Acts 16:9, NIV
During the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.
God shows us the way ahead in so many different ways. If there is something happening right before our eyes that needs our help or involvement, then God doesn’t need to give us a vision . We simply need to act responsibly in simple obedience to the love of God which will always constrain us to do what is right. We don’t need an instruction to help someone who has fallen, or share our food with someone who is hungry. Those are things we should do without being asked – they are part of the standing orders for the Body of Christ.
But at other times, God may want us to do something “right out of the box” – something we couldn’t possibly have known about in the natural. It’s at times like this that God uses different methods to get our attention. Sometimes it’s an inner and insistent voice. From being a young child I learnt from my Mum and Dad how important it was to recognise this inner voice of God. Later in life there were a couple of occasions when God spoke to me like that and I was instrumental in saving someone’s life.
Then there are those rarer occasions, when God uses more than the “still small voice” on the inside. He gives a clear vision. This is what happened to Paul when he was in Troas. In his vision a man from Macedonia was calling for help. It was Paul’s obedience to this vision that took the Gospel into Europe for the first time. The most significant moment in my own pilgrimage was when I was starting to rebuild an old car, but the chassis frame was bent. As I looked at it God spoke to me and said, “You could repair this broken car, but I can restore broken lives. Which is more important?” It was that word from the Lord which set me on my life’s calling to bring healing and restoration to hurting and broken people.
When God does speak clearly to us, He doesn’t over-ride our free will. It is up to us to choose what we do. But when we obey, we will always discover that His way is the path of blessing and fruitfulness.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you are a God who speaks – that you are a Father who loves to show your children the way to go. Help me to be always listening for your voice and give me the courage to do those things you ask me to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.