Sign upon Sign Unheeded 1Ki 13:20-34
There is a tragic note in this paragraph. The man of God had performed God’s errand bravely and well, and his words were verified by the result; but he perished as a castaway. See 1Co 9:27 . If only he had obeyed God’s word, as it came directly to himself, he might have been entrusted with many similar errands; but “Alas, my brother!” was a true elegy on the part of the man who had led to his downfall. How careful we should be never to dissuade a young soul from some heroic purpose which has formed itself in his imagination! Too many young men have perished on the threshold of their life-work, because older prophets have cried, “Spare thyself; have mercy on thy flesh.”
God never goes back on His first instructions. If He has clearly spoken to your soul, refuse to take your marching-orders from others. No man, however aged or holy, has any right to intrude into the sacred dealings of God and the individual disciple. We may always detect the false voice, because its suggestions so exactly chime in with the weakness of our nature, in its desire to eat bread, drink water, and enjoy the society of our fellows.