Have you ever been prevented from doing something? I’m sure you have; we have plans, ideas, dreams, visions that don’t always happen straight away.
We can be prevented by finances, people, circumstances or health.
Paul arrived at Derbe, where he had seen great success on his first missionary journey. He was keen to see what was happening in the Churches he’d previously planted in the regions of Asia (modern day Turkey). The Churches were in the most part strong, healthy and growing. Why wouldn’t you want to go and be encouraged by the fruits of your hard work?
However, the Holy Spirit prevented him from traveling there. Whichever way he turned, he was prevented. He must have felt rather frustrated.
In this time of frustration Paul had a vision:
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 16:9-10 (NLT)
Paul and his team respond to the vision immediately and go! Immediately things started to happen that Paul hadn’t yet fully considered. Firstly, in Troas he picked up a young Doctor by the name of Luke, who joined the team and who went on to write the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Secondly, there was an enlargement of vision and purpose. Paul wanted to reach more cities, but God wanted him to reach a new continent. Now they had moved from Asia to Europe.
Frustration is not all bad.
As individuals and certainly as a church, we have been through and experienced seasons of frustration and prevention. If we’re ready through these seasons, God will open new doors and new opportunities through fresh and exciting vision.
God is showing us new vision and giving us new opportunities.
Our challenge is to continue to see what He’s showing us and respond. Now is the time to act! Let’s engage with our One Mission!
This Sunday is another brand new opportunity. Let’s pray, expect, engage and go!