God Reveals His Will to Those Willing to Obey

by Wayne Barber

God's will is not mystical. Walking with God is a joy and He reveals His will to us to the degree we are willing to receive it. The key to walking with God is being willing to do what He says to do! Even when God chooses to use a bad circumstance to say it.

We have been following Paul's journey as he discerned God's will for him through some tough circumstances. We have watched as God showed him that His ways were not Paul's ways. Paul wanted so much to go back into Asia and preach where he had preached on his first journey, but the Holy Spirit had other ideas.

Then we saw how God showed Paul that His wisdom is so much greater than Paul's wisdom. God brought him right to Troas, where it was clearly revealed to Paul that God wanted him in Macedonia.

It is so exciting to watch how God's wisdom is also revealed in the fact that God's world is always much greater than our world. In Acts 16:10 we see Paul's absolute willingness to obey God. Luke writes: "when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."

Note the word "immediately"! It comes from the Greek word euths [or euthéo\s, which is often used interchangeably in the mss.]. Euths means "straight forward, without any hesitation." It is interesting that the verb is plural: "We sought to go into Macedonia." Others besides Luke were with Paul, but there is no hesitation or disagreement with Paul's decision. This is leadership. We follow Him, they will follow us!

Secondly, note the word "conclude"-sumbibzo\. This word shows that the vision was not the only thing that settled it in their minds that they were to go to Macedonia. sumbibzois from sn, meaning "together with, that which causes something to be cohesive," and bibzo\," meaning to cause to come together. Combining the words gives emphasis to the joint meaning, and we could translate it as "when things finally come together."

The fact that they couldn't get into Phyrgia and Bithynia was a major piece of the puzzle! Then they had to factor in the vision that God had given. It wasn't just the pizza that they had had the night before! Summarizing it all, they "concluded" that they needed to go to Macedonia.

"So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis and from there to Philippi" (vv. 11,12). Philippi was the first city in which a church was established in Europe. The man from Macedonia was Europe standing and pleading for the gospel in a figurative way. Paul had a simple province on his mind but God had the world on His.

God's world is always bigger than our world if we will just allow His wisdom to change our course in life. But aren't we funny people? How frustrated we get when it appears God has not accepted our agenda.

Years ago, I was hunting for white tail deer in a Louisiana swamp. The swamp looked the same in every direction, so the leaders gave us each a compass to find our way back.

I didn't need a compass! I might get lost in a mall but not in the woods. But they insisted, so I took the compass and headed off into the swamp. I walked and walked, slowly stalking through the woods. After about three hours, having seen a few deer but no bucks, I thought that I'd better be heading back to the Jeep.

I was not about to use the compass! I walked in what I was sure was the right direction, and walked right into a creek. Oops! I hadn't seen a creek all day. Then I walked in the opposite direction and ran into the creek again! It seemed like I was surrounded by that creek. Finally I had to get my compass out, which was preset to take me to the Jeep. Then I walked very deliberately in the direction it indicated-and to make a long story short, I walked right to the Jeep! I could almost hear God say, "Hey, you aren't as smart as you thought, are you?"

If we would just allow God to lead us through His Word; willing to do whatever He tells us; we would discover that His ways are so much better than ours! His wisdom is so much better than ours! And His world is bigger than our world! Always!

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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