When the Spirit Speaks

Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” – Acts 16:6-9 NKJV.

You’ve most likely experienced it. You wanted to do something with all your heart. You just knew this was what you should do but the door was shut, and God just kept saying “No.” The apostle Paul experienced the same thing. It was not for a lack of his praying, or for a lack of his spirituality. It was simply not God’s will for Paul at that point. It may have been that God was protecting Paul from something.

Some of you are familiar with Henry Blackaby’s study course “Experiencing God.” While I was going through the Experiencing God course, many years ago now, I watched the video tapes made to go with the course (The first set of videos produced.). On the tapes at a seminar there was a man who was very upset. He very much wanted to be a missionary to Rwanda in Africa. But God had closed the door and sent him somewhere else. Since the videos were filmed, and by the time I watched the tape, I knew what the missionary did not know. If he had gone to Rwanda, he and his family most likely would have been killed in the blood bath that swept across that nation. 

David Crum, an evangelist I once heard, said he had a mission trip planned for Africa, but God sent him instead to Indonesia. It happens to many of our plans. We think we are going somewhere, or doing, what we should. But God stops us. Blocks our path. Before we become upset and angry with God let us remember God sees the road ahead. It may just be that God is loving us. It may just be that He is protecting us from some terrible thing. 

In the 23rd Psalm David says, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” God is going before us to prepare the table of life.

When the Spirit says, “No,” even though it is not what we planned for, or wanted, or dreamed – let us trust Him.

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