“If then I did anything wrong and am deserving of death, I am not trying to escape death; but if there is nothing to what these men accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!” (Acts 25:11)
Paul was fighting for a just trial. He made his defense against those who were falsely accusing him. He didn’t give into defeat. Yet the main reason Paul was fighting wasn’t so that he could preserve his life, and hopefully return to some type of “normalcy” again. Paul was pursuing a fair hearing, all so that he could continue in what God was calling him to do. Paul was laser-beamed focused on God’s specific purposes for his life, and this unjust trial was an obstacle.
So what agenda was Paul really focused on? In Acts 23:11, we learned that while Paul was in Jerusalem the Lord said to him, “Have courage! For as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so it is necessary for you to testify in Rome.” There we go. Paul appealed to Caesar, because the Lord had told Paul that it was necessary for him to testify in Rome (23:11), where Caesar lived.
Paul was fighting for a fair trial, so that he could do what God had instructed him to do. He defended himself so he could be faithful in the things God was calling him to. We could learn a lot from Paul’s mindset in the midst of opposition. Perhaps, when you find yourself in a disagreement with your spouse, and you feel the need to defend yourself, consider Paul’s conduct here. Are you fighting for justice to continue being faithful in the things God has called you to do? If a friend or coworker has done something offensive to you, and you’re ready to give them a piece of your mind, consider if it will lead to greater opportunities for the gospel. God will call us to fight, but not the way the world does. Like Paul, we fight with a kingdom purpose—so that the outcome will be many people hearing about Jesus’ love, grace, and truth.