Posted in Devotionals

Don’t Discourage

The Lord keeps speaking the same thing to me that He has since the beginning of the year. We need to encourage and build up the body of Christ, not discourage and tear down.

When I went into prayer this week to seek what the Lord wanted me to speak about He lead me to this scripture in Acts.

Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 21:13

Reading through the whole of chapter 21, when in Tyre, the disciples tried to discourage Paul from going to Jerusalem, but he would not be deterred and when He got to Caesarea the prophet Agabus told him that we was about to be bound and delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. Again the disciples and the people tried to dissuade Paul from going to Jerusalem. But Paul clearly states that He is ready to even die for the Lord, don’t try to discourage him from that.

Paul chose to listen to what the Spirit put on his heart rather than to what people were telling him to do. But the Lord showed me something more in this. The Spirit was leading Paul to Jerusalem, but at the same time the Spirit was letting the disciples know what was going to happen. The Lord led me to this scripture in John.

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13

Each of us has the Holy Spirit in us. He speaks to us what He hears from God. He will disclose to us what is to come. What the Lord put on my heart is this. If God wants you to take action, the Spirit in you will tell you what action to take, because that is what God desires you to do. So when the Spirit in Paul said to go to Jerusalem, Paul was following the action that was desired. However, when the Spirit spoke to the disciples and the prophet, it was to inform them of what is to come. Not that they should take action, but they should be prepared.

But the disciples let the flesh take over didn’t they? They were told what was to come and they instead of encouraging Paul and building him up, they told him not to go. But we should each listen to the Spirit in us. The Spirit within us gives us the ability to freely know the things of the Lord.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:11-13

Just as a person is the only person who knows his own thoughts, so the Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God. We are given this spirit so that we may speak and act as the Spirit leads us and teaches us. We learn how to think as the Spirit thinks, from our hearts. We then learn to think as well as speak as the spirit leads. In the case of Paul, he chose to listen to the Spirit in him and make his actions and words reflect what the Spirit was telling him. Paul may have known what was about to happen to him, but he delighted in the Lord and loved the Lord so much, he was willing to sacrifice his own flesh in order to serve the Lord the way the Lord desired.

Though Paul resisted the fleshy thoughts, a person of lesser faith and understanding may have listened to the people and not gone to Jerusalem.

Each of us needs to encourage a person who feels the Lord leading them to do something; we need to encourage them to follow the Lord’s desire and not our own. We may see catastrophe coming for that person, but if the Spirit of the Lord is guiding that person to follow a certain path; we need to build that person up, encourage them and remind them that God has them covered.

We need to strip off the flesh that says that person needs to stop and not do something and let the Spirit of the Lord shine through instead and encourage the other person to follow what they feel the Spirit of the Lord is guiding them to do.

We are given the spirit of the Lord to be a comforter, a teacher, a guide. The Spirit can do an awesome job of leading us, if we just be quiet and listen and then follow.

And if a person tries to dissuade you from following what the Spirit says to you, do as Paul said and ask why would they try to break your heart? Choose to listen to that voice inside you, the Spirit of the Lord.

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I am just a person on a life journey to who knows where!

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