The Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me today as I was reading the story of Paul and His shipwreck. When stranded, the native islanders welcomed Him along with His crew and showed them kindness. Raining and cold they were sitting by the fire when suddenly a viper jumped out of the wood and latched onto Paul biting His hand. Eekk…God knows if that happened to me I would die of a heart attack first!
When the islanders saw the snake hanging from His hand, they said to each other, This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed Him to live.
But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected Him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to Him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.” Acts 28
Just like that, Paul went from a murderer to a god. People are so fickle, right? The Lord showed me in this example that people’s opinions of you can change overnight. Do not base your identity or choices on what they say or think. God alone never changes His view of you. No matter the sin, the failures or others disapproval will sway His opinion of you.
This is a great reminder especially for me in this long, unpopular, unrelatable journey God has me on. People may not understand or even believe. My life doesn’t look like “the American dream”.
During this time I have to fight off any spirit of rejection that might want to latch on to me. I must care more about what God thinks of me than what people do. This is proof of living the surrendered life that He calls us too. It’s then that He can use you as a mighty tool of influence.
If we are set on pleasing others than our lives and emotions will be unsteady and shaky. For you can never please all of the people all of the time and that’s not our mission. Let us stay steady in Christ our unmovable rock.
Let us pray
“Lord, please keep me focused, believing the truth about myself and my journey. Remind me that I am who you say I am. You will is the one I desire. Whether people come and go, I will stay steady clinging to you. Amen.”