Acts – Paul the Apostle/Part 27
By: Dr. Wayne Barber
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©1992|
|Paul is a focused man, a changed man, and a single-minded man. We began to look at him as a man, a missionary and now as a messenger. As he faced the future, what could he expect God to do in his life? I want us to think on those things. If we are as focused and single-minded like he was, then we can cling to that which God will do now in our life just as He did in his life. But remember this, you must be willing to obey Him and trust Him. This is the way God honored a man. He was faithful to a man who had chosen, in God’s power, to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ|
Paul: The Messenger – Part 15
Turn with me to Acts 27. We have been studying the adventure of Paul’s journeys, and we are almost ready to bring it to a close. We are doing this to introduce the book of Ephesians. Remember way back when? The first phrase we keyed off of was “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” What a tremendous, powerful verse that is. Paul is a focused man, a changed man, and a single-minded man. We began to look at him as a man, a missionary and now as a messenger. As he faced the future, what could he expect God to do in his life? I want us to think on those things. If we are as focused and single-minded like he was, then we can cling to that which God will do now in our life just as He did in his life. But remember this, you must be willing to obey Him and trust Him. This is the way God honored a man. He was faithful to a man who had chosen, in God’s power, to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a song that went like this, “He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown.” Do you remember that song? I wish I could remember the rest of the words, but the thought of the song is very clear. What God starts, God finishes. That’s very important to remember. If we allow God to draw us into what He is already up to, then we can trust that God will use us, and protect us and provide for us until He is through with us. Now when He is through using us, it’s time to go home. That’s just the way life is. That’s the way we learn to live. It’s amazing how many people are fighting to stay here when God is trying to get us there. It’s completely in reverse. When God is through using us and our task is over, He takes us on to be with Him.
So therefore, it’s good to remember that when the circumstances get a little depressing and frustrating, and they will, don’t put your eyes on the circumstance, keep your eyes on the one who is the author of those circumstances. He’ll take you through them. Keep your focus the way it ought to be. Who knows what the future will bring. You can write one thing down. The future will hold one storm after another storm after another storm. There is going to be death. There is going to be sickness. There is going to be tragedy. There is going to be all kinds of things we don’t like to talk about because that is just the way it is on planet earth as a result of a man named Adam in Genesis 3. However, the Lord Jesus Christ lives in the hearts of those who have received Him. We’ve got something other people don’t have. That’s why we need to be sharing it. We can walk through the future trusting God to take us through and do what He promised He will do.
Paul is “an apostle of Christ Jesus.” He is simply obeying God. I used to teach, “Man, just obey God, and life gets wonderful.” Well, it does and it doesn’t. That’s not a statement you can just say quickly, as I used to say it. The older I am get, the more I try to qualify what I say. When I was in my 30’s, I had everything figured out. Now I’m in my 50’s, and I don’t have anything figured out except that I can trust God to do what God wants to do in and through my life.
Paul said “yes” to Jesus. Paul is on an agenda that’s God’s, not his own. As a result, what has happened in his life? He’s been beaten. He’s been falsely accused. He’s been falsely arrested two times and an attempted assassination came on his life. There was two years of prison with not even a conviction of anything. They just held him back for two years. Now we find him a prisoner on a ship which is headed to Rome, and it is about to wreck at sea. You know, that’s enough to mar anybody’s focus. However, you’ve got to remember something. What God started in Paul’s life, God’s going to finish in Paul’s life. Paul cannot let the circumstances get in his way. He has got to learn to trust the One who started it to finish what He is doing in his life.
Well look at Acts 27:23-26. They are in the midst of a storm at sea. Hostile winds are blowing them, and they are at the mercy of the direction it wants to take them. They can do nothing about it. They don’t know what to do. The whole ship is filled with soldiers and sailors and prisoners. In the midst of all this God decides to remind Paul that He is in charge. Aren’t you grateful when God decides to do that in your life? You are obeying Him, and things are not working out right. Right in the midst of it, God sees we are about ready to toss in the towel, and He just steps in in some miraculous way, either through the Word or through somebody else and reaffirms to your heart. God says, “I am in control. Quit worrying and just trust Me.”
