Spirit Provoked

Journal Entry // May 30, 2022

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

Acts 17:16 ESV

There is a feeling of disappointment within myself when I read this passage about Paul travelling to Athens as he was fleeing persecution in Berea and Thessalonica. Here was a man who had been called by the Lord to preach the good news of the resurrection of Christ in all the world. A man that knew his calling and was passionate about being obedient. It would be easy to think that he could simply perform his calling and duty without really engaging his heart in the matter.  I think of Jonah in this way, as he was forced to preach to the Ninevites even while he hoped for their destruction. That is not Paul’s way. I can’t remember all the adversity he’s encountered so far, but I know he has been stoned and left for dead. He has just fled back to back cities because they were seeking to kill him. I would think he would lay low and wait for his friends to arrive. Just rest and take it easy. But this was not Paul. Paul was always engaging his heart and mind for the glory of God.

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Wise Mind

Journal Entry // December 30, 2021

This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated;

Revelation 17:9 ESV

A mind with wisdom… There is an inclination within me to look around at all that is happening in the world and in my life and give myself over to despair. Despair leading to depression. For it all just seems overwhelming at times. I want to just check out mentally from it all and not deal with the reality of life. I find myself disengaging from life and pouring myself into worthless pursuits.

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Spirit of Power

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

It is seemingly far too easy for me to fall back into a mindset of fear. Fear of the world and the enemy that seeks me harm. Like Peter walking on the water with Jesus, I am distracted by the wind and the waves of chaos that are swirling around me and I take my eyes off Christ. It’s fear that distracts my attention away from Jesus. It’s fear that calls out to me from the darkness. It’s fear that tempts me to wander away from the presence of Christ.

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