We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them for seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem, but when our time was up we left and continued on our way... (Now at Caesarea) After we had been there a number of days a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the gentiles.’”
This is something that has puzzled me for a long time.
The Holy Spirit told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. When he refused to obey He sent Agabus to make the warning stronger. But still Paul decided that what he wanted to do was the correct thing and went to Jerusalem anyway. He was not there four days when everything he had been warned about happened.
It is true that he was fearless. But was he wise? Did he sin? Was he too proud in wanting to share with the fathers in Jerusalem all that he had accomplished?
Why didn’t he obey? What could have been accomplished if he had made his way to Spain? Might Spain have been the center of the Christian world instead of Rome?
Romans 8:28 - For we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
When Paul disregarded the Lord’s warnings he was not walking in the Lord’s will, yet he was soundly grounded in his purpose of making Christ known throughout the world.
Being arrested and taken to Rome certainly led to that achievement, yet maybe not in the way the Lord would have chosen.
This is one of the greatest “What ifs” in history! What if Paul had stayed away? What would our world look like now if he had been obedient?
God never stopped loving him. He continued to help him. God continued to work miracles through him. He did not curse him or turn his back on him.
And, as it is said, “God is no respecter of persons.” What he did for Paul he will do also for each of his beloved children.
We have the confidence of Paul’s example; even when our egos get in the way and screw up the plans the Lord has for us, he will still love us just as much! He will never turn away from us! He will see that all of our mistakes, somehow, lead to good!