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保羅到羅馬的過程就是一個明顯的例子。他決定去耶路撒冷的同時，也感到自己必須到羅馬去看看（十九 21），後來主對他說：「放心吧！你怎樣在耶路撒冷為我作見證，也必怎樣在羅馬為我作見證」（二十三 11），而他這時已身在捆鎖中。接著二十一17至二十八 14 記載保羅被交在不同的人手中：千夫長、兩任總督、亞基帕王、百夫長，他經歷許多危難：猶太人一再控告和謀害、遇上海難、毒蛇威脅，歷時不少於兩年三個月，保羅就這樣完全「被動地」去到羅馬。保羅的歷程曲折離奇：猶太人的控告和因之而來的捆鎖，反成了他得以向凱撒上訴（到羅馬）的機會，可見帶領他「曲折地」直到羅馬（使徒行傳所指的「地極」）的，是聖靈的工作。是以今日我們定意「進新領域」，就須清晰知道不是靠我們自己，而是靠聖靈的能力成事。
然後就是要在實踐使命的過程中辨識聖靈持續的引領。其中值得留意的，是保羅在沒有自由的處境中一再「看見」自己得以辯護的同時，其實是為主作見證的機會（二十二 1-21，二十四 10-21、24-26，二十六 1-23）。而在航船風暴中，他基於主一再啟示他必在羅馬為祂作見證的應許（二十三 11，二十七 22-25）和常識常理（也是聖靈引導的方法，二十七 10、31、33-34），做合宜的判斷。沒錯，神是創始成終的神，祂怎樣說，事情也要怎樣成就，而祂邀請我們與祂同工——藉著在過程中不斷辨識聖靈的引導，與祂一起成就救贖的工作。
Led by the Spirit, Accomplish by the Spirit
Rev Doh Chuan Ning
The Book of Acts reveals that the gospel would spread from Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, to the ends of the earth. And what the apostles relied on would be the power of the Holy Spirit (1:8). Today, as we go into new horizons with a steadfast mission on a path the apostles had trod before, we do not count on abilities or resources. We only rely on the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us, knowing that the Spirit of the Lord will accomplish His will.
Paul's journey to Rome is a good example. While he decided to go to Jerusalem, he felt that he must also go to Rome (19:21). Later, the Lord told him: "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome" (23:11). But then, Paul was already in bondage. Verses 21:17 to 28:14 recount how Paul was handed over to different people including commanders, two governors, King Agrippa, and centurions. In the course of two years and three months, he went through a number of crises including trials and conspiracies by the Jews, a storm at sea, and the threat of a viper. This way, he went passively to Rome. The process was full of twists and turns: the allegations of the Jews and the ensuing bondage gave Paul the unexpected chance to appeal to Caesar (and go to Rome). The journey was far from being straightforward, but the Holy Spirit led Paul to Rome (which the Book of Acts referred to as 'the ends of the earth'). So, as we enter the new horizons today, we must know clearly that we do not depend on ourselves but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Having said that, do we sit back and do nothing and let the Spirit do His work? No. The first thing we need to do is obey the Holy Spirit. Paul's bondage really began with his submission to the Holy Spirit. He was compelled by the Spirit and willing to obey (20:22-24). God will use those who obey the Spirit – those who will let Him freely do His work through them.
In the process of living out our mission, we also need to discern the continued guidance of the Spirit. It should be noted that in the absence of freedom, Paul time and again saw his opportunity to testify for the Lord while defending himself (22:1-21; 24:10-21, 24-26; 26:1-23). And during the storm at sea, based on the repeated promise by the Lord that Paul would testify for Him in Rome (23:11, 27:22-25), and also judging by common sense which is also a way the Spirit leads (27:10, 31, 33-34), Paul was able to make appropriate assessments of the situation. God is the pioneer and perfecter of faith. What God says will definitely be accomplished. Today, He invites us to work with Him. And through continually discerning the guidance of the Spirit, we will accomplish the redemption work with Him.
May the Spirit which filled Paul's life come upon the NPAC Family so we can obey His will. And through discerning His guidance and counting on His power in the process, may we be able to move into new horizons with a steadfast mission.