Don't Get Pulled to Pieces
And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. ~Acts 23:10
Do you ever feel like the demands in life are pulling you in more than one direction? Do you ever feel like the pull from all the demands placed upon you might pull you to pieces? If so, you’re not alone. Paul was literally being pulled by two opposing sides and was feeling the pressure of it. Let us see how the Lord gives us His help when we feel like Paul did.
We see the conflicts.
“But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” The Pharisees and Sadducees held opposite beliefs about the resurrection from the dead. The Pharisees took sides with Paul, and the Sadducees angrily did not. There was conflict. Conflicts in life can pull us in different directions. Where there is conflict, we are in the middle, being pulled by different persuasions. What we believe, who we prefer to associate with, and what we commit to can create conflict. Conflicts lead to being strongly pulled until the tension where there is weakness gives way.
We see the consequences.
The chief captain saw what was happening. When you are the one being pulled, you might not realize how close you are to being pulled to pieces. The chief captain could see the peril that Paul was in. He saw that being pulled to pieces leads to a breakdown, a casualty, destruction, and ineffectiveness. Sometimes, we are being pulled in different directions because we have unwisely overcommitted ourselves. Sometimes, we are being pulled in different directions because we are on the right side of things, but those who oppose us want to see our destruction. When you take a stand for what you believe, what you do, and whom you are loyal to, expect that you will be pulled in different directions. The pressures to conform, compromise, or discontinue can be very strong. Are you someone willing to be pulled to pieces for what is right?
We see the confidence.
“…The chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.” I am reminded that Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation. He sees and understands the pressures and conflicts that might be pulling you in different directions. We can have faith and confidence that our Lord comes at the right moment to take us by force and give us refuge. First, don’t allow yourself to be pulled apart. Second, keep the Lord foremost in every situation that you are in. Third, have faith that He will give you the strength to withstand being pulled to pieces. Let the Lord be your castle, or refuge, when you are overwhelmed.
We see the consolation.
“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” The Lord delivered Paul from being pulled apart at the right time. When He did, He gave Paul peace: “Be of good cheer.” The Lord gave Paul a purpose. He told him that Paul would testify of the Lord at Rome. The Lord gave Paul a path. Paul may have wondered if he would get out of his predicament, but the Lord faithfully encouraged him that He would get him to Rome. We will have times when we are being pulled in different directions, but lean completely upon the Lord for safety, certainty, and your steps. Don’t let yourself be pulled to pieces!
Have a faith-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Hosea 8-14