Prevented by the Holy Spirit?

blocked path

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. – Acts 16:6

Have you ever had a situation where everything seemed to be perfect and looked to be the right course that your life was taking? My wife and I thought for certain we would be moving to Michigan to minister in a great church. It all fit perfectly. Believe me, there were some issues that we would need to overcome, but they were not insurmountable. We fell in love with the people from the start. There was a lot of great things going on in the church. The former pastor had begun the process of much needed changes and the church was poised to move forward. We felt the call to go, until we got the call. The chairman of the search committee called to tell me that they did not have any specific reason, but they were going with someone else as their Senior Pastor.

The news couldn’t have come at a worse time. I was getting dressed and ready to go to another interview at a local church. Couldn’t this wait until after my interview? How was this news going to affect my interview I was about to have? What was God trying to teach me? What exactly was God telling me? I am sure that Paul and his “crew” were asking similar questions when the Holy Spirit prevented them from preaching in Asia. Didn’t God want the good news preached in Asia? Paul and his team were in the area and willing and able to do great things for God in Asia. Why did God not want them to go? We don’t know and will probably never know.

In Isaiah 55:8-9 God gives us a minor clue, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God’s plans and thoughts are greater and higher than anything we could ever dream up. My responsibility is to just remain faithful and depend on Him to reveal what He wishes to reveal in his own timing. This is never easy, but it is the only path that really makes sense. As wise as I may think that I am, I am limited by my humanness. I see my world and my future through a fallen and sinful human mind that is being sanctified each and every day, but it is still imperfect. God sees me and my future through the perfection of His will.

As I am sitting here writing this I am listening to music. One of my favorite songs came on my Amazon player. It is Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture. The chorus and bridge seems very apropos for where I am at right now:

You stay the same through the ages, Your love never changes, There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage, I don’t have to be afraid, Because I know that You love me, Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good

2 thoughts on “Prevented by the Holy Spirit?

  1. I’m sorry about Detroit but as we know God knows the plans for your life and they are great plans. Also I needed to read this because I sense God wants me to drop one thing temporary so I can focus on other things. I admit this is painful to me but I need to have faith that God also knows the plans He has for me and they are great plans.

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