“Then he called two of the centurions and said,.. ‘Provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.’ And he wrote a letter to this effect:
“’Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings.This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed when I… rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council…’
“They laid before the governor their case against Paul..: ‘Most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation… We have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes…’
“When the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied: ‘Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense… This I confess to you, that according to the Way.., I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust…’
“But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, ‘When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.’ Then he gave orders… that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
“After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, ‘Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.’ At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.” Acts 23:23-28; 24:1c,2c,5,10,14-15,22-27
Felix lived his spiritual life on a seesaw. He pretended reason and kindness, but callously avoided courageous decisions. He flirted with truth, but just as quickly fled its potential penetration of his pompous heart.
Felix had a good measure of prestige and power, and was acquainted with professing Christians and their distinct beliefs and behaviors. His heart was curiously drawn, but flesh and self-autonomy won out. He must not be seen as weak or submissive, he must maintain his image. As long as he could manipulate the situation and hold out for some personal gain, he did, to his eternal loss.
Control and privilege have temporal and public allure, but cannot stand when confronted with life-altering truth. Felix was held forever accountable for rejecting the gospel of righteousness and judgment, and refusing Christ. Ambiguous belief leads to indecisive living leads to lost opportunity.
Do I recognize the eternal imperative of responding to Jesus? In what areas of my life have I grown smug managing my own world, or relished the attention of others, and only flirted with what really matters? What will I do to remedy that?
Father, help me boldly believe, stand, and speak for what is true about You.