Every day, we make manifold decisions based on what we believe to be true. We must decide what voice we think offers the greatest reality: God’s Word or man’s?
A Weather Prediction
Paul was a prisoner of the Roman army and was headed for Rome. On the way, God instructed him that the ship they were on would not make it, and he told them what God had said, recorded for us in Acts 27.
When considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, since even the fast was already over, Paul began to admonish them, and said to them, “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”
But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul.
Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to put out to sea from there, if somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.
When a moderate south wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose, they weighed anchor and began sailing along Crete, close inshore (vv. 9-13 NASB).
The leader of the expedition was “more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul.” This is understandable. He had no spiritual orientation or interest.
Little did he realize at this point that Paul was a man who was connected to the God-Who-Knows-All.
“Listen to no man who does not listen to God” (A. W. Tozer).
If we are wise, we will pay attention to what God says, because He is omniscient. He speaks to us through His Word, through His Spirit, and often through His people.
We must evaluate, of course, if a man who is speaking is really connected to God. But if we are assured that he is a man in tune with the Divine, we should not brush it aside casually.
We must BE the man who speaks God’s Word.
This is not hard. Most of the things people need to know are found in the pages of Scripture. If we will study it diligently and handle it accurately (not deviate from what is there, 2 Timothy 2:15), we will have the words of life for every occasion.
In fact, knowing God’s Word and listening to the promptings of His Spirit are the keys to speaking words that are from heaven, words that are “good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).
As the rest of the story tells us in Acts, Paul’s instruction from God was exactly right. If his words had been heeded, it would have saved the whole ship, which was later lost in the storm.
God was right, as was God’s man. The world’s majority opinion is rarely accurate.
The world is perishing for want of God’s Word. We must be men who listen to God and speak the truth of God to others. It will be a help to people and bring glory to the God-Who-Speaks.