“When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to” (Acts 16:7, NIV 2011).
It was peculiar how he met his wife. He had found Christ in a country that persecuted Christians. The small established church there then wished for him to have a Christian wife who would support his ministry. They brought a number of wife-possibilities to him, but he refused them. He brought a number of others to these same church leaders and they had refused his choices.
One day as he was driving to his church, he spotted a young woman walking. God spoke to him to stop and talk to her, but he was in a hurry and did not. He soon saw her again and God spoke the same. He initially passed her but then turned around and parked his car. Walking up to her, he handed her a New Testament. “I know you don’t know me, but read this. I will come by here next week and, if you are waiting, I will talk with you.” The next week he passed her but she was walking. The next week he saw her standing there so he stopped. “What did you think of the book?” he asked. “ I read it,” she said and added, “I accepted Jesus.” After some difficulty convincing the church, the two were married and now live for Christ in a country that persecutes Christians.
How do we make our decisions in life?
Not just the “whether I should teach Sunday School” or “whether I should go on this mission trip” decisions. How do we make the important decisions that hold us fast in the real world, like “what job should I take” and “who should I marry” and “when should I retire” decisions?
Do we want God’s Spirit to lead us?
Do we trust God’s Spirit to lead us?
Do we seek God’s Spirit to lead us?
Christians in difficult lands very often have nothing but God’s Spirit to show them a way in the darkness. And they are blessed by that dependence, for within it they see God; while we in our well resourced countries, with so many possibilities, so often see only the natural consequences of our efforts.
I need to learn from this God-dependent man. I need to seek more, listen harder, trust more, obey more; then perhaps I will see God more in this real world that I seek to control.
Help me listen for your Spirit today.