From Acts 24 we learn a valuable lesson in how to stand strong when our world is topsy-turvy and everything is twirling like a top set to spin.
Paul now is brought before the highest ranking Roman official, the governor Felix. This chapter reminds us of those who use the overkill of flattery to dull the senses. This reminds us of what Paul wrote late: “by their smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of the naïve.” The Jewish attorney Tertullus knew Felix never exhibited even one of those character qualities of a longtime peace and rightful reforms! Not even one! Yet Tertullus hoped, by using excessive and insincere praise to gain the attention of Felix who would then order Paul back to Jerusalem. The plan then could be implemented to rid the world of Paul. But then…..
We learn a principle from this encounter that we can practically apply: Men’s plans often go awry because God’s higher purposes will never be overturned. God had told Paul that he would speak about Him in Rome and nothing Tertullus or Felix could or would do would stop that plan.
The question before us is how could Paul stand so strong in the midst of this entire charade when he obviously did not know if this ruthless and corrupt Felix would listen and follow the advice of Tertullus? The psalmist tells us the “how” and it fits in with how we are to remain steadfast:
“I constantly trust in the Lord; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Ps 16:8
It means that Paul had given God first place in his life and he knew his “right-hand Man” would not fail him. How about you? Is God your “right-hand Man” and do you trust Him implicitly when you do not know what is ahead and the world seems to be twirling you by?