Acts 16:1-15; Judges 2-3; Job 34
David wanted to build a Temple to God. His chief prophet Nathan thought on the face of it that it seemed like a good idea and told him to do it. Then, God told him “no.” I have been in positions where I thought perfect opportunities were put right in front of me. When I tried to take advantage of them, God told me “no.” It’s so frustrating to see a perfect opportunity in front of us only to be denied the chance to take advantage of it. Paul, Silas, and Timothy ran into that problem. “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” (Acts 16:6-7) What great opportunities there were to spread the gospel in the province of Asia! The people of Bithynia needed to hear about Jesus! As Paul and his companions sought to enter these areas, God told them “no.” If this had happened to me, I would probably sit around and mope for a while. I might say a few things in bitterness about my desire to serve God and the obstacles I had to face. Paul, though, demonstrated spiritual sensitivity and listened for God’s guidance. God had a different plan. How easily we equate our desires with God’s plan and get upset when things don’t happen the way we expect. Paul’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit opened up the European continent. When we are open to God’s Spirit to guide us, He will do amazing things through us.
Lord, make me sensitive to Your call. Let me hear from You and be obedient when I hear. Give me the grace and strength to follow You as You lead me.