Formations Lesson for June 12- Listening to God through Circumstances
May 26 2011 by Wayne Proctor, pastor, Eure Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Acts 16:6-15

Traffic lights can be annoying. I’d rather they stay green all the time, at least for me. But that’s not possible, is it? Sometimes they are red, and sometimes the color is yellow, saying to proceed cautiously.

I haven’t decided which I like least, the red or the yellow. How about you?

The traffic light is, however, essential for safe travel through urban areas, and it also can serve as a metaphor for our prayer life and how we obey or disobey God.

The setting for chapter 16 is Paul’s second missionary journey.

This was a season for change in Paul’s life. His first journey was with Barnabas; his second and third would be with Silas.

Furthermore, his missionary team would grow.

The relationship cultivated with Timothy and his family on the first journey into Lystra would lead to Timothy joining Paul’s team (16:3). Later (at Troas) we will see that doctor Luke also becomes a valued member of this missionary enterprise (note 16:10 where the “they” references become “we”).

By all appearances, God was giving them the green light. But then things would change. At Mysia they seemed to hit a road block.

They wanted to go to the upper regions of north Galatia but God said “no.”

They would have been willing to go into the area around Ephesus, but God would say “later.”

Instead God sent them to Troas, one of the last stops available before entering what we know today as Europe. The new mission, as directed by the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Jesus) was the province of Macedonia, and the city of Philippi.

Philippi was an interesting city; heavily Roman and not so much Jewish. In fact, in order to find some “believers in God,” they had to go to the banks of the Gangites River.

There, on that particular Sabbath, they found a group of women who wanted to hear Paul’s message about Jesus Christ.

The lay leader of this fellowship was a woman from Thyatira, who went by the name Lydia. She was a woman of affluence and influence. She was a leader.

She was most generous and hospitable.

And, she would become a Christian. Historians refer to her as the “first Christian convert in Europe.”

She would be a game-changer.

Not only would she provide for the needs of Paul and his team, but she would be of significant influence to the spread of Christianity.

Red light, yellow light, green light; no, slow (wait or later), go — whether we like it or not, that’s the voice of God.
5/26/2011 4:35:00 AM by Wayne Proctor, pastor, Eure Baptist Church | with 0 comments

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.