In the midst of the storm, Paul says, “For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God, that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” Then he tells them in verse 26 that the angel shared with him that the ship was going to wreck. They are all going to be saved, but it is going to run aground. He says, “But we must run aground on a certain island.”
Paul basically tells the sailors and the soldiers, “Hey, guys, listen. I am going to Rome. Do you want to go to Rome? You stick as close as you can to me. He has confirmed it to me. He sent an angel, and the angel said, ‘Paul, you are going to make it. Don’t worry about the storm.” Something incredible happens here. It is something that runs through the whole story. If you miss it, you’ve missed a great gem. These Romans soldiers are overwhelmed by this man named Paul.
I can’t wait to get to heaven someday. After I’ve been in the presence of Jesus for about a million years, the first person I want to see is Paul. I just love the man. I love his epistles. I love everything about him. Paul is just different. Why is he different? Because he is obeying Christ. Christ is manifesting His presence in Paul’s life. As a result, the prisoner becomes the leader of the whole group. All of the soldiers are there, but now they are following Paul. That gives me a principle that I hold on to quite often. If I’m willing to follow Christ, people will follow me. If you are willing to follow Christ, people will follow you. Parents, do you want your children to follow Christ? Then follow Him. The more you follow Him, the more they are willing to follow Him.
These are pagan soldiers, but they see something they don’t understand in the life of Paul. They start listening to him and doing what he’s telling them to do. Paul is a prisoner, but in their eyes, he is a free man in Jesus. They are having to literally follow him.
We see the story completed in verses 38-44: “And when they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing out the wheat into the sea.” You know how serious it is when they are throwing the wheat into the sea. That was their sustenance. “And when day came, they could not recognize the land; but they did observe a certain bay with a beach, and they resolved to drive the ship onto it if they could. And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while at the same time they were loosening the ropes of the rudders, and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they were heading for the beach. But striking a reef where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern began to be broken up by the force of the waves. And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners [Now watch this] that none of them should swim away and escape; but the centurion, wanting to bring Paul safely through [Bless that centurion’s heart. He was a real blessing in Paul’s life as you will watch him all through the story] kept them from their intention, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest should follow, some on planks, and others on various things from the ship. And thus it happened that they all were brought safely to land.”
God did exactly what He told Paul that he would do. We pick them up on the island of Malta. The ship has wrecked, been torn apart, and now they are up on the seashore. It is winter time, remember. This whole story goes back several chapters. It was winter time. Paul begged them to stay on Crete until the winter was over, then sail. They wouldn’t do it. The winds that were very volatile at that time caught them, and this is where they are as a result. It was the cold, cold, winter time on the island of Malta.
What does God do in the midst of this difficult circumstance? The angel came to Paul and said, “Paul, you are going to Rome.” Okay, the ship has sunk. They are on the seashore. They are wet. They are cold. They are hungry. How does God meet their needs? What does God do? Now pay attention to this because I think there are some principles here that we can all grasp and hold on to. As long as we are serving Him, as long as we are obeying Him, what God starts, God finishes. God does nothing randomly. He does everything with a purpose and therefore, we can cling to these promises.
First of all, He provides for them. God provided for them through strangers they did not even know. That’s incredible. When you are on the journey of life and the storm has caused you to be shipwrecked and you’ve got a purpose in your heart, God sometimes will provide for you through people you do not even know. You can trust that. He’ll come to you. It’s always His provision, but He’ll many times use people who are strangers.
Look at 28:1: “And when they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.” That word “native” is a word we need to look at. It’s the Greek word barbaros. If you have the King James, it is translated “barbarian.” It has basically a twofold meaning. Mostly it is used of people in the New Testament who did not speak the Greek language. As a matter of fact, in Romans 1:14 Paul spoke of the Greeks and the Barbarians, those who did not speak the Greek language.
