Unstoppable! 'Called to Macedonia' — Acts 16:6-10

Sunday, August 18, 2024

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. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.

That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

— Acts 16:6-10 NLT

Key Thought

Paul sought to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as he did his missionary work. As promised by Jesus (Acts 1:8), the Holy Spirit did guide Paul. However, if you are like me, you wonder how the Spirit of Jesus let Paul and his team know not to go into the province of Asia.* Twice, the Spirit prevented them from going there. Thankfully, after being prevented from carrying out their original plans, Luke did tell us that Jesus used a vision to show them what they should do. Paul's vision was a man from Macedonia pleading for the mission team to come to Macedonia and help them. I come away from these events with this strong conviction: Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord will guide our work to reach the world. There may not be a set formula or fixed method, but the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us in our work. We are not alone. The Lord goes with us, and the Spirit guides us as we seek to serve the Lord!

* The province of Asia was in present-day Turkey, on the east side of the Aegean Sea. Paul did preach in the province of Asia later on this missionary journey (Acts 18:19-21) and on his next missionary journey (Acts 19:10).

Today's Prayer

Father God, as I seek to live for Jesus, I do pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me in my decisions, empower me in my efforts, and open the doors of people's hearts to your message. I do not want to try to live my life for you on my own efforts. I am thankful for your assurance that you — as Father, Son, and Spirit — go with me. In Jesus' name, I thank you. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 139:1-12
  • Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 5:16, 25

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 16:6-10 NLT — 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. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.

That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.