There are many Christians who could testify that God works in mysterious ways. A wrong turn became the right one because God had something in store in that area. A simple walk became a lifesaver because you have met someone who was depressed. You listened to a gut feeling and you have been saved in an impending accident. A call or a message to a friend has become an affirmation of his or her prayers. We have so many experiences like these that we could consider mysterious when we look back. But when we reflect deeper, we could see that they were actually God’s ways to steer us into His will.
Paul in the book of Acts had a similar experience with us. In Acts 16:6 to 7, he was barred by the Holy Spirit into going to Asia. Paul was not also allowed by God to go to Bythinia which was in Asia minor. What can we learn from this experience of Paul?
First, God will find a way to reveal His plan for us. Paul and his companions had a plan. They must strategize and analyze why they should do mission in Asia. The Holy Spirit prevented them not only once but twice.
In our lives, let us listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God may have been sending messages through the events around us. What is God trying to tell you in this Covid-19 pandemic? Sometimes, when there is no message, do not be discouraged. No message may also mean a message.
Second, God’s way is always better than our way. Paul had a vision to go to Macedonia. He went there with his companions and along the way, they met Luke, a medical doctor and a historian. If Paul insisted in going to Asia, then we could not have read the Gospel according to Luke and the book of Acts.
In going to Asia, Paul might have been able to preach the Gospel without being imprisoned but God led him to imprisonment. Paul’s imprisonment became the avenue in which Paul wrote letters to churches and individuals. Sometimes, Paul could not write because he was chained. Paul dictated his letters and Luke was the one who wrote it. Their partnership resulted into a successful writing ministry. Luke wrote two books, and Paul wrote 13 or maybe 14 books. These books are 55 percent of the New Testament.
The areas that Paul wanted to go were later reached by Peter. In that area, the Council of Nicea was later formed and it produced the Nicene Creed. It was not meant to be part of the missionary journey of Paul.
If God is hindering you to do something, pray and listen because God has something in store for you! God continues to work in mysterious ways.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on