Last year a group of women under the banner of Super Working Mum founded by ‘Detola Amure, got together to read and pray through Draw the Circle; 40 days Prayer Challenge by Mike Batterson, based on the book, The Circle Maker. God did amazing things among us. We repeated that life changing exercise again earlier this year.
As I went through my file of posts, I came across this piece, written last year during our prayer challenge and realised that I was yet to share it on this platform. It spoke to me anew, given the current pandemic in the world. As you read, I pray it blesses you too.
I call the kind of article you are about to read “Holy Spirit Masterclass”. It’s when the Holy Spirit decides to teach some deep things God wants uncover in His Word. The Holy Spirit shone His light on Acts 27: 1 – 28: 11 NASB. Please read the Bible portion before reading the following notes. It will help give the background to the following insights.
Acts 27 verses 1 -3 records that Paul and the other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius. Julius treated Paul with consideration, allowed him to go to his friends and receive care when their ship docked at Sidon on the way to Italy. The Holy Spirit wants you to know;
No 1. Your case is different. Even though Paul was a prisoner in the same conditions as the other prisoners, yet he had favour with Julius the centurion. Trusted and allowed to go off with his friends for some TLC and return to the ship. You may be going through painful things that are similar to others, but know this, beloved, your case is different. Even in the midst of that difficulty God is engineering things, so that your condition will still be better off that those in the same boat.
No 2. God repeat miracles. Centuries before Joseph, while he was in prison found favour before the chief jailer in Egypt. He was put in charge of everything. Although, he was in the same position, his condition was different to that of his fellow prisoners. That ought to encourage us that if God can do it for one of his children, He can do it for us.
No 3. The revelation that God gives you may not be as a result of education or experience. Nevertheless, if you walk with God and keep in step with His Spirit, He will show you things. (Jeremiah 3:33)Paul advised them about the course of their journey, the impending danger to cargo, lives and ship. But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and captain of the ship rather than what Paul said. After all, who was Paul, but a prisoner, a tent maker, an ex-Pharisee who had now found “religion”! But there is no need to defend yourself, if what you share is from God, if that idea, that dream, that book, that passion, that interest or business is God inspired, no matter what the naysayers, doubters or haters say, sooner or later time will tell.
Ignoring Paul’s caution, they soon ran into trouble. Paul too was affected by that trouble as he was on the ship. You may be in a relationship or friendship, where you are experiencing trouble because the people or person you are in the “ship” with ignored wise counsel. But God, who gives grace in the same conditions, after they had gone a long time without food, helped Paul to stand up. In verse 21, Paul stood up in conditions that would have left many of them weak and without strength.
Imagine going without food for many days, the last thing your body would want to do is stand up, yet Paul stood up and encouraged them. He did not mock them for their lack of faith. He merely stated you should have listened to me. Remember, time always tell. He told them you should have followed my advice and avoided this loss. Yet now keep up your courage – no loss of life, only of the ship. An angel of the God I serve has assured me of this, so keep your courage.
Translation – this is not the time to lose your head! Keep your courage, grab hope, things may be falling to pieces around you but you will not die, you will be delivered!
While I was reading Acts 27 and I got to verse 15, the verses seemed to fly off the page and I heard the Holy Spirit say, that’s what it means to be caught in an addiction. But before very long there rushed down from the land a violent wind, called Euraquilo; and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along. Acts 27:14-15
People often held in addiction of whatever kind, will feel and say they are trapped, nothing they do against it is really useful and afterwards may just give up fighting and let themselves be carried along by the forces of that vice. But the devil is a liar! Jesus died to free ALL who are oppressed of the devil!
The captain of the ship having ignored Paul’s wise counsel and because they didn’t think it safe to winter in the harbour, continued to sail. A moderate south wind began to blow, some Bible versions recorded it as a gentle wind and they ventured out but before long, an uncontrollable violent wind came along. When the habit or addiction starts it seems the person is in control, that the thing doesn’t hamper their way of life or their journey, it appears gentle, like child’s play. And it doesn’t matter what the addiction is, whether it is socially acceptable or not. If it is less than God’s intention for you or your loved one, it may start off, moderate and controllable but the end is trouble.
Thank God, the wind of the Holy Sprit overcomes any kind of wind! In the name of Jesus, I command the mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit to drive away and silence every storm of evil addictions operating in your family. Just as Jesus spoke peace over the storm that engulfed Peter and the disciples. We speak peace in the name of Jesus.
We invite the Holy Spirit who moved over the waters in the beginning when the earth was formless and void, to move over every darkness obscuring the understanding of us or our loved ones. We ask that He unseats every root of addictions in the mind, whether at the moderate or Euraquilo stage. We ask that He replaces it with a deep fear and reverence for the Lord in Jesus name. This is a circle maker’s request.
No 4. Revelation knowledge proceeds out of intimacy with the Father (Trinity)
Paul spoke out of his relationship with God, as a result of his intimacy with the Father and His ways, he was able to speak. Some morning ago, on the prayer call, someone shared a phrase God dropped in her spirit …… voice to the nations ……. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for your inheritance. Psalm 2 :8 You see, nations are waiting for what God has put inside you for them, for you to be an effective witness (voice) to the nations, you need to stay close to the Father.
No 5. Paul’s attitude and manner in trying circumstances encouraged others. So, be mindful of what you say in the middle of storms – your delivery and your nations’ delivery are hinged on your confession. Acts 27:33-35
Remember Acts 16:25-26, about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
276 people were in the ship that day. God knows the number of nations and people He has in His wisdom and sovereignty set aside for you to affect. Your mission should you choose to accept, is that you become a voice to your nations and that you are not consumed by the same conditions afflicting your nations. Often the people we are sent to minister to, have a similar story to ours.
Acts 27:43 The centurion steps in again and spoke up for Paul, when the soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners. Remember, how I said God repeats miracles, mercy spoke up for Paul, the way Judah spoke up for Joseph to be spared when his brothers wanted to kill him. The way Jesus’ blood spoke for you and I at the cross and the way it has been speaking ever since. You are being circled in prayers!
No 6. When they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta. (Acts 28:1) Sometimes, you only find out where you are going, after you have been brought safely through. You may not even find out why you had to go through all that, until you have come out. In Paul’s case it was for the deliverance of the (nations) people on the island of Malta. So, if you are still in the middle of a hard place, don’t try figuring it all out. Some things just don’t make sense until the end.
“Now in the neighbourhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days. And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed.
No 7. They supplied us with all we needed. (Acts 28:10) God knows how to supply your needs. Whether He uses natives or foreigners to do his bidding, He knows how to take care of you, including those times when you have just been through a harrowing experience. Philippians 4:19
Thank you for reading, I pray the Holy Spirit quickens this word in your spirit and delivers miracles in your life that will be retold generations to come. Amen.