the next step in his plan
Acts 22:30-23:11 (JDV)
Acts 22:30 The next day, since he wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and instructed the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin to convene. He brought Paul down and placed him before them.
Acts 23:1 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience to this day.”
Acts 23:2 The high priest Ananias ordered those who were standing next to him to beat him on the mouth.
Acts 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to beat you, you whitewashed wall! You are sitting there judging me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law are you ordering me to be beaten?”
Acts 23:4 Those standing nearby said, “Do you dare insult God’s high priest?”
Acts 23:5 “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest,” replied Paul, “because it is written, you must not speak evil of a ruler of your people.”
Acts 23:6 When Paul realized that one part of them were Sadducees and the other part were Pharisees, he cried out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am being judged because of the hope of the resurrection from the dead ones!”
Acts 23:7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
Acts 23:8 You see, the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, and neither agent nor breath, but the Pharisees affirm them all.
Acts 23:9 The shouting grew loud, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party got up and argued vehemently: “We find nothing evil in this man. What if a breath or an agent has spoken to him?”
Acts 23:10 When the dispute became violent, the commander feared that Paul might be torn apart by them and ordered the troops to go down, take him away from them, and bring him into the barracks.
Acts 23:11 The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage, because just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so it is necessary for you to testify in Rome.”
the next step in his plan
Paul was encouraged by the Lord’s answer to his prayer that night. The Lord did not reveal all his future to him. But he did get enough information to know that his journey would not end in Jerusalem.
In times of extreme anxiety, when we call on the Lord for a response, seeking where he wants us to go and what he wants us to do, we are not asking for everything. But we do need something. We need the next step in his plan.
Lord, God, we trust you not to fail us when we are desperately seeking the next step in your plan.