You’ve heard people say: “God opened a door” or “God closed a door.” I preached this morning at Noonday Baptist Church (Kennesaw, GA). Beginning March 1st, I will serve as their interim pastor on the weekends. Today we looked today at the Book of Acts– the beginning of the 2nd Missionary Journey. Here’s a review:
- Desire (15:36) Many times God puts His direction on our hearts. We just keep thinking about it, it lines up with His revealed purposes…and it’s His direction. Some people have been made to feel that if it’s God’s will, we can’t like it! Don’t live like that! Many times God turns our heads, puts a desire in our hearts and it’s His leading.
- Conflict (15:37-41) It’s pleasant to be led by a Godly desire–it’s painful to find direction through conflict–but it happens. God directed Saul one way and Barnabas another. Let’s not waste our conflicts! Let’s get on our faces, examine our hearts, take time to grow, and perhaps conflict will be the very thing God uses to tell us which way to go. Don’t run from conflict–let conflict move us to run to God…for direction!
- Mentoring (16:3) Barnabus took John Mark. Paul invited young Timothy to go along. God uses mentors to open doors and give direction. Who believed in you? Who are you encouraging? That’s how Kingdom work gets done. And, often God uses Godly leaders to point us to the open door.
- Divine Intervention (16:6-10) Notice the wording: “forbidden” and “did not permit” It’s not clear how God gave this direction but somehow the door closed. They kept moving (responding to the light they had) but the doors just kept closing. A closed-door doesn’t mean God’s through. It may be the wrong direction or wrong time or we’re not quite ready. God uses His Word, Godly counsel, good and bad circumstances, and indwelling peace to give Divine direction. Let’s remember, if something is difficult, it still may be the will of God. Just take a little more time to listen. And, God may open a door by showing you a need….
- Need (16:9) We can’t meet every need. However, God clearly uses needs to break the hearts of His children and sometimes seeing the need give us direction as to where God is opening a door. The need may be a hurting person. The need may be a prepared person…
- Divine Appointment (16:14) Lydia was ready to respond to the Gospel. God had prepared her heart and He opened her heart to receive the message. Her responsiveness gave Paul and Silas direction.
- Annoyance (16:16-18) Sometimes the difficult, nagging, annoying thing becomes the very thing God uses to direct us. Paul’s response to the slave-girl became the very thing God used to open another door–the prison door!
- Chains (16:22-40) The chains, problems and prisons of life become instruments in God’s hands. He uses them to put His grace on display.