God's Sovereignty, Man's Responsibility (Acts 27:23) - Radical

God’s Sovereignty, Man’s Responsibility (Acts 27:23)

In the middle of Acts 27 Paul and all of his companions on this ship are in this massive storm, and everybody’s afraid for their lives. They don’t know if they’re going to make it through, but God comes to Paul in vision, through an angel, and says that they’re all going to live. What I love most is Acts 27:23, the way Paul describes that. 

“For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong, and whom I worship.” -Acts 27:23

Oh, I love those two phrases, “The God to whom I belong” and, “The God whom I worship, ” especially in the context here. Here’s Paul, he’s a prisoner on a ship, in the middle of a storm, and yet God reminds him and Paul knows that Paul belongs to God.

Acts 27:23 Reminds Us That We Belong to God

That God owns Paul. That God has taken ownership and responsibility for caring for Paul, for providing for Paul. Paul belongs to God, and God is the one whom Paul worships. He loves and adores God. The God who is in control of the sea, the God who is in control of the storms. Just think about it, especially when we walk through difficult times. Isn’t it good to know in the middle of challenges, that we belong to God? And that he is worthy of our worship? That he is good and great and glorious and worthy of our praise. Even when we walk through challenges, let’s be reminded in those phrases of what it means to be in Christ. To belong to God, to be worshipers of God, and let’s be encouraged by those realities.

There is a mystery of how God works in His sovereignty alongside man’s responsibility.

A Prayer of Remembrance

Oh God, we praise you that in Christ we belong to you. That you have taken ownership of us. You have ownership of my life and the lives of people who are listening to this, who have put their trust in Christ. That you own us. That you care for us. And that you provide for us.  You are committed to providing for us. Especially when we walk through challenges, that you are with us. We belong to you and God we worship you. We worship your name. And we praise you as good and glorious even in the middle of challenges we face. You are the God whom we worship. Help us then, we pray, to remember. Right now I just think about trials people might be walking through.

A Prayer of Encouragement

I pray for brothers and sisters who are walking through trials right now, that they would know they belong to you, and that they would give you worship in the middle of those trials. I pray for each one of our lives with trials that may be coming around the corner, Lord as we walk through those trials help us to never forget that in the middle of those trials we belong to you. Help us in the middle of those trials to give you glory, honor and worship. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!