There was another way that the word was used. It was used of people, the unwise and ignorant people of the Eastern Mediterranean world, who were not a part of the Greek/Roman culture. You’ve got to understand that the Greek culture was incredible at that time, far surpassing any other culture. People who were not up to that level of culture were called many times barbarians, especially in that Eastern Mediterranean world. So you have both ideas. You have people who do not speak Greek or Hebrew. You’ve got people who are not culturally civilized like the Greeks were, so they get the idea of “native” or “barbarian.”
How do these strangers treat Paul, Luke and the others who are with him, plus the whole company of those aboard the ship? Remember there were about 276 on that ship. Well, verse 2 says “they kindled a fire and received us all.” Do you think that is coincidence? A lot of people read scripture and think, “Oh, wasn’t that nice? I wish that would happen to me.” We’ve got to remember who is in charge of this whole operation. You’ve got to remember that Paul had already had a vision by an angel and said, “You are going to be saved. This salvation is going to be for the people who are going to provide for you and minister to you, not just you, Paul and Luke. Everybody who is with you, even the pagan soldiers and the pagan sailors will benefit.” Instead of getting a harsh reception by people who are uncivilized, what did they receive? They prepared a fire that welcomed them and warmed them.
I know you are thinking, “What in the world does that have to do with me?” Well, let me just give you an idea that might jog your thinking. I look back and just think through how God has provided for our church which has been on a mission. He started it. We didn’t start it. I don’t know how all our members got here, but I know one thing. We didn’t go and get them. I tell our members, “If God has brought you here, He’s brought you here. You are sent, you went and you are put.” I look back over the years and see how God has met our needs. When we’ve had the large gifts given to us it has been through somebody who was not a member of our church or someone who was a stranger.
We had an offering one day, and a man came down and said, “Don’t ever tell anybody this amount or my name, but I want to be a part of this thing.” It doesn’t matter what it was because I don’t want to betray his confidence. When he walked away, I was thinking to myself, “I don’t know this man. He’s only been visiting for a few weeks.” I began to realize, “God, you are providing for us when we are about Your business.”
Now listen, we’ve got enough problems to last us until Jesus comes, and then a few years, to figure out in our church. We are growing up. We’ve got organizational problems. We’ve got all kinds of problems. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about what God starts, God finishes. In the meantime, if you keep your mind on His agenda and you are about His business, you can trust the fact He is going to take you through. He’ll provide for you and in providing for you, many times He will do it through people you’ve never even heard of before. They may be strangers that He sends your way. So when you face the future and you are thinking of the needs that you have, ask yourself, “Are you about God’s business or are you about your business? Are you trying to work it up and ask God to bless it so you get the credit for it? Or are you about what God’s doing?” If you are involved in what God’s doing, in something He’s already up to and has allowed you to be drawn into, then you can trust the fact that where He guides, He provides.
I’ve got a stomach ulcer. One of the reasons it’s there is because in the past several months I have stopped living this principle in my life. God has had to sit me down and get my attention. It is almost like what Paul said to the Galatian church. “Oh, foolish Galatians, you started in the spirit. Who has bewitched you? You think the flesh can help you know?” That’s exactly what’s happened in my own life. I believe the Christ-centered life. I believe that, but I am a fixer. I see something wrong, and I want to go fix it. Hey, folks. I can’t fix it! God has to fix it. I’ve got to come to Him and stop taking the matter into my own hands. Folks, when you are about His business, He’s the fixer, the provider of what we are looking for. You be about what God has set you on. You be about His business and you watch. Where He guides you, He’ll provide for you. That’ll be a part of your witness to the people around you.
He provided for them through strangers, through people they didn’t know. They were cold. They were wet. What did they need? They needed a fire. They needed food, and they got everything from people who didn’t even know them. That was no accident! God had it all set up. He is sovereign! If you will study all through Paul’s life, it is easy to see.
