The God of Direction and Deliverance
March 12, 2006
INTRODUCTION: Have you ever sensed that the Lord had closed a door on you? Have you ever sensed that the Lord had opened a door for you? Have you found yourself in a time of perplexity concerning what's next?
The second missionary journey has just begun with Paul, Silas, and Timothy; later to be joined by Dr. Luke. Theirs is excitement, along with a sense of real clarity and direction. Paul had even felt led to move from west to east as opposed to the east to west movement of the first journey.
This is a passage that seems to magnify the overruling power of our dear Lord Jesus. At the start, Paul could have told you where he thought the Lord was leading, however, it was not long until he was not so sure. He went from a time of clear vision to extreme vagueness.
This passage challenges me to realize that there are times that I see closed doors that are really open opportunities. God often closes doors in order to open new opportunities. By the way, the doors that God closes may not be God's denials, but only God's delays. Someone said the Lord always answers prayers: yes, no, not now, and you must be kidding!
We will learn as we make our way through Acts that this is one of God's delays. His delays often get us to where we are going but may be not where we thought. The Lord rules and, at times, overrules.
I. THE CLOSED DOOR. 6
A. THE MINISTRY OF THE SAINTS. 6a
The missionaries were moving westward and everywhere they went they saw needs. They saw lost people and ripened harvest fields. They would have stopped everywhere, and Europe never would have been evangelized in their lifetime.
B. THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT. 6b
"they were forbidden (hindered) by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia" - it was not the Holy Spirit's time for Asia Minor, so Paul could not stay. There is a mixture of strategical planning and inner ...
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