They were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia…the Spirit did not permit them. Acts 16:6-7 (NKJV)
For his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul planned to return to Asia. It seemed like a good plan; a lot of positive things had happened there on his first missionary journey. So why not launch out in that direction again, and drive even deeper into Asia?
There was just one problem…Paul's plan wasn't God's plan. The Lord didn't want Paul to push into Asia, and so we're simply told that the Spirit didn't allow him to go any further. God shut the door.
However, just as God shut one door, He opened another. Paul received a vision of a man begging for help in Macedonia, which was in the opposite direction, towards Europe. Understanding this vision had come from the Lord, Paul was able to conclude it was God's will for him to go Europe instead of Asia. So he switched directions and accomplished more for the Kingdom of Christ than he could have ever imagined…because he was walking in God's perfect will.
Sometimes, God does the same thing with us. He shuts the door we were planning on going through, the door we thought led to His will for our lives. A contract on a house falls through, a promotion doesn't pan out, or we get rejected for a loan. The door slams shut. But shortly afterwards, a fairer contract comes along, a better opportunity at work opens up, a wiser loan is secured. A new door swings open, and we're able to discern God's will, which was really better to begin with.
Few things can confuse and discourage us like the sound of a door slamming in our face. But when that happens, remember that God is often the one behind it, and that He's only closed that door because His will involves a better one for you.
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)
Consistency breeds security. If you're an employer, you take comfort in knowing that you have consistent employees working for you. If your car needs to be fixed, you're going to take it to a mechanic who has consistently performed well. And if you're a coach, you'll probably draw up a play at the end of a tight game that puts the ball in the hands of your best and most consistent player.