What God is trying to tell us   Leave a comment

This is from the blog Dover Beach:

“They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.” (Acts chapter 16, verses 6-10)

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The above excerpt from The Acts of the Apostles spoke of events during Paul’s second mission. Paul wanted to spread the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, and he thought he knew how best to do it. His plan was to travel west towards Asia, drawn probably by the thriving city Ephesus. But we are told that everywhere he tries to go he is blocked by the Spirit of Jesus. Eventually Paul ends up in Troas, on the northwestern coast of Asia. There he hears the call of God in a vision to go to Macedonia. This time things go much more smoothly. Paul and his companions end up in Philippi, one of the leading cities in Macedonia. Here his mission is wildly successful he meets a woman named Lydia who is an important woman of high social standing the fact that her name and her city of origin are known tells us this. Paul preaches the Gospel to her and her household, and the response is amazing. She and the rest of her house are baptized, and she offers to have Paul and his companions stay with her. At the beginning of his journey, Paul was following his own plan, but he did not get very far. He was blocked at every turn.

How often in our own lives do we feel, often passionately, that what we are doing is the very thing that we are meant to be doing, and yet everywhere we turn we meet opposition? It is at these times that we must stop to reflect. It could be in a relationship that we think should be working out perfectly, and yet somehow isn’t turning out in a way we would expect. It could be in the choice of a major what was your favorite subject in High School becomes a horror in University.

Life is never easy, and not every point of opposition is caused because we’re not travelling the path that God would like us to travel. But by stopping to take the time to reflect, pray, and open our eyes and ears, we can help God help us to make the best choices for our lives. But we have to be willing to put in the effort to pray and keep alert for the ways that God might be communicating with us. When Paul stopped to listen, he heard God’s call to Macedonia, where the power of the Gospel crossed social and religious barriers to convert an entire household. Imagine what could happen in our own lives if we stopped and listened to what God is trying to tell us about our own lives!

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