9.2.16, Acts 16:7-10 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
What I love about these verses is that it shows that we all need redirecting at times. Paul is one of the great apostles, after his conversion the work that he did spreading the gospel and supporting the churches is incredible. He and his companions travelled all over the known world preaching about Jesus and planting churches as they went. He wrote about half of the books in the New Testament. But as easy as it would be to believe that they were always spot on in what they did, this verse shows that at times they tried to go somewhere different to where God wanted them and He had to actively step in and send them in a different direction. It doesn’t say how the Holy Spirit stopped them heading in the direction they were planning, but it does say quite clearly that he would not allow them to go. Paul may have been a man of great wisdom, but he didn’t always get it right.
We need to remember that none of us are perfect, and sometimes God has to step in to quite bluntly redirect us. Reading through the Bible recently I’ve seen a number of examples where the people we look up to like Paul, Abraham and Zechariah have doubted God or gone the wrong way, and He has stepped in and set them right, but in each case He has continued to love them, use them, and fulfil his promises to them and through them. God recognises that we are human and we’re not always going to get it right, and in those times He will step in and point us in the right direction if we let Him. It’s our role to listen to Him, repent, and head the way He wants us to. It’s not about shame or condemnation, but recognising where God is wanting us to go and following His lead.
What do you find is the best way to receive direction from God?
Have there been times in your life where God has redirected you? What was the outcome?
Are there areas in your life now where you need to seek God’s direction to make sure you are on the right track?
What can you do in your daily life to ensure you are following God’s lead?