”How do I know if it is God’s will?” I’m often asked.
1. Does it fit the criteria of Philippians 4:8? Is it good, excellent, praiseworthy, honorable, admirable?
2. Does it agree with the call on your Life in this season?
3. Do you have peace?
If the answer is yes. Then go for it.
This morning I read Acts 16. Paul and his team were going to Asia to preach the gospel. This desire on their hearts fit the criteria of Philippians 4:8. It was definitely God’s plan for Paul to preach the Gospel to Gentiles, but the Holy Spirit said, “No”.
My question after reading that passage was, “How did the Holy Spirit tell them no?” Through circumstances? Through a prophetic word? I felt as if the Lord said to me this morning, the Holy Spirit spoke through an absence of peace.
Paul and his team, led by the Holy Spirit, said “No” to the good so they were available to say “Yes” to the better.
After deciding not to go to Asia, Paul had a dream. He was to go to Macedonia. God had some women who needed to hear the gospel and a young woman who needed to be set free. (God loves His girls).
In Macedonia, Paul met Lydia, a wealthy businesswomen. She became a believer and was baptized. She was great supporter of Paul and helped spread the gospel in her region.
Also I n Macedonia, Paul encountered a slave girl who was demon possessed and being pimped out by her masters to tell fortunes. Paul set her free at the expense of his freedom.
But when we see the bigger picture, God didn’t actually tell Paul “No, he couldn’t go to Asia.” He was actually saying, “Not yet.” Because eventually Paul made it to Asia. We know it as the Church of Ephesus to whom Paul wrote the letter we know as Ephesians.
Lessons learned from Paul this morning:
1. Listen to your inner peace when making decisions.
2. God loves and values His daughters.
3. Sometimes when we think God is saying, “No”, He is actually saying, “Not yet.”
“Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.”
Acts of the Apostles 16:6-7 NLT