Sit-Reps From The Storm (1)
Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." And Paul said,"I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains." When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them; and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying,"This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains." Then Agrippa said to Festus, "This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar." And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us. And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care. When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. NKJV
Long time ago, seated in the sonar room of a Polaris boat, I regularly radioed the control room with a situation report (Sit-Rep) from the Sonar set I was operating at the time.
Personally, I think Paul’s political use of his Roman Citizenship card and his subsequent appeal to Caesar had got him out of the present frying pan and put him into the future fire. (Acts 25:1-12) Even so, Paul saw this as being in the will of God, indeed, maybe, Paul even engineered the whole process in direct line with the direct testimony of God toward him? “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Acts 23:11
There is some kindness and favour being shown to Paul along the way here, especially from the Roman authorities, but right here at the beginning, we can see the journey is going to be a difficult one. Paul is on the way to testify in the right ventricle of the heart of the Roman Empire and its Praetorian guarded citizen judicial system. Satan, most certainly did not want this loose cannon of a Christian, unloading his blunderbuss of blessedness in this most crucial of spatial and spiritual conduits. Paul therefore, must never reach his destination and I wonder if forty stormy demons had made a pact to halt him on the way, even to destroy him in the way?
Immediately then, though there was some favour on the one hand, externally, the ship was running into some difficulty. The winds were contrary. Note that well.
Late in the sailing season or no, these sailors thought they could make it through safe in the end. They had no doubt since they had done it before. It was not unusual for the wind to be against them, but right now, it is recorded that it was. "He who looks at the clouds will never sow”, that’s for sure, but these sailors were sowing themselves into the unmerciful sea and they were not stupid with their lives! Yet, the wind was contrary. So what? Well, like I say, by itself, this wind report without the rest of the story, this statement of contrariness is but an entry into the weather log.
However, I want to suggest, that this statement, should for us who know the story, become the recognition of the opening salvos of an attempt at demonic assassination.
Paul was always resisted in his journeying. Powerful people in God often are resisted in these ways, when even the very roads, ships and seas they travel on, breaking up the way before them. So today, I tell you, if you are journeying to a God directed destination and the wind is contrary to you, it is not a sign that God is not with you, but it may well be a sign that the devil is against you. Start praying my boys! Start praying through.
Listen:-Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV
Pray: - Father, repeat your command to me. In the contrary nature of the winds before me, let me hear Your command to me again today. Amen.