“So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” – Acts 16:8-10 (ESV)
Remember yesterday’s post covered the fact that while Paul was on this journey the Spirit hindered him from going to two places. I still adhere to the reason being that God had need of him in another place. When you look at Asia, it’s HUGE. For Paul to have camped out there may have hindered the spread of the gospel. Because……..
When God closes one door (or two in this case) He opens a window. It’s a cheesy saying, but it’s true.
Right after Paul obeys the Spirit and continues on to Troas, 400 miles later he gets a vision in the night from God.
I love this! First, however, contemplate yourself on foot for 400 miles. You have no tennis shoes, no hair care products much less deodorant, a bar of soap or a toothbrush, you have no tote bag with the latest summer read in it, and you have no air conditioner. You’re not sure where your next meal will be because, quite frankly, you’re not even sure where God is leading you.
Now, back to the vision. In the vision, is a man from Macedonia (Thessalonica is there) urging Paul to come there and help them.
Does Paul hang out in Troas and shop? No. Immediately, he leaves for Macedonia because he and his fellow travelers have realized that God is sending them there to share the gospel.
Don’t you know that when the Spirit hindered their sharing in two other places they must have wondered what God was doing? This was an answer to their question, for sure. God had a different place for them to go. It was confirmation for them that they were doing His will.
Come back Monday. I’ll share more of the significance of Thessalonica.
In the meantime, can you remember a time when God hindered your plans and you understood on the back side why?