Reflection on Acts 16:1-10

Scripture

That night, Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece, was standing there pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

Observation

Paul travels to Derbe and then to Lystra, where he meets a young man called Timothy. Paul invites Timothy to come with him, and together they travel around the area instructing the believers.

They continue travelling, but it becomes clear that the Holy Spirit is preventing them from entering the province of Asia. Finally, Paul has a vision of a man from Macedonia pleading for them to come there. So they travel immediately to Macedonia.

Application

God’s direction comes in a multitude of ways.

In this passage, we have a negative direction in that the Holy Spirit is preventing them from going to the province of Asia. The description is vague. Perhaps every time they headed that way, they felt uneasy or even physically uncomfortable.. Perhaps distractions and obstacles would come their way.

Then there is the very specific positive direction. Paul has a clear vision of a man from Macedonia, and immediately they know this is the Holy Spirit saying, “Go there!”

Sometimes we have to be hemmed in, discovering every possibility is cut off until we are ready to hear the way the Holy Spirit wants us to go.

The Bible demonstrates dozens of ways that the Holy Spirit uses to direct God’s people: dreams, visions, voices from heaven, internal voices, prophecies from other people, words of knowledge and wisdom, and many more.

The important thing is not the method God uses to speak to us, but that we are listening to whatever it is that God says, and are ready to obey Him.

Prayer

Lord, please help me to discern your voice, and to obey every direction you give me. Amen.

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