Precious Testimonies Ministry Encourager
DISCERNING GOD'S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE
Jesus Did It!
By: Jim Barbarossa
Recently I was reading a little about the Apostle Paul in Acts 16. In verses 1 to 5, he completed his mission to revisit all the churches that were already planted.
In verse 6 Paul sets out to establish more churches in Asia and the Holy Spirit stops him. Paul was restrained by the Holy Spirit from going to this location.
So Paul in verse 7 headed north toward Bithynia, but when they reached Mysia, the Holy Spirit said, "Go no further to the north."
In verse 8 it says: Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.
When Paul was stopped from going to Asia, he went towards Bithynia. When Paul was stopped from going to Bithynia, he headed towards Troas. Paul always stayed focused on the mission of preaching the gospel while seeking direction.
Paul kept going. When one door closed, he moved in another direction. God used a series of closed doors to get Paul where he wanted him to be; to get him to the open door that God had planned for him. The Holy Spirit led Paul through restraint; He did not come right out and tell Paul exactly where to minister when Paul first started out on his mission assignment.
RATHER: THE HOLY SPIRIT SHUT DOORS - RESTRAINED - AND PULLED AT PAUL'S HEART TO MOVE HIM IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION THAN WHERE HE WAS HEADING.
God reminded me of something He said to me when I was first saved. My wife, Carla, and I were standing in front of the empty land that our home and our storage business now sits on.
God said to me, "Through this land I will bring much righteousness and prosperity. Do not forget where you got it."
He then said, "Use the business sense and the natural skills and abilities that I have given you. Do what you know to do, and if you get headed in the wrong direction, I will stop you!"
Over the years, God has been faithful to what He said to me. Like Paul, I have been restrained at times; changed direction; stopped again ... but always kept focused on the mission: To reach lost souls and teach Christians how to reach lost souls.
Like Paul, I have had to keep going. Paul did not allow closed doors to discourage him or stop him. Despite not having clear direction from God, Paul was called to preach ... and that he kept doing. He kept going; waiting and trusting for God to give him clear direction at the right time. The important point here is that Paul did not allow closed doors to discourage him or stop him. Paul did not quit, and he used the closed doors to lead him to the open door.
About five years ago (It is 2009 as I write this), all the doors to churches in the USA closed to Carla and I, and at that time an open door came by email to send tapes and tracts to India. Well ... you know the rest of the story. Had the Holy Spirit not restrained us and closed certain doors, there would never have been Tract, Tape and CD Outreaches, and we would never have started to go into the Spanish speaking nations.
When doors seem to be closing all around you, ask God to reveal to you which direction He wants you to go. Use the closed doors to lead to the open door.
When doors close, do not try to keep them open. Do not fight against the Spirit of God, but move in the direction that is open to you, but also be greatly discerning as well that you have peace in your spirit!
Thus in summary:
NOT EVERY OPEN DOOR IS A GOD DOOR! SO REMEMBER TWO IMPORTANT THINGS:
1. DO NOT TRY TO PUSH OPEN CLOSED DOORS
2. BE LED BY THE SPIRIT CONCERNING OPEN DOORS
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
gospel of the kingdom [Jesus
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for
a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click FOR JESUS on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - that's all you are asked to do. God will reward you! (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one or more of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... especially young people). Thank you so much!
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