Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Paul was in it for the duration. When he started his journey with Jesus, that is what truly defined him and his life. He was so entrenched in Christ and following Him and making Him known to others. It truly didn’t matter to Him what we had to face for the cause of Christ. It didn’t matter where he had to go. It didn’t matter who stood with him and who turned back. He was going to keep moving ahead, heeding the call, ministering and serving, giving all of himself. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and emboldened by his love for Jesus, he was willing to face death if He so required.
What does our dedication to the Lord look like? Has He become the sole focus of our lives? Are we willing to lay down everything for Him and do whatever He asks us to do? Are we willing to have our lives be totally defined by Him? There are many paths we can pursue. There are many decisions we will have to make. There are many things that vie for our attention. But are we willing to emulate Paul’s singleness of heart and revolve our lives around our Savior?
Paul’s life after his conversion wasn’t easy. He endured much more hardship than most of us will probably ever have to face. But he still continued to serve with joy and encourage others along the way. His heart was fixed because he knew Jesus was with him all along and would be waiting for him when his time was up. He understood what he had been saved from and how he had been changed. And in our lives, disappointments and struggles will come, but if we’re keeping our eyes on Jesus, those things just kind of fade to the background and we can keep pressing on.
Paul could see where his path was taking him—first to prison and eventually death. But it was the course his Lord had set him on, and he trusted Him completely. We, too, have our own set course, plotted and planned by God for us. Will we gladly follow Him down it come what may, knowing He is with us and using us for His purposes? Wherever we may end up, let’s endure it with grace for His sake.