In Acts 16:6-7 we read, “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, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”
It’s All About Timing
After Paul and Barnabas went out on their missionary journey, they went up into the Galatian area (which is modern day Turkey and the surrounding region).
They began to preach the gospel and they turned and decided to go into Asia. Now here’s a curve ball. The Bible says, “The Spirit of Jesus forbid them!” That’s against our logic when we think about reaching people for Christ.
What I want you to see here is that there is a timing to obedience. The step that’s for tomorrow is not the same as the step we need to take for today. Jesus did say, “Go unto all the world,” but on this occasion, He said, “Not today! You’re not going into Asia today!"
I can only imagine the Apostle Paul completely baffled at this point, saying “Well, where do we go?” They went to sleep that night, and in a dream Paul saw in the spirit across the Agean sea a man from Macedonia saying, “Please, please come over here and tell us! They woke up the next morning concluding that God had spoken to them.
They crossed the Agean sea, landed in Philippi, were beaten, put in the dungeon, started singing praises to God, an earthquake came, the jailor was saved, and the church of the Philippians was born and spread through Macedonia, because that’s where the Lord wanted them at this time, in this step.
The Point: God Speaks, Sometimes One Step at a Time
He did it through circumstances that seemed contradicting to what He Himself had already said! The point is, He speaks. Jesus told us that we can expect the Holy Spirit to speak to us. These are just some examples that what Jesus said would happen – did happen. The experiences of Christians in the book of Acts are still available for believers today. The promise of the Holy Spirit that was made to the first disciples was also made to us!
Has the Lord called you?
Yes! You’re here – the fact that you’re seeking Him shows that He has called you! He says that to as many as He has called, the promise of the Holy Spirit is made. Just as Jesus said to His first disciples, He will guide you into all truth, He will speak to you the things I show Him, He will show you things that are yet to come. Just as He made those promises, and they were fulfilled, so also they will be fulfilled in your life. You can expect the Lord to speak to you – He does speak.