Read Acts 27:1-20
It was late Christmas Eve, and I was trying to put together my son’s toy garage. The situation was becoming more and more frustrating. My wife smiled and said, “When all else fails, read the instructions.” It was a word fitly spoken.
The fate of that toy garage was nothing compared to the fate of that ship carrying the great apostle Paul. He warned the centurion in charge that trouble lay ahead, but the centurion ignored him and gave orders to set sail. You know the rest: the promised storm blew up, the shop and its cargo were lost, and (by the grace of God) Paul and his companions were saved.
That Roman centurion made very possible mistake:
1) He became impatient (vv. 7-9, 12). He did not want to remain in that uncomfortable harbor; he wanted to get on the move. Impatience is a mark of immaturity and unbelief (read Is 26:18).
2) He listened to “expert advice” instead of God’s Word (vv. 10-11). No matter what the “experts” may say, depend on the truth of God’s Word.
3) He took a vote (v. 12). As usual, the majority voted to leave–and the majority was wrong! The majority, you will recall, kept Israel out of the promised land; and the majority voted to crucify Christ! Obey God’s Word even if the whole world is against you.
4) He walked by sight, not faith (v. 13). The “south wind blew softly” and was the signal (to him) to start moving. Beware of the “golden opportunity” that starts to contradict God’s instructions. South winds often become stormy winds.
The only sure way to pilot your boat is to obey the Word, come what may.
(Copyright, Warren W. Wiersbe. First appeared in Thoughts for Men on the Move. May not be copied or reproduced without express written permission of the author.)
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).