while we were staying for many days, a prophet named agabus came down from judea. and coming to us, he took paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘this is how the jews at jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the gentiles.’” when we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to jerusalem. then paul answered, “what are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? for i am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” and since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “let the will of the Lord be done.” [acts 21:10-14]


what is the voice that urges you to hold back from being sold out for the Lord?


we all hear voices all around us. 

  • we have the voice of God in his word, urging us to know and follow him in his perfect ways. 
  • we have the voice of God the Holy Spirit living within us, telling us how to live out our role as child of God here in the world, at our workplace, in our home, with our family and friends and neighbors. 
  • we have the voices of our brothers and sisters in Christ, sometimes pointing us toward the satisfaction of obedience to God and his righteousness, but, as we see in this passage, sometimes even they urge us to settle, giving in to comfort, pleasure, or safety.
  • we have the voice of our flesh, the old self who lives for comfort, control, self worship, urging us to give in to temptation, bringing to mind the pleasures that are sure to follow. 
  • we have the voice of the world, urging us to live like they do, to join them in living for the false and fleeting satisfaction of rebellion to the ways of the Creator. 
  • we also have the voice of the enemy, subtly but craftily speaking lies about God and his goodness, urging us to walk in the ways of the flesh and of the world.


this ongoing conversation between all of these voices is a war for worship. voices calling us to lay down our lives daily, to take up our crosses daily, and to do all in the name of the Lord, whether in word or deed, knowing that it leads to eternal satisfaction in the presence of God.  these voices of truth and light are met with opposition by the voices that urge us to walk in the flesh, seek comfort and control, safety and security, doubting the voice of the Lord and the goodness of his name.


now we know that if we are truly children of God, this war has been won for us by the blood of Jesus Christ. he came in the flesh, lived without sin, died in obedience, and rose in victory so that we could stand blameless before the judgment throne of a Holy God! praise the Lord!

but for now, while we are still tied to our flesh, we fight battles daily. with the Lord’s armor to protect us, and his word a flaming sword in our hand, we fight the good fight of the faith. we sift through the voices and choose to walk in the Spirit or walk in the flesh.


we make this choice in the way we…

  • spend our free time
  • spend our money
  • eat or drink
  • date
  • pursue a career
  • treat our spouse
  • dress
  • obey our parents
  • talk to our children
  • sleep 
  • watch television
  • use our phones


in all of these things, there is a voice of truth, and a voice that begs you not to listen to the truth. today, maybe you’re not being called to give up your life for the cause of Christ. but today, the Lord is calling you to lay down your life for the worship of your Redeemer. so come into his presence today and ask for a heart that is ready to give everything for the name of the Lord Jesus!


search me, o God, and know my heart! try me and know my thoughts! and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! [psalm 139:23-24]


~ arwen eastman