Following the Spirit
When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:7-10
Praise the Lord for his word!
In his word above, the Lord shows us how walking by the spirit may not always be as smooth as we think with our natural minds.
Naturally speaking we don’t like what is unknown and we feel more secure when we know where we are going.
Well, walking by the spirit does not guarantee us to know before hand every single aspect of what we will find on our journey.
« Teaching us dependence »
Here Paul who had been commissioned by the Lord to preach the gospel to the Gentiles is trying to enter to Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow him.
When I was reading this, I was thinking: « Paul is a man of prayer, I’m sure he prayed before trying to enter to Bithynia. How come that he missed God and did not go to Macedonia first? »
How come did he not hear the Lord telling him to go to Macedonia ?
Later on, I understood that: « The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. » John 3:8
I understood from God that even though the Lord knows where he is leading us, he does not always disclose all things to us so we can depend on him and specially when it seems that the door is closed.
I was thinking that now the Spirit of the living God dwells in me, I will know everything because he knows everything.
Well, it’s true that we know everything because the One who lives in us knows everything but the other truth is he does not reveal to us everything in one day so we can depend on him day after day. If we know it all, we don’t need God anymore.
« So we can depend on him »
He wants us to keep seeking him.
Keep our eyes focused on him.
Keep turning to him.
Keep asking him.
Keep talking to him.
Keep interacting with him.
Keep depending on him.
We are on a journey with him. He walks every single step, right beside us.
He did not commission us to do a mission like James Bond. He did not send us on our own but he wants to do it with us.
If we knew everything in the plan, we would not need to talk to him. Would we ?
Let’s not lose heart when the doors are closed!
That door in Bithynia was closed by the Lord himself and the Lord did not reveal it to Paul.
Paul tried to go there and I’m sure he tried with all his heart with prayers and supplications but the Spirit of the Lord did not allow them to enter. It was not the devil!
Later on, Paul had a vision and concluded that the Lord was calling them in Macedonia.
Praise the Lord!
He legitimately could have questioned his vision of « the Macedonian » as his plan to go to Bithynia did not really work at first place. I know I could have questioned it!!
« faith, humility and dependence »
But by faith they went to Macedonia and they met Lydia who was a worshipper.
I also met my wife Lydia who was a worshipper in France in 2000 but this is a different story. 🙂
Anyway, I found out that not knowing everything before hand create in us an attitude of humility and dependence.
We need to learn to be flexible and to rely on the Lord. I struggled a lot with the unknown at the beginning of my journey walking with the Lord.
I was frustrated because I knew that the Lord knew what would be the outcome of a situation but he would not reveal it to me. Grrrrrr !!!! 🙂
But I learned to trust the Lord even if I don’t know the outcome and that all things work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to his purpose.
I love him and I am called according to his purpose. And so you are too!
So let’s enjoy the surprises that we will find on our journeys knowing that our Lord will never let us down.
Praise his name !
A son of the Most High