Romans 15:30-33 – I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
In this part of the passage, Paul asks for prayer to be “delivered from the unbelievers” and you might think those are the non-Christians, but he’s actually talking about the religious people.
The greatest threat to Paul, to Jesus, and even to us today is unbelieving, religious people. They think they’re doing it for God, but they don’t even know God. This was Paul before he got saved.
Before Jesus miraculously saved him, Paul was a murderer of Christians, a religious zealot, basically the equivalent of a jihadist. He meets Jesus and his former team turns against him – the religious people were harassing him, following him, had him arrested, and even had assassination attempts against him.
While being held for trial, Paul was under the oversight of a Roman guard for a few months, and instead of wasting the time, Paul told the guard about Jesus in hopes that he’d meet Jesus, tell other soldiers about Jesus, and there’d be a revival in the military.
Since Paul was a Roman citizen, he made a point that he had the legal right to have his case transferred to the city of Rome. He wanted to go to Rome, and he makes it there as a prisoner through arrest to have his case heard! The book of Acts ends with him under house arrest in Rome.
It’s the same story for Jonah earlier in the Bible. He was called to be in Ninevah; he just didn’t expect the trip to happen in the belly of a fish.
The moral of the story is that God has us where he wants us, we just may not like how we got there.
Have you seen times in your life where God got you to where he wanted you, but it might not have been the way you would’ve chosen to get there?
To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.