“After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.'” (Acts 15:7)
When God gives you a green light, you must go. And when He gives you a red light, you must stop. “Paul and his friends went through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit would not let them preach in Asia. After they arrived in Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not let them. So they went on through Mysia until they came to Troas. During the night, Paul had a vision of someone from Macedonia who was standing there and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us!’ After Paul had seen the vision, we began looking for a way to go to Macedonia … sure that God had called us to preach the good news there” (vv. 6-10).
After a series of green lights, God gave Paul a red light. Why?
- Because the timing was not right. Apollos had to go there first and lay the groundwork.
- Because God needed Paul and Barnabas elsewhere.
- Because God wanted them to be more seasoned before embarking on such a major mission.
Note the words, “They tried to go … but the Spirit … would not let them.” How reassuring! God loves you so much that He will save you from your own misguided plans. The Canadian preacher A.B. Simpson said: “Often there’s nothing as godly as inactivity on our part, or nothing as harmful as restless working, for God has promised to work His sovereign will.” Today God may be saying to you, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted [in this situation]” (Psalm 46:10). Please pay attention!
Lord, help me to listen to You as I continue to worship You and study Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.