Acts 16:7 “. . . and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them . . .”
The day started out like any other day. I got up, got dressed, and after getting you all off to school I headed out to the car to go to work. After taking care of the animals I looked at my watch and was pleased to see that I had plenty of time. I started on my usual route but quickly came upon a sign – ROAD CLOSED.
I felt the tension increasing in my neck as I heaved a great sigh and started along the next best road to get to my destination. This road was winding and long – so much for having plenty of time to get to work. The frustration kept building as I tried to figure out what could possibly be the reason for this change in direction – or was there any reason? I don’t know, but I decided to look around and at least enjoy this different “scenic route.”
Sometimes when we are traveling full speed towards a life destination we run straight into a road block. Maybe we have declared a certain major in college or found what we thought was the perfect job or calling only to be stopped dead in our tracks by things beyond our control. Possibly a sickness curtails certain activity or lack of funds forces a change in plans – there are a hundred things that could send us on a detour from our original plan. These things can be so frustrating and confusing but we must always remember that God knows exactly where we are going even if we don’t.
Paul was on a missionary journey. He was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening all the churches there. Many were developing in their faith and the churches were growing by leaps and bounds. As the missionaries passed through a certain region of the area they came upon a huge road block. They were trying to go to a place called Bithynia, but the Holy Spirit would not permit them to go there. This may have been puzzling to Paul and his fellow travelers, but they obeyed the Spirit’s prompting and passed on into Troas.
While they were in Troas Paul had a vision of a man in Macedonia appealing to him to come to his region to help him. After seeing the vision, the men concluded that God was calling them to Macedonia, so they left immediately for that place. This change in direction became a pivotal juncture in the spreading of the gospel. The message was taken westward and God’s salvation plan was brought to Europe and the Western world.
We may not have a vision to show us why we have come upon detours or road blocks in our plans, but we do have the same God who knows exactly where He is taking us. So don’t become discouraged when you are forced to take a different road. Just get a tighter grip on your faith and as you travel the new way take some time to enjoy the scenic route. You never know where you will end up!