Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you [tomorrow], as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him” (Acts 23:15).
A Bond to Kill
Now, these men didn’t deceive these leaders because they explicitly informed them that they planned “to kill him”.
Not, only that, but they were not doing this in secret or discretely, for Paul’s nephew overheard their conspiracy.
But he didn’t keep this new-found knowledge to himself.
“And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their [lying- in] wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul” (Acts 23:16).
Neither did Paul keep this information to himself but he shared it with the relevant people.
“Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him” (Acts 23:17).
Let’s pause for a moment, then I shall ask a question. What was the will of God concerning Paul in all that was happening?
In part, God’s will for him was to preach to kings; therefore, it was necessary for him to visit Rome.
The king was in Rome.
Claudius Lysias Did it But He Wasn’t Aware of it
“So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, [Claudius Lysias], and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee” (Acts 23:18).
Regardless of what we may be experiencing there is a course of action that the Lord God desires that we take.
We may not immediately know it, but we must trust in his promises and allowing them to guide us.
“Then [Claudius Lysias] took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?” (Acts 23:19).
The Lord works through people. And regardless of how we may fight against what’s happening in our lives right now, know assuredly that the will of God must be done.
Nothing and no one can stop it. But we must know His will for us in any situation to act accordingly.
“And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul [tomorrow] into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly” (Acts 23:20).
The Perfect Will of God?
There is only one will of God. There’s no “perfect will of God”, only the will of God.
When we are in it, the Lord God will reveal the deceptions of our Adversary. His word will shine heavenly light on it and expose it.
“But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee” (Acts 23:21).
As you study your Bible be aware of this principle: the Lord God works in every situation that we encounter to take us closer to fulfilling His will.
“So [Claudius Lysias] then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me” (Acts 23:22).
Thy will be done oh Lord!
The Will of God Replete With Benefits
Then, “[Claudius Lysias] called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night” (Acts 23:23).
Here, we observe that through this plot to murder Apostle Paul, the Lord was not only on schedule to achieve His will, but also, He was protecting Paul in all this.
“And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor” (Acts 23:24).
When we are in the will of God, He will take care of us. Don’t be afraid, just trust Him.
The Lord God is the most mighty God.
Note even though the Chief Captain’s role in the will of God concerning Apostle Paul was about to terminate, yet the Lord makes provision for Paul’s continued protection through Claudius Lysias’ letter to Felix the Governor.
The Will of God Extends Through an Unusual Medium
“And [Claudius Lysias] wrote a letter after this manner” (Acts 23:25).
“Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting” (Acts 23:26).
“This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman” (Acts 23:27).
“And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council” (Acts 23:28).
“Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
“And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
Sometimes We Accomplish the Will of God Ignorantly
Therefore, at this point, Claudius Lysias has effectively transferred the care and protection of Apostle Paul and the accomplishing of the will of God, concerning him, to Felix the Governor via his letter to him.
“Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
“On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
“Who, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him” (Acts 23:35).
“And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia” (Acts 23:34).
“I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall” (Acts 23:35).
The Will of God is not Fixed
In closing, we never know what the Lord will do next. However, we always know He will never leave us or forsake us.
That’s His promise to us. Therefore, as you traverse each and every day, know that you are in the will of God.
If your actions satisfied the following three criteria, you are in the will of God.
First, is it good in the eyes of the Lord? Second, is it acceptable to Him? Finally, is it “perfect” or completed to Him?
Therefore, to qualify as the will of the Lord God, all three conditions must be present together (Romans 12:2).
The final word. The will of God is never the same in all situations. It’s contingent on the merits of each situation. But it always conforms to the Bible.