God is orchestrating history as He actively works to redeem this lost and broken world. In doing this, He chooses to use His servants to help carry out His plans. According to Paul, this is called the “ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5)
In John 5:17, Jesus tells us something very important about our Heavenly Father – “He is always working…” God is at work around you and He wants to involve you in His work. Sometimes we get this backwards, in that we have a work we want God to bless and join us in doing. But think about it, Abraham didn’t go to God and ask Him to join his work. Elisha didn’t go to God and ask Him to bless his work. No, it was the other way around, God comes to His servants and invites them to join His work. Truth be told, God doesn’t ask His people to even start a work, He asks them to join the work He’s already started.
This coming Sunday, we’ll revisit a story from Paul’s second missionary journey. Paul has a plan as to how that journey is to unfold, but along the way, God begins to change Paul’s plans. It’s instructive to see how Paul alters his course so he can be a part of work God is doing.
In prep for Sunday, I hope you’ll take the time to prayerfully consider Acts 16:6-15.
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, 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 decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. 11 We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. 12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.
I’m looking forward to seeing you Sunday as we continue our quest to experience God.