Secondly, He protected Paul. He provided for Paul and He protected Paul. When I say Paul I’ve got to throw in Luke and the other guys who are with him, all the sailors and the soldiers. In verses 3-6 something interesting happens. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.” You’ve got to know first of all what a viper is. A viper is a snake in the poisonous category. If you were in America, it would be a rattlesnake, a copperhead, or a cottonmouth moccasin. It is one of those snakes that has big fangs and can kill you very quickly. In other countries, possibly this was an asp, which was a snake known in that area. They have the very same kind of killing effect.
When it is winter time snakes go underground. When it heats up around them, the heat will draw them out of the ground. Now I know you don’t like for me to talk about hunting a lot, but I do. Somebody said to me once, “I will be glad when the hunting season is over so the sermons will shorten.” I am not so sure that’s right because I’ve got a lot of illustrations.
In our hunting club in South Carolina, there is a stand we call the Magnolia Stand. One day myself and some of the other guys went over to load up the corn in the feeders there. As we got over there, we saw something move. It had to be at least five feet long, if not longer, and as big as a quart jar. It was the biggest rattlesnake I’ve ever seen in my life. Its head was as big as my fist. It was right there underneath that tree. We grabbed the rifle, shot it with a 30.06, and it kept on going. Now folks, that’s a mean, tough snake, if you know anything about a 30.06.
We usually hunt when it’s cold. What does that mean? That means those snakes are going to be under the ground. We don’t have to worry about them. If it gets real warm we’ve got to start worrying all over again. That’s all that was going on here. It’s in the winter time, and the snake was underground. They built a huge fire. If you are going to warm 276 soldiers and sailors, you are going to have to have a pretty big fire. It warms up the ground. The snake comes right out because the heat pulled him out. What happened? Well, let’s see. It “fastened on his hand.” The word “fastened” means “to wrap around.” It sinks its fangs into his hand and then wraps around his hand. The word “fastens,” kathapto, means “to bind or wind or twist around.”
Let’s see what happens. “And when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, ‘Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.’” Now what are they doing? In their superstitious culture, they felt if you were bitten by one of these snakes and you died, you deserved it. In other words, you have done something bad and that’s the way the gods got even with you. They were very superstitious. They see Paul, and they know he is a prisoner because he is there with the centurion. They feel like, “Boy, this guy must have been a mean prisoner because he has been bitten, and now he is going to die.”
Something happens that completely changes their mind in verse 5: “However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm.” What’s going on here? Hold it. In South America there is what they call the three-step snake. Seriously, it means that you get bit, take three steps and you die. There are snakes that can kill you that fast. Evidently, this is what they were expecting. They were expecting him to swell up quickly, pass out and die. He just pitches it over into the fire.
Verse 6 reads, “But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.” What happens here? This is where a lot of people jump in and say, “Alright! This is how they started handling snakes. I mean, if you love God, you ought to be able to handle a poisonous snake, isn’t that right?”
I haven’t been in a service where they’ve brought out snakes. If they ever do, I’m gone. I am going to get out of that place. A lot of people say this makes you spiritual. “Paul did it! Why, I can do it!” Now, folks, how stupid can you get? Why was it that the snake did not kill Paul? “Oh, he was filled with the Holy Spirit of God.” I know a lot of people who were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and have gone down in plane crashes and snakes have killed them. Are they not like Paul? Can’t you see it? If you don’t put a verse in its context, you miss the whole point. The point is, Paul is going to Rome! How can he go to Rome if a snake kills him on the island of Malta? He can’t do it. There is nothing that can harm him until God finishes with His purposes in Paul’s life.
A miracle is nothing in itself, ever. Nothing. John tells us that a miracle is nothing but a sign. A sign is never important for what’s on it. It is important for what it is pointing to. Folks, if you start worshipping the sign, you are going to kill yourself on the curb it’s trying to point you to. The miracle points to something. It points to Christ and who He is. It can point to God’s people to verify that they are of God. It means nothing else. It was something that happened uniquely to Paul on this island. No soldier was going to kill him. They tried to, but the centurion stopped them. No storm was going to kill him. The angels said, “No sir, the ship can wreck and the storm can come, but it won’t kill you.” No shipwreck can kill him, and no viper can kill him because Paul is going to Rome.
