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21 Days of Prayer and Fasting | DAY 20


DAY 20

“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus” Acts 20:24a

PRESS PAUSE: Before you do anything else, take a moment to reflect on and celebrate all the Lord did in you, for you, and spoke to you yesterday.  

READ: Acts 20:22-24; Acts 21:13; Acts 16:6-7 (Want to take a deeper dive?  Read the Acts 19-22)

Imagine standing at a crossroads with no visible sign pointing the way forward. Yet, deep inside, a whisper urges you to take a step in a direction that seems counterintuitive. This scenario mirrors our spiritual journey when the Holy Spirit nudges us towards God’s will, sometimes against all human logic. 

Apostle Paul’s life offers a vivid blueprint of such divine guidance—a journey not just of destinations, but of unwavering faith and obedience.

Diving into today’s passages allows us  to witness the compelling narrative of Paul, a man who walked the tightrope of faith, led by an unseen hand, and discover how his story illuminates our path today.

Paul’s travels were not charted by personal ambition or wanderlust but orchestrated by the Holy Spirit’s direction. His commitment to follow this guidance, despite knowing the trials it would bring, highlights a profound aspect of spiritual life: obedience to God often requires walking into known challenges with eyes wide open to His presence and promise.

In Acts 20:22-24, Paul speaks of being compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem, fully aware that hardships awaited him. This compulsion was’t a fleeting emotion but a deep, spiritual conviction. It’s akin to knowing deep in your bones that you’re meant to take a certain path, even when it leads through valleys of shadow.  Paul’s journey teaches us that divine guidance doesn’t always promise ease. Instead, it offers something far greater: purpose and the presence of God Himself. It’s a reminder that our spiritual path is not measured by the absence of trouble but by the fulfillment of God’s will in our lives.

As Paul continued towards Jerusalem, he encountered fellow believers who, through the Holy Spirit, warned him of the impending dangers (Acts 21). These warnings were not contradictions of God’s will but affirmations of the cost of discipleship. They highlight an essential truth: the Holy Spirit doesn’t only guide but also prepares us for what lies ahead.  Paul’s response to these warnings is a masterclass in spiritual discernment. He recognized that the same Spirit warning him of danger was also leading him into it for a higher purpose. This discernment between prohibition and preparation is crucial for us as modern-day followers of Christ.

Paul’s unwavering determination to proceed, despite knowing the risks, underscores a vital spiritual principle: the courage to embrace God’s will is born out of confidence in His guidance.  Paul’s journey was not a blind leap into the dark but a step into the light of God’s promise, armed with the assurance that no hardship could derail God’s plan for his life. When we have the confirmation that we have heard from God no matter what comes,good or bad, easy or hard, blessings or hardships, we can continue to walk confidently down the road. 

I have often found it helpful that when God speaks direction to me, I write it down and file it away somewhere. Then as I begin to hit resistance in the journey I can pull out in my handwriting what God said to me.  That reminder in my words and my handwriting helps me remember the confidence in which I started this journey on. The confidence that comes from knowing it is His direction in our lives that makes all the difference.

What drove Paul was not merely a sense of duty but a profound commitment to the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. His life was anchored in the mission to share the gospel, making every other consideration secondary. This single-mindedness is a beacon for us, highlighting that clarity in our divine purpose can propel us through the most daunting challenges.

Like Paul, we are on a journey marked by divine encounters and challenging terrains. The key to navigating this journey lies in our ability to tune into the Holy Spirit’s voice, discerning His guidance amidst the cacophony of life’s demands and distractions.

Have you ever put on noise canceling headphones in a crowded space? The general volume of life, and occasional peaks of noise are erased and you find yourself sitting in the midst of busyness, and the hustle and bustle of life, yet not hearing any of it. It's a break from the world. This is what it's like to tune in the Holy Spirit’s voice in your life. His frequencies block out the other noise and allow us to walk in quiet confidence of God’s leading.

As we reflect on Paul’s journey, we’re invited to consider our paths. Are we attuned to the Holy Spirit’s leading? Do we possess the spiritual discernment to differentiate between God’s preparation and prohibition? And most importantly, are we ready to embrace God’s will with the same courage and conviction as Paul?

Before we close out our time together today, I would like to take some time in the next section to delve into practical steps and reflections to help us tune our hearts to the frequency of the Holy Spirit, ensuring that, like Paul, we can walk our paths with confidence and clarity.

Spiritual Echoes: Recall moments when the Holy Spirit’s whisper guided your steps. Reflect on the outcomes of those steps. Were there times you hesitated or resisted? What did you learn from those experiences?

Silencing the Noise: Identify distractions or fears that muffle the Holy Spirit’s voice in your life. Commit these areas to God, seeking His strength to overcome and hear Him more clearly. 

Learning from Modern Faith Walkers: Consider the lives of those a few steps further in their faith journey who exemplify a confident walk with the Holy Spirit. Draw inspiration from their stories of faith and obedience.

And now, after that time of deep personal reflection, I invite you to take the next few moments to put what you have learned into action!

A Quiet Inquiry: Dedicate time today to quietly ask God, “;What are you speaking into my life?” Sit in stillness, open to hearing His voice, trusting in His desire to communicate with you.

Journal of Journeys: Start maintaining a spiritual journal. Document your dialogues with God, the nudges from the Holy Spirit, and the outcomes of acting on those promptings. This practice will enhance your discernment and confidence in recognizing God’s voice.

Fostering Spiritual Friendships: Share your aspirations to hear and follow the Holy Spirit more intimately with a friend, or family member or even a spiritual mentor, and ask them how they hear the Lord’s voice.

Let’s close our time together today with a word of prayer.

Lord, thank You for the constant presence of Your Holy Spirit, guiding us through life’s complexities. Grant us the sensitivity to discern Your voice, the courage to follow Your lead, and the faith to embrace the journey, regardless of the challenges we may face. Like Paul, may we consider our lives as nothing compared to the joy of fulfilling Your purpose. Strengthen us to testify to Your grace with our lives. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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