Thursday, June 12, 2014

Have you ever had to take a detour? Some of the longest nights of my life have been due to roadblocks and bypasses. On a trip to Europe we were scheduled to take a train from France to Spain. We waited and waited and waited and finally learned that there was a fire that spanned across the railroad tracks and prevented us from taking the train. Our group and all of the train passengers boarded busses and traveled through the night to get to our destination. We were sleepy and uncomfortable. We longed for our journey to be different.  It’s not fun to deal with roadblocks but thank goodness we were able to bypass the fire and safely get to our destination. There was a way around the roadblock. Our leaders had a plan. They helped us change direction. They steered us to our destination. I’m thankful for that detour. I’m thankful that we didn’t set out and get in the middle of hazardous situation. We safely arrived at our destination and enjoyed the beauty of Spain. Sometimes detours and bypasses and roadblocks are the best thing for us!
During Paul’s Second Missionary Journey he experienced a roadblock of sorts. He and Silas had planned to go into to Asia but for some reason the Holy Spirit told them not to go that route. We don’t know if they were told through a prophet, a vision, an inner conviction, or in some other way but the men listened to God. Their journey didn’t take them to Asia but to Macedonia where they were able to spread the Gospel and see God work in mighty ways. Paul and Silas led Lydia and a jailer to Christ soon after they arrived in Macedonia. The Gospel was spreading!  I wander what might have happened to Paul and Silas if they hadn’t listened to God’s Spirit? What might have happened to them and to the Gospel message if they had not taken the bypass? Sometimes on our journey, in our seasons, we too encounter a change of plans. We have to take a detour. Knowing where to travel on our journey and how to get there is one of our biggest challenges. Are you like Paul and Silas willing to listen to God’s plans? When we listen to God’s leading and take his bypasses, we get to see the blessings he has in store for us!
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!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
Acts 16:1-10

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