Read it! Acts 16
During the night Paul had a vision
of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision,
we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia,
concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Think it through
Acts 16 is a study of where Paul goes… and doesn’t go. He goes to Derbe and Lystra, Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit kept him out of Asia. His group tries to enter Bithynia but “the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t allow them to.” (I would love to know more about that! What was that like, to be blocked by the Spirit of Jesus?) Paul doesn’t leave a jail cell when released by an earthquake, nor does he leave the jailer’s home when released by the magistrates. But the last words of Acts 16 are, “Then they left”!
In all of this going and not going, it’s clear that Paul and his companions were being led by the Holy Spirit. We can’t know exactly how the Spirit was working when it blocked Asia and Mysia, but we know exactly how Paul got the message to travel to Macedonia: a vision. God placed a pleading Macedonian man on Paul’s heart, and Paul paid attention.
I once heard a speaker say that we all have people who break our hearts for God. For her, it was battered women. For some, it’s starving third world children, or the homeless, or… you name it. Of course, our hearts for Jesus hurt for all hurting people, but I think that God calls us to give our time and efforts to our Holy Spirit “Specialty.” We are His instruments and He’s given us each a special song to play.
Live it like you mean it
Who has God placed on your heart as your Holy Spirit Specialty? Where does He want you to take your time and energy in this season of your life? Once you know, decide to do one thing this week for the people who make your heart burn. Could you write a check, give your time, or donate goods?
Right now, my “specialty” in ministry is the hurting mom, the woman who feels like a failure as a mom and wife. Her heart is tender and discouraged, and she’s missing out on God’s abundance. That’s my gal. God makes my heart break for her. He’s asked me to give my time and energy to help her, encourage her, and love her in His name. And so I’m trying to go.
Lift it up
Lord, You’ve given me a heart for my struggling sisters in Christ. Lead me to them. Show me where to go… and when to stay. Lead me by Your Spirit. Block any wrong path; give me a vision of the right one. I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Tell Me About It
True confession: Sometimes I feel like my “specialty” in ministry isn’t as worthy as other people’s specialties (I know, I know). Am I crazy or do you ever feel this way?
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