If there is one question that every Christian has asked, if there is one issue that every believer has thought about it is the issue of “God’s will for my life.”
“What is God’s will for my life?”
“Should I go here or should I go there?”
“What does God want me to do?”
Sometimes it has to do with education – what school should I go to?
Sometimes it has to do with work and career – what job should I take?
Sometimes it has to do with ministry – should I quit my job and “go into the ministry”?
Sometimes it has to do with marriage – what person should I marry?
This issue certainly is an important one. How do I make decisions according to God’s will?
Acts 16:6-10 is a very interesting portion of Scripture. It is a passage that has to do with “discerning divine direction”. In these verses God leads one of His children into a certain geographical place, by preventing him from going one way and then giving him a vision of a man asking for help.
The book of Acts is an important book in the Bible because it traces the growth of the church from a small group of 120 Jewish followers of Jesus, meeting in an upper room in Jerusalem, to a very large, perhaps innumerable group of disciples all over Judea, Samaria, and into the western world of what we now call Europe.
The Apostle Paul is the man that God used to take his message throughout the areas of what we know as Turkey, Greece, and into western Europe.
Here in Acts 16 Paul and his companions Silas and Timothy are traversing the land, talking to people about the Messiah, the Saviour Jesus, whom God confirmed through signs, miracles, fulfilled prophecy, and through raising Him from the dead.
As they are spreading the message of the gospel, God re-directs their steps.
They want to go one way, but were “forbidden by the Holy Spirit.”
The try to go another way, but “the Spirit did not permit them.”
Two closed doors that ultimately led to an open door. Sound familiar?
This might be an important topic for you because you are wondering about God’s direction as it pertains to your decisions about your job, education, residence, or an important relationship.
These are huge areas in our lives. They not just impact our future, but the futures of those who love us.
The first thing that is important to realize is that God does have a plan for you.
Take a look at these passages:
““I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“For those whom he foreknew…he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (Romans 8:29)
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:16)
“Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”” (James 4:15)
Yes, God has a plan for you. Beyond that, there are several things that we can learn in this passage about making good decisions. This coming Saturday, February 18, I will be taking a close look at these verses and uncover these “tools” that you can use as you “learn to discern” God’s will and direction for your life.
Hope to see you there!