We were in South Africa several years ago, and we got on the plane that night to fly home. Seventeen and a half hours! I was just getting ready to settle in, and as I was sitting down, everybody else was getting up. I didn’t hear the announcement, I guess. I said, “Where are you all going?” They said, “We’ve got to get off the plane.” I said, “No. The steward told me to sit right here.” They said, “No, it came over the plane that there is a bomb scare. We’ve got to get off the plane.”
So all of us on that big 747 got off the plane. They took it out in the middle of nowhere and got these dogs. They took them out, and they started smelling of the luggage. They took everything out. Three hours we were delayed. Now, folks listen. We’ve got to get back on that plane! You can get a funny feeling about that. They just spent three hours, and you are thinking, “Did they cover everything? Did they look under my seat? Did they look up in the luggage racks?” We had a seventeen and a half hour flight on that same plane. However, getting on that plane was the most comforting thought. I thought, “Well, God, if you are through with us, You are through with us. But if you are not, You are not.” Don’t worry about it. God will protect you from anything harmful, especially death, until He has finished His purpose in your life. That’s the way you have to live. Don’t worry about anything. You just be about His business and trust Him to not only provide, but to protect.
Many times I’ve been sitting on a plane. We would be in a storm and bouncing around. You have a lot of thoughts during those times. I’ve thought to myself, “You know what? I really believe, God, that you are working in my life. Lord, I am really glad that you ministered to my heart and spoke to me that I am supposed to be at this certain place to speak.” Then I get to thinking, “Just think, all these people on this plane are going to be saved just because you got me on this plane.” One time I was thinking that and the thought came to my mind real quickly, “Hey, Barber, it may be that I am sparing you because I’ve got somebody else on here that I am really working in their life.” I can’t think more highly of myself than I ought to think. Have you ever thought about that?
Here is a boat load of 276 passengers who are saved and spared. Why? Because God has got one man, at least, on board. Luke is there and another man, but He has got at least one man on that ship that He said was going to Rome. “Well, next year may bring some bad things.” So! So did last year. When we are on God’s business, we don’t worry about that. We know He’ll provide even through people we don’t know. He’ll protect us from anything that may hinder us from accomplishing what He has begun in our life.
Finally, the third thing, God empowered him. Once they could see that he was not sick and didn’t swell up, and that the bite did not kill him, look what happens. Verse 7 says, “Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island.” Even in their day wealth was associated with how much property you owned. I heard about the man from Texas who was asked another rancher, “How big of a ranch do you have?” He said, “Man, I’ve got 7,000 acres.” He told him how many cattle. He, in return, asked, “How big of a place do you have?” He said, “I’ve only got forty acres.” They all laughed and then he asked, “Where is it?” He said, “Dallas.”
“Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days.” Evidently they took the whole group over, and he took them in. Why would he do that? Well, folks, the word traveled real fast. “Good night, there is a man on this island, and a viper bit him and didn’t even hurt him.” This guy says, “I want them at my house.” He brought them over. “And it came about that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him.”
Now, folks, did Paul have the gift of healing? I don’t know why in the world we can’t understand the gift of healing is never mentioned in scripture. It is in the plural, the gifts of healings. In 1 Corinthians 12, it is in a little category by itself. These are the gifts that God just does when He decides to do. You don’t hang a shingle on your door saying “I have the gift of healing.” No. God just moves on you when He moves on you and does what He does through you. You don’t come back and brag about it. You are overwhelmed by it. God just does it. If Paul had the gift of healing, then why didn’t he heal Epaphroditus who almost died in his presence? Why did he tell Timothy to take wine for his stomach? Why did he himself die a martyr? If he had that kind of power, then he would still be living today. No, sir. God chose at that moment to bestow on him something of a healing power that we don’t understand. That’s just it.
