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When Fear Halts You (Felix and Drusilla)

As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 

Acts 24:25


READ Acts 24:22-27.

The book of Acts is filled with individual stories that at first glance seem like chance encounters. However, the big picture in this biblical canon confirms that God’s providence is real. Paul was ready to die at this point in the story, and the Jews were prepared to kill him. He probably felt confident that he had done all he needed to do. He had traveled over vast regions from city to city, sharing the Good News of Jesus. Wasn’t it about that time? 

Fearlessly, Paul headed to Jerusalem to face death, but suddenly the book of Acts, which seemed like it was coming to an end, took a turn. Confronted by an angry mob, Paul eventually found himself at the palace of a Roman Governor, Felix. Felix listened to Paul talk about Jesus, and secretly he understood what he was saying because he was married to a Jewish woman, Drusilla. Felix quickly took Paul into custody with ulterior motives in mind. He wanted to please the people, but he also wanted to learn more about Jesus. Felix and Drusilla visited Paul frequently to learn more. The more Felix learned the more fear gripped him.

Unfortunately, Felix and Drusilla’s story did not end with a baptism. It did not end with a commitment to follow Jesus or repentance of sins. Felix did not denounce his role, although, after some time, he was no longer the governor. Unfortunately, Felix and Drusilla’s story ended at the point of fear. And this is where our lesson for today begins. 

It is not enough to know about Jesus or know someone who knows Jesus. It is not enough to study more, inquire more, help more or learn more. At some point, a decision must be made. It is a dangerous thing to allow fear to block you from making the most important decision of your life.  Fear may haunt you, but God is waiting and willing to cast it out. What do you have to lose? Whatever it is, eternal life with Jesus is worth far more!

Thought Questions

  • Felix and Drusilla knew about Jesus and were willing to learn more. But at some point, they stopped. Do you know what it feels like to go with God to a point but hesitate to go further?
  • What are some things that make you fearful about going forward in your faith journey? How far are you willing to go? Discuss with your spouse and pray to God to remove your fear.

Life Lessons

  • Many times losing something valuable precedes fear. Status, possessions or someone close may keep us from pursuing God’s path for our lives. Reprioritize the things in your life, making sure that your relationship with God and pursuing His plan are first.

Further Study

Read Mark 10:17-27. The story of the rich young ruler is a reminder of what it is to only go so far with God. The last verse of this passage, however, states that “nothing is impossible with God.” What does this mean when you look at the fear that has halted you or your spouse?