Our scripture this week (Acts 16:16-40) tells the story of Paul and his friends traveling to Macedonia to share the Gospel there. The lesson is one of obedience to God’s will, subordinating our desires and doing what He asks of us. While Paul’s group has success, they also meet opposition and suffer personal hardship, but God blesses their obedience in their mission.
It seems we find it hard to be obedient in everyday circumstances, how much harder is it to obey when we are challenged by the world? God understands the difficulties we face and gives us the strength and support we need to accomplish our tasks if we trust in Him and not in ourselves! If Paul had trusted himself, they would never have gone to Macedonia, until God sent the vision to Paul he was trying to go elsewhere.
When we go it alone, we often fail. God wants us to follow His plan for our lives, which isn’t always easy. We must choose to be obedient, He will not force us. His love is always there for us, to be the source of our hope and our guide to the work He has for us. When we go God’s way rather than our own, it may be difficult – Jesus tells us it is a narrow gate that leads to salvation (Matthew 7:13-14) and we must stay on the path – but when we keep God’s commandments we are blessed.
Ask God what He has in mind for you today and every day. We may not receive a vision as Paul did, but when we ask earnestly for guidance, God always has an answer. Listen for His voice and be ready to obey, and like Paul and Silas, God will have a mission for you.
Wise and wonderful God, we are grateful to be part of Your plan for salvation. Help us to listen for the direction You give, to be ready to go in Your name to share the Good News with all our brothers and sisters. Amen.