And Agrippa said to Festus, “He could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.” Acts 26:32 (NLT)
As you read through Acts you get to the end where it talks about Paul's journey. Paul had traveled all over talking about this favorite passion, Jesus. No matter where he went or what he did, he shared Jesus with everyone he met.
Paul was in Jerusalem doing just this when the folks from the local synagogue became angry because he was sharing that he was called to share God's love with the Gentiles (non-Jews). Apparently, they were a little prejudice. It caused such an uproar that the Roman guard got involved, arrested Paul and beat him trying to get the truth of his crime out of him. Paul played the "I'm a Roman citizen" card and the beating stopped.
Paul was taken to be tried by the Governor. The Jews were plotting in the background to get him back so they could kill him. Paul appealed to Caesar - probably to save his life. I read the text above saying Paul would have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar and I thought "Maybe Paul spoke too soon. God could have protected him from the Jews. He could be free!" That's what we all want, right? To be free?
Freedom was not Paul's goal.....On Paul's journey to Rome to meet Caesar, he had multiple opportunities to share his love for God. He talked to Felix, Governor of Caesarea, and his wife. He shared God's love with Festus, Felix's replacement. He witnessed to King Agrippa. On the ship to Rome, he talked to the sailors and other prisoners sharing with them that God told him not to be afraid because he would safely arrive in Rome to talk to Caesar. On the island where they were shipwrecked, he showed God's power when he didn't die from a deadly snake bite and when he healed a ton of the islanders. And then he got to Rome where he was put under house arrest. There the book of Acts ends with these verses:
For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him. (vs 30-31)
Living in the middle of God's plan doesn't always mean the road will be smooth. More than likely it means that the road is going to be very uncertain and down-right difficult at times. But it also means that you will get to share God's love and power. It means that as you walk this path with him, he'll be there with you, walking beside you the entire way. It means life will never be boring, it will be an incredible adventure. And it means you will get to share the desire of your heart, Jesus Christ, with everyone you meet. But be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.