Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Spiritual Stimulus Plan - Part 2 - "Direction"

A stimulus is supposed to energize something that has stopped moving. Economies may need them, industries may need them, and human beings may need them. Spiritually, we tend to coast from one encounter with God to the next never realizing that God has equipped us through the Holy Spirit with the ability to continually gain momentum without ever pausing to coast.

To review, you may want to go back and read the first part of the "Spiritual Stimulus Plan". You can read it here.

Part 2 of the Spiritual Stimulus begins in Acts 16:6-7, "

They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go ino Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them".

It is startling to realize that Paul and Silas are "forbidden by the Holy Spirit" to preach the word in Asia. They are stopped by God from doing what appears to be a very good thing. Is it ever wrong to do something good? Evidently! I wonder if we are ever working against the Holy Spirit by insisting on moving forward with our own good ideas and good intentions. Perhaps we fail in our good works because the Spirit of Jesus is not permitting us to succeed. You see, God does not want us to be good--he wants us to be obedient. He is not asking us for our opinions or for our ideas--He just wants us to follow Him. One of the greatest spiritual motivators, I suppose, that we can ever receive is God-given direction. We don't have to figure it out ourselves--just look to God for direction. And in fact, to come up with our own plan, is to risk the opposition of God.

So how to we find out what God wants us to do? We simply do what Jesus did. In John 5:19-24, Jesus lays out how he knows what to do. Check it out for yourself but the bottom line is that Jesus looks to see what the Father is doing and then simply does that. In our Acts 16 text, we see that Paul gets direction in the form of a vision (16:8-10). Henry Blackaby says that God speaks primarily through: prayer, the church, circumstances, and the Scriptures. Simply note what you hear from these four sources and then put the information together. Of course, it is easier said than done. My wife writes a blog detailing The JOURNEY that provides stories of how God provides direction. You can visit Tina's blog at

We need direction in order to know which way to go. If your struggling today and wondering what you should be doing, let me suggest that you get alone and that you get quiet. Listen more than you speak. God is most likely telling you everything that you need to know through the voices that are around you. What are they saying? Are you listening? Jesus said in John 8:47 that those who belong to God hear what God is saying. Listen...

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