Acts 25:12 – Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
To whom do you turn when you need comfort? Family, friends, church family? They may all be great listeners, but there is only One Who can guarantee all the comfort you need. To whom do you turn when sickness attacks your body or your home? Doctors, clinics, hospitals, family and friends? They may all be trained in medicine and have the latest tools, but there is only One Who can guarantee complete healing, and even health. To whom do you turn when circumstances pile up against you? Attorneys, legal aid organizations, the courts, even influential friends? They may all be highly trained, educated, licensed, and skilled in every possible legal ploy, but there is only One Who can guarantee complete victory.
I’m sure you’ve gotten the point by now. No, I am in no way excoriating Paul for turning to the legal system in which he found himself. Part of his problem was that he had not fully listened to the Lord before going to Jerusalem. And it was his trip there that brought him to where he was. And remember, he had just spent more than two years with very limited access to the world about him in Caesarea under the arrest of Felix and then Festus before he made a second appeal to come under the protection of Roman law. But even there, God had His hand on Paul. Paul understood that those who were in authority in the land, and that included law enforcement (Romans governors and soldiers), were God’s ministers for his good, and he utilized that knowledge. So, even in what looked like a precarious position, Paul put his trust in the Lord to take care of him. Though in the natural, it looked like Paul was putting his trust in the system, he was not. He was using the system, but trusting the Lord. You can be assured that the apostle Paul, this man of God who wrote so much in his epistles about prayer, had made his appeal to the Lord before he made his appeal to Rome. He followed this pattern throughout his life, and it can be seen even while on board a ship in a great storm. He first went to the Lord before going to the captain and crew of the ship.
Once again, I ask you; where do you appeal when any need arises? Make it first to your Father, and let all else be tools. If you build a house, you don’t put your trust in the hammer and saw, but in the craftsman who uses them. Put your trust in the Wise Master Builder, and let Him use any tool He desires; doctor, lawyer, government, family, or friends. Just make your appeal to Jesus.
Manna for Today – Acts 15:1-12; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12-14; John 15:7; Romans 10:13; ; Luke 1:37; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Romans 13:1-7