You know there are just so many things that we just don’t understand. One of the problems we have in America is we have to understand everything. There are just some things we don’t understand. Park it there. One day we will know as we are known. It will come when it is time to come.
Well, as a result of Paul healing him, look at what happens in verse 9. “And after this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured.” Man, it didn’t happen just with Publius’ father. All of them started coming, everybody who was sick. Talk about a healing meeting beyond anything we will ever hear about our read about. Why did God do that? Well, I don’t know all the answers, but I’ll tell you one thing. If you take a passage of scripture out of its context, you miss a lot of the things that God is doing. This gave Paul a respect and a position of honor in the presence of these Romans he could not have had otherwise. He was already respected, but now it elevated him another two levels. When he goes into Rome, you really see how they now are looking at him with awe. God has His man where He wants Him to be to accomplish what His purposes are at the right time. You can’t build any other doctrine on it. You don’t go out and say, “I can heal or can’t heal.” When God does it, He does it and when He doesn’t, He doesn’t. But listen, it’s always for a purpose.
Look at verse 9, “And after this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. And they also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all that we needed.” You say, “I still haven’t seen your point. I mean, you haven’t explained it well enough.” Well, I know I haven’t. How are these Romans handling all this? “Who is this guy? Man, we had a shipwreck. He tells us to stick with him, tells us what to do and we are all saved. He said an angel talked to him. He gets bitten by a viper and doesn’t even swell up. He goes over to a man’s house and lays his hands on him and heals him. Then the sick on the island come and he heals them. Who is this man?”
You say, “I think you’ve missed the whole point.” No, I haven’t. I want to show you something. Paul gets around to Italy and when he gets there, the believers come to him, and they say, “Paul, stay with us a little longer. Come on, stay a week.” It says Paul stayed seven days with those believers. Now wait a minute. Does that appear to you to be a little strange? Paul is a prisoner. Who is setting the agenda for this trip? Man, the Romans stay with him. You are going to see when he gets to Rome, he is treated with such respect on this first visit that he gets some hired quarters and for two years is allowed to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you think what happened in front of those soldiers didn’t have anything to do with it? “I can’t grab it. God is up to something in his life. He empowers him.” But listen, He empowers him for a greater purpose that He is going to use him for later on. Yes, people were probably saved. It doesn’t tell us that. They probably had real revival. There are Christians on this island even today as a result of that. What I am saying is, it had a greater purpose on down. God said, “Paul, you are going to Rome. I’m going to provide for you. I’m going to protect you. I am going to empower you.”
In Exodus 33-34, God says to Moses, “Moses, I am going to feed you when you get over into the wilderness. I am going to provide for you. I’ve given you all the promises. Now I want you to take the people and go on. I’m not going with you.” Now what did Moses say? “Lord, if you don’t go with us, we are not going.” Now why? He had all the provision. He had all the promises. Isn’t this the way the world would do it? “Hey, guys, we’ve got the money. We’ve got the promises. Let’s go for it, man. God will bless it.” Moses says, “If you don’t go with us, we are not going.” Moses realized that far more important than His provision and His power and His protection, is His presence.
Folks, when Paul went out, he went in the presence of God and that’s why these things took place. That’s what overawed the Roman soldiers. What we need to remember is regardless of the frustrations, if we are about His business, He will take care of us. Don’t begin to make a move until you know you are in His presence. Out of that presence all kinds of things may happen within our church. Who knows? I’ve been praying revival would break out and sweep America. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it would break out? Wouldn’t that be incredible? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come in for a service one morning and God’s Spirit just hover and start moving. You can’t even preach, and nobody can even hardly sing. People would start getting broken before God and getting right, seeing the world for what it really is, absolutely zero as far as treasures and those things are concerned. They would start seeing people for the first time. God might want to use us that way.
So let’s trust that. He is going to provide for us. He is going to protect us from anything that would tend to destroy us. Not only that, He is going to empower us at His choosing for His purposes if we will walk in His presence.