(Act 21:4 KJV) And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
(Proverbs 1 also read)
This brings up an interesting and important point in our spiritual walks. In this verse it seems that someone was speaking through the Holy Spirit and has a message for Paul. Normally that would have some legs on it but Paul ignored it. A few verses later we have a similar situation. Paul keeps heading for Jerusalem. He had a previous word from the Lord.
(Act 19:21 KJV) After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.The question we need to face in our lives is when to listen to others claiming a message from God and when to listen to our own hearts and minds.
Sometimes the choice is clear. If someone tells me that God told them I was supposed to leave my wife and run off with the head of Women’s Ministries, I would not need to do much besides laugh. That is a direct disagreement with scripture and God would never tell them something like that.
It is not always easy. In Paul’s case there was no scripture to give direction. He had to decide.
So? I would suggest that we work on recognizing the voice the the Holy Spirit in our own hearts and minds. While advice and counsel is important we ultimately are responsible for our own spiritual lives. God may want us to go to Jerusalem, to take the path of suffering and persecution. No one else can make that decision for us. That might be a good place to start the new year.