God’s Timing (Acts 16:1-10)

What has the Holy Spirit kept you from doing lately?

This is a question I have not thought about often enough.

I tend to believe that when something doesn’t work out, I just need to work harder to make it happen. Or I just need to give up.

In Acts 16, we see Paul and Barnabas express a desire to take the gospel of Jesus into Asia. Yet, as Luke describes it, they are kept from doing so by the Spirit.

Perhaps Paul and Barnabas didn’t see their challenge as a spiritual one, like Luke does. But as Luke reflects on it, he can see Christ at work in such a way that Paul and Barnabas were kept from going where they wanted.

What if we were to stop trying to force things, and trust that if something is not working, perhaps it is a work of the Spirit?

Sure, there might be danger in this approach. But is it not something worth considering?

God can use you to further his Kingdom – in God’s timing though.

Let’s learn to be patient, to wait and listen, and then upon hearing God’s call, to faithfully move in the direction he is leading us.

Jamie Johnson – Director of Friends Leadership

2 thoughts on “God’s Timing (Acts 16:1-10)

  1. Jamie,

    You raise some interesting and thought provoking questions about the way God leads, the nature and origin of “closed doors” for ministry, the way that the HS guides as a result of something that “doesn’t seem to be working,” and more. To say that all closed doors are caused by God is nonsense. There is such a thing as sin and poor decisions are made in this world. For example, despite attempts at revisionist histories, the Holocaust really happened. There is no sane person who would say that God was responsible for those millions of “closed doors” and tragic endings. That happens in countless (and thankfully) less brutal ways every day. However, the sin of this world does not compromise God’s sovereignty or the ability of His Spirit to still move, direct, and guide. Sometimes, as with Paul and Barnabas in Acts 16, the HS shuts the doors. Other times, He simply takes the doors that have been shut and somehow is able to craft it (or graft it) into a a part of His master plan. Just as closed doors are real, so is Romans 8:28.

    Either way, what a great opportunity to trust the Lord and to “learn to be patient, to wait and listen, and then upon hearing God’s call, to faithfully move in the direction he is leading us!”

    It was good to see you last weekend. Thanks for your leadership… and thanks for the post! — Jim Le Shana

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Jim! And you are certainly correct. It is the work of discernment, through individual prayer, spiritual direction, community investment to figure out if what is being closed off to us is the work of God or the work of Satan. Thank goodness for a God who is active in our midst!

Comments are closed.