Saturday, July 10, 2010


Paul and his group were stopped repeatedly, even though they were doing exactly what God told 'em to do. They were trying to share the good news, and must have wondered what in the world was going on when they were blocked at every turn. All the delays were necessary, though, to put Paul in the mood to see what God really had in mind:

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia,
having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to
speak the word in Asia.

And when they had come up to 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.
And a vision
appeared to Paul in the night:
a man of Macedonia was standing there,

urging him and saying,
“Come over to Macedonia
and help us.”

- Acts 16:6-9

Forbidden to speak the word in Asia?! That seems pretty strange in light of the Great Commission. Obviously God didn't intend for the Gospel to be off-limits to the Asian people, to the people of Bithynia, or anybody else. One of the most basic tenets of the Christian faith is that the good news of Jesus is for EVERYONE.

At that particular moment, however, God had something specific in mind for Paul and his little Gospel road show. The Good News bus was stopped dead in its tracks, but not for long. On close inspection, what appeared to be senseless roadblocks were actually helpful STOP SIGNS, indications to look and listen for direction.

The next time you feel like you're doing nothing but spinning your wheels, I pray that you'll be blessed with the presence of mind to calmly pause and read the Spirit signs. When you encounter delays that just don't make sense as you're trying our best to follow the right road, don't take it personally. Remember that there's specific direction at those stop signs of life.

And though the Lord give you
the bread of adversity and the water of affliction . . .
your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
when you turn to the right
or when you turn to the left.
- Isaiah 30:20-21

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