So upon reaching the end of Acts 18:23, we have seen God’s protection of the gospel through the encouragement of the messengers.  The encouragement came first through human partnership in vv.1-5.  What a privilege it is to have a spouse who is a partner in the gospel with you or a friend or another family member or a fellow member of the body.  We should be spending our time being encouraged and encouraging others.  No one in the body is completely alone, except by choice.  Next, the encouragement came through divine intervention in vv.6-23.  Paul knew that if he stayed faithful doing what the Lord had called him to do, that he was guaranteed the Lord’s protection.

We, however, are not guaranteed safety and comfort at all times, but we can be sure of one thing: As we strive to remain in the Lord’s revealed will, we are in the safest place we can be.  It’s when we deviate from his word and allow an idolatry of work or laziness or comfort to rule us, that’s when danger lies ahead and we certainly cannot be assured of the Spirit’s guidance and protection of our souls.  The self-protection that we can bring about on our own is superficial and temporary and the Lord certainly won’t stand by us and strengthen us in it.  He might let us wander off for a little while, so that we get a taste of life apart from his will.  However, if we get busy spending ourselves pursuing Him through his word and serving one another, we can have confidence that he will bring us safely through what he has ordained for us to do.