“They went to the leading priests and elders and told them, ‘We have bound ourselves with an oath to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 So you and the high council should ask the commander to bring Paul back to the council again. Pretend you want to examine his case more fully. We will kill him on the way.’ 16 But Paul’s nephew—his sister’s son—heard of their plan and went to the fortress and told Paul. “Act 23:14-16
Psalm 34:19 says, “many are the afflictions of the righteous but God delivers him from them all.“ Yes, Christ’s invitation to us is to save our souls from hell and perdition. But consider this, the moment you sign up to say “yes”, to Jesus, you automatically, say “no” to the devil. From that point, expect a series of battles from the enemy. The good news is that He who called you can handle Satan on your behalf .
What the Holy Spirit is saying today is to expect intrigues, plots, battles, onslaughts, suffering, and satanic plans against your body, your soul, your spirit, your ministry, and/or your finances. Expect people who will not shy away from an open conflict and may be determined to eliminate you. This would not be because you have sinned or offended them wrongly, but rather that you have made up your mind to work for Jesus.
The more committed you are to preaching the gospel, the more the enemy will be outraged and the fiercer the battle will rage. The devil does not want you to make heaven, not to talk of you liberating and delivering people from the routes of hell. But the good news is that all those who are starving themselves to death, putting themselves under oath, who are fasting and praying not to improve their life but to destroy yours shall fail!
It is interesting to note that many people do so many things to destroy others for selfish reasons. Why not channel that energy in a positive way to develop yourself and be better than the person you are planning to destroy? Somebody said some people use their “craft” to develop ‘witchcraft’, while others use theirs to develop ‘aircraft’. Why should forty people be planning to kill a man, can you imagine the man-hours being wasted on fasting? How many churches in the Western world have 40 adult members? Whenever you are invited to attend a meeting, find out the purpose of the meeting. If the purpose is not to improve you life or peoples life but to destroy people life get out. “And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom” 2 Sam 15:12. Ahithophel was destroyed not because he did not have wisdom or give correct counsel but he was using it for the wrong purpose in the wrong camp!
Something else that the Holy Spirit is teaching us today is that God’s strategy in defending you from enemies is a process, as it was when he defended Paul:
1. God will expose their plot. Somehow it will not be air-tight. Just like in the movies, there will always be a weak link.
2. God will not just expose it to anybody but to someone who has your interests at heart, as they say ‘who has your back’ someone who is bold and courageous, who will risk his/her own life to set you free. Call the person an angel in human form. He could be your relative, friend, colleague, church member, but expect God to send someone.God has divine helpers around you 24/7. You may not know them or see them, but when God needs them for you they will show up! Paul’s nephew showed up, your destiny helper shall show up today!
3. Don’t be intimidated by the plans of enemies. Don’t be intimidated by their number or oath.Don’t panic. Satan’s plan is always to put you in a panic mode. Put the Bible sermons and Bible study knowledge at your disposal into action. They are for a time like this. Don’t fear. Don’t cry. Put your faith into action. It works!
4. Paul acted promptly. “Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, ‘Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.'” (Acts 23:17) You will need to make your input. You will need to act decisively and timely. No time to procrastinate. There is time to pray but there is time to make quick decisions with sound judgment .This is a matter of life and death! Act with absolute precision!
5. Remember this is not the time of “should I, could l, would I”. No. Expose the plot of the enemy to people that matter. A closed mouth is a closed destiny. You too expose the enemy to Jesus Christ.
6. When the boy told the commander – the commander said, “Don’t let anyone know you told me.” Don’t go about telling people who cannot do anything about your case. Many marriages are scattered because in seeking for counsel they exposed themselves. Many business ideas failed because you cannot keep quiet when it matters.Do not say I told you could be the beginning of your downfall! Many a-times we have reported our case to The Commander, Jesus Christ, and he has assured us. “Keep calm I will handle this,” He says. But instead of trusting him to do it we continue to be flippant with our mouth. Don’t go down that path. Jesus knows what to do. John 6:6
7. “Then the commander called two of his officers and ordered, “Get 200 soldiers ready to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight. Also take 200 spearmen and 70 mounted troops. 24 Provide horses for Paul to ride, and get him safely to Governor Felix.” (Acts 23:23) Urhobo people will say “all these for one man safety” Yes oooo! Jesus has enough heavenly host and earthly men to make sure you ride to safety.