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By Brandt Jones
They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
“Wherever He leads I will go,” the old hymn states, is that true for your life? In the midst of this passage Paul is faced with a conflict, he must figure out what God wants him to do. We find that Paul offers up two possibilities, and both times God says no. Paul, Timothy, and Silas attempt to go to Asia, God says no. They try to go to Mysia, God says no. Each time that God said no, the group listened and kept moving. They did not stop and ask, “are you sure God?” They simply obeyed the voice of the Lord, and moved on. Of course, we find at the end of this passage that God does, indeed, direct their travel, He sends them to Macedonia. As soon as Paul has this vision he gets up, and starts for Macedonia, knowing what God has called him to do.
We are all going to be facing choices in this life, all of us are going to be seeking what is next. A beautiful part of the Christian life is that we never do this alone. God is always able to direct our paths if we are willing to listen to what He has to say. Paul, Silas, and Timothy could have gone to Asia or Mysia, they had the physical ability, but they heard God say no. When God closes a door to us, what is our response? Do we accept that and keep moving in faith, or do we try and bust down the door?
If we keep moving in faith God can and will do amazing things! What happened in Macedonia? Lydia and her family are saved, a young lady is released from demonic possession, Paul and Silas are miraculously freed from bondage, a jailer and his family are saved! God did mighty powerful things because Paul and his group were willing to listen to what God had to say. When God shuts one door to us, or even more than that, trust Him and keep moving.
We all have one choice to make: Listen to God or Disobey God. In that choice are so many amazing things. What are you doing with your life today? If we choose to listen to God, we will watch as He does mighty works!