When I was first saved, my pastor and I would meet regularly at a cafe near the church and do a life check. Shortly after I was saved, I was thrown into a pretty difficult situation, so my pastor was concerned. After the situation had been resolved, he would often tell me “better men than me” wouldn’t have made it through. Our meetings were always very casual. I never thought much about not following the advice given to me since it was always centered around my spiritual walk with the Lord.

Over the years, my pastor and I would still meet, chat and do life checks. One of my biggest regrets from my earlier walk with the Lord is that I didn’t take my pastor’s advice regarding an issue I didn’t see as an issue. While I’m not going into that today, I will say this. My pastor saw a potential problem I didn’t see. Had I taken my pastor’s advice instead of going forth in the way I thought I was supposed to go, I might have avoided the disaster ahead. After not heeding his advice, I walked into a disaster that took me away from the church and almost destroyed my faith.

When I read this passage from Acts, I’m reminded of that sunny July day in 2011 when I didn’t heed my pastor’s advice.

But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.

Acts 27:11 (NIV)

While sailing to Rome, in the very last days of the sailing season, the centurion in charge of the voyage had a choice. Stop for the winter in Fair Havens, a place unsuitable for harboring a ship in the winter, or sail on to another harbor further away. Paul, who had been in three shipwrecks by this time (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:25), knew little about piloting a ship but could recognize dangerous conditions. Paul’s advice to the centurion was to winter in Free Havens even though it was not the best place for it.

“Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.”

Acts 27:10 (NIV)

As we’ve read in verse eleven, the centurion doesn’t listen to Paul. Instead, he listens to the pilot and the owner of the ship. However, the pilot and the owner weren’t the only people who thought they shouldn’t harbor in Free Havens as we can see here.

Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.

Acts 27:12 (NIV)

Because no one took Paul’s advice, the ship and all of the cargo were lost in a shipwreck. Fortunately, because of God’s mercy, no one died. What do we see here in Acts 27:10-12?

We see Paul, the man of God, warning them that the ship, cargo, and lives could be lost if they carry on with their plans. However, instead of listening to Paul, the centurion sought professional advice. Both the majority and the centurion listened to professional advice instead of listening to the man of God.

No one listened to Paul, and the ship with all of its cargo was lost. It was a miracle that none of the 276 people on board were killed.

How might we respond? What does Scripture say?

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)

Paul was, by no means, a spiritual leader over the centurion. In fact, Paul was a prisoner on his way to Rome to be tried before Caesar. However, if you go to church, then you have someone who is watching over you. They pray for you and are concerned about your well-being. Therefore, if you’re given advice about your life by an anointed servant of the Lord, you should prayerfully listen to it.

Back in 2011, my life looked like the Titanic. I thought my faith was unshakeable. Sure, I had some bumps and bruises, but I kept moving forward in faith. I couldn’t fathom hitting an iceberg, let alone sinking, and when my pastor warned me of the dangerous ice flows ahead, I didn’t listen to him. Instead, I continued forward in faith until I hit the iceberg and sank. If not for the grace of God, I’d not be writing this to you today.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.