…kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word…

…kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word…

Acts 16:6-12 NKJV

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. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 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. Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.

It is interesting to study the way God extended His guidance to these early messengers of the Cross. It consisted mainly in prohibiting their movement when they attempted to take a course other than the right one.When they wanted to turn to the left, toward Asia, He stopped them.When they sought to turn to the right, toward Bithynia in Asia Minor, He stopped them again. In his later years,Paul would do some of his greatest work in that very region,yet now the door was closed before him by the Holy Spirit.The time was not yet ripe for the attack on these apparently impregnable bastions of the kingdom of Satan. Apollos needed to go there first to lay the groundwork. Paul and Barnabas were needed more urgently elsewhere and required further training before undertaking this responsible task.

Beloved, whenever you are in doubt as to which way to turn, submit your judgment absolutely to the Spirit of God, asking Him to shut every door but the right one. Say to Him,“ Blessed Spirit, I give to You the entire responsibility of closing every road and stopping every step that is not of God. Let me hear Your voice behind me whenever I ‘turn aside to the right or to the left’ [Deut. 5:32].” 

In the meantime, continue along the path you have already been traveling. Persist in your calling until you are clearly told to do something else. O traveler, the Spirit of Jesus is waiting to be to you what He was to Paul. Just be careful to obey even His smallest nudging or warning. Then after you have prayed the prayer of faith and there are no apparent hindrances, go forward with a confident heart. Do not be surprised if your answer comes in doors closing before you. But when doors are shut to the right and left, an open road is sure to lead to Troas. Luke waits for you there, and visions will point the way to where vast opportunities remain open, and faithful friends are waiting.

Is there some problem in your life to solve,

Some passage seeming full of mystery?

God knows, who brings the hidden things to light.

He keeps the key.

Is there some door closed by the Father’s hand

Which widely opened you had hoped to see?

Trust God and wait—for when

He shuts the door

He keeps the key.

Is there some earnest prayer unanswered yet,

Or answered NOT as you had thought ’twould be?

God will make clear His purpose by and by.

He keeps the key.

Have patience with your God, your patient God,

All wise, all knowing, no long lingerer He,

And of the door of all your future life He keeps the key.

Unfailing comfort, sweet and blessed rest,

To know of EVERY door He keeps the key.

That He at last when just HE sees is best,

Will give it THEE. 

Culled from streams in the desert

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