by Carter Conlon

Good ideas are not always “God ideas.” We see this in the life of
the apostle Paul: “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and
the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to
preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried
to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them” (Acts 16:6-7).

Just as it happened with Paul, a sincere disciple of Christ, it can
happen with all of us. We may want to go certain places and do
certain things, expecting God to go with us. However, sometimes
the pathways we choose for our lives during a particular season
may not actually be the pathway of God for us.

Paul had a vision of a man appealing to him to come to Macedonia
and help them (16:9). “Now after he had seen the vision, immediately
we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called
us to preach the gospel to them” (16:10). So, although Paul had
had different plans, he and his company headed off to Macedonia.
On the way, they ministered to a group of women meeting for
prayer. One of them was an influential part of the community
and “she and her household were baptized” (16:15).

Next, they encountered a demon-possessed slave girl and when
she was delivered, her masters seized Paul and Silas and had
them beaten and thrown into prison (16:22). This serves as a
reminder that we have no guarantee that we will get a pass
through trials and trouble. In fact, sometimes obeying the will of
God will actually get us into trouble. But God´s plans are always
far superior to our own.

In prison, Paul and Silas sang praises to the Lord and witnessed
to the jailer, who in turn was transformed and baptized along with
his entire family (16:33). And just think, all this started with a man
appearing to Paul when he was praying at night, saying, “Come and help us.”

The power of God is always found where the Spirit leads you.
Today I implore you to have the courage to say, “Lord, I do not
want to live simply for my will. What would you have me do?
Where do you want me to go? Let your will be done in my life.”
Then watch God do miracles!

-Carter Conlon, Times Square Church.




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