Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. (Acts 16:5-7)
The passage cited above from Acts 16 is fascinating because Paul and his preacher friends were on their way to Phrygia and Galatia to do something completely righteous, Christ-like, and holy: they were going to preach. So, why on earth would “the Spirit of Jesus not allow them to”? I’m sure Paul and his friends were left scratching their heads as they worked to find one good reason why they shouldn’t be preaching in Prygia, Galatia, and Bithynia. I believe the reason lies in a little word we call “timing.”
Sometimes, it’s the right move, but the wrong time. If the enemy can’t get us to “cool our faith,” he’ll simply tempt us to “take our faith into our own hands,” ignoring the details God is trying to share with us.
Henry Blackaby once wrote, “The world shouts at us, ‘Don’t just stand there, do something!” But, God whispers, ‘Don’t just do something, stand there.” God very much wants to include us in His plans. But, much like the “false start” penalty in the NFL, we sometimes get ahead of the game. We’ve got to remember: God, alone, sees the bigger picture.
There may well be times in your life that God gives you a “red light” even when it appears there’s not a single logical reason for staying put and staying quiet. That’s when satan baits us. “What are you waiting on??”, he hisses. “The ‘window’ is closing!” We’re tempted to “jump the gun,” to take matters into your own hands. Satan is a liar.
If there’s something in your sights you just know God is telling you to do – but circumstances don’t seem to be lining up as fast as you’d like – be patient. Timing (God’s timing) is everything. In Acts 16:8-10, we’re told that during the night God gave Paul a vision/dream of a man in Macedonia begging, “Come and help us.” So they did. And they found nothing but “green lights” from God this time.
Soli Deo Gorlia, Nick