by Paul List:
My children know and hear my voice. They know when I mean business and when I’m being silly. A slight elevation in volume, a linear tone, or a quick look and they know my attitude. As children, they are always testing me. Sometimes it is to see if they can stay a little longer in the park. Before bed time they will test to see if they can stay up a little later. However much they test, we have an understanding in my house; Daddy gets the final word.
As children of God, we should be accustomed to hearing and obeying His commands. He speaks to us in prayer, song, Scripture reading and through sermons. His voice is the final authority in our lives, both now and in eternity. We would do well not to test Him as we tested our earthly fathers. His direction is divine, His will perfect.
Sometimes we get busy doing life. Church and missions are no different. From time to time, we get a change in plans, as directed from our Father above. We are told “no”, when it has been a longstanding program or activity. Change is hard for us to accept. However, living outside the will of God is by far harder. Paul in Acts gets a change in direction. Paul is seeking to live an obedient life of spreading the Gospel among the Gentiles of the world. Even Paul gets told “no”. His good intentions are stopped by the Holy Spirit:
Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.Acts 16:6-10
It is good spiritual practice to re-evaluate our lives periodically. As a church, it is no different. Just because something is a good idea, like taking the Gospel to Asia, doesn’t always mean that is God’s plan for you. Prayer is essential to knowing God’s will in our lives. Stop and take some time today and speak with the Father. You are His child, and He will guide you and be with you always. Evaluate your commitment and your actions, are they in God’s will? Are the things you did last year what God wants you to be doing in the next year?
Call out to Him, and He will surely answer, and remember, God gets the final word!