Acts 16 – Spirit Direction

Read Acts 16

Timothy joins Silas and Paul who are on Paul’s second missionary journey.  As they travel about, it is clear that they are seeking God’s guidance and direction as to where it is they should be preaching.  We can see this because there are times when the Spirit actually stops them from going to different places.  Have you ever experienced this?

Sometimes we get it in our heads that we need to go everywhere and preach the Gospel, and we do so with little consideration to where God is actually calling us to go.  Now this is not to say that the preaching of the Gospel will not be effective if we go it on our own; God works through us and often in spite of us as well.

But when we decide to take time to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit (and follow them), great things will happen.  Imagine how different this would have looked if Paul, Silas, and Timothy had not listened to the Holy Spirit and had indeed gone to the places the Spirit stopped them from going to.  Would lives in those places have been impacted?  Sure.

However, what about those to whom God had called them?  Lydia would not have become a leading member of the Church, the slave girl would not have found freedom, and the Jailer and his family would not have found salvation either.

God is always at work, His plans and His ways are higher than our ways.  I’m sure that it didn’t make a lot of sense to Paul why he couldn’t go into the cities that were close by, but in the end, listening to the Spirit brought them to a place where God did great things through them and many came to know Christ.