Daily Word

Rerouting by God | Acts 16:6-10

6 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia,[b] but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.

9 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!” 10 So we[c] decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

Acts 16:6-10 (NLT) 中文

Recap

The church at Antioch has sent out Paul along with Silas on the second missionary journey. They just picked up John Mark in Lystra and now continue on their way. Originally Paul had intended to visit the churches he and Barnabas had started on their first trip and to extend to some newer areas North and West. But something strange happens.

This is odd

As they head to a new area (Western) Asia, the Holy Spirit stops them!  And then when they tried to go to Bithynia, the Spirit of Jesus prevented them. I guess every reader immediately asks “Why would he stop them?” Of course we know, “Our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases.” (Psalm 115:3) He can (and does) whatever He pleases and what He pleases is good and righteous (Romans 8:28). 

Dr. Constable’s explanation is quite satisfying as he addresses the Why and Paul’s response. “There was certainly nothing wrong with Paul’s desire to preach the word in Asia; but it wasn’t God’s timing, so this was forbidden by the Holy Spirit…Paul, beautifully responsive to the Holy Spirit, was willing to lay down his will and his plans for the direction that the Holy Spirit brings.” (enduringword.com) And we know that Paul eventually did go to some of these places – on his third journey. NLT adds, “at that time”, in v6.

Word nuances

Did you also notice that Luke uses “Holy Spirit” then “Spirit of Jesus”? This is obviously intentional – and more. “[He] used three terms to stress the fact that the triune God was leading these apostles by His Spirit: He first referred to “the Holy Spirit” (v. 6), then “the Spirit of Jesus” (v. 7), and then “God” (v. 10) leading them.” (planobiblechapel.org) Do you also find this amazing insight?

Rerouting

Most of you have used GPS navigation. When you are not going the right way, it re-routes you. After God blocked Paul’s route two times, He used a vision to reroute him to Macedonia. What kind of help was this man expressing? A help that all need – salvation from sin through repentance and faith in Christ.

RЯeflection

  • What direction are you headed? Are you seeking to do God’s will? Are you, like Paul, so committed to His way that you’re ready to give up yours, if He so leads? And to respond, in faith, immediately? To obey is better than sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22) But don’t change course based on a whim or discouragement or fear or frustration. Seek Him.
  • Is the Spirit of Jesus rerouting your life from a destination of eternal separation from God in hell to eternal life through repentance and faith in Him? You also need to respond with immediate obedience! For more on salvation click here.
Paul’s 2nd missionary journey. Image from seektheoldpaths.com *
Interactive map: seektheoldpaths.com *

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