3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: verse by verse through Acts

[Teaching Carrie how to fly a kit story.]

[2] [Flying kites with kids story.]

You know what? We can live like that kite. Our lives can be lived like they’re meant to be lived. We can soar above the muck and the mire of mediocrity and live an elevated life. Now I’m not talking about having a life of money or power or fame. I’m talking about living a life of true joy and love and victory and meaning and purpose. Having and being all that God wants us to be is what gets us off the ground.

[3] You see, we can fly high like a kite if we’ll simply fill our sails with the Spirit of Almighty God. He’s the wind that pushes us upward to live like we were meant to live.

Too many people have given up on flying through life. Too many people have settled on having a mundane, boring, defeated, addicted, depressed, lonely, earthly, common, mediocre life that never gets off the ground. What a shame and what a waste.

This morning we’re going to see what it really means to live a Spirit-led life and how God wants to elevate our lives like the wind elevates a kite. We’ll be in chapter sixteen of the book of Acts where Paul’s in the early stages of his second missionary journey. What we’ll see here is the amazing things that the Spirit can do through those that are led by Him.

[4] The first things we see the Spirit do is to guide Paul in a very specific way. The Holy Spirit seeks to help navigate us to where we need to be going on this journey of life.

[Read Acts 16:6-12.]

So Paul, Silas and Timothy left Lystra, where they picked up Timothy, and intended to go into Asia to do some church planting, but the Spirit wouldn’t let them go there. Instead, they were guided into Europe to do ministry there.

[Pew Bible map #9 exercise.]

[Read Acts 16:6-10.]

Now, we don’t know exactly how the Spirit got the message to Paul not to go into Asia or Bithynia to do ministry. As far as going to Macedonia, the Spirit spoke to Paul in a vision very specific instructions. So, how did Paul know the Spirit forbade him to go into Asia?

Since there’s no mention of a prophet speaking to him, and no mention of other visions, I think he could sense the Spirit disrupting his spirit when he tried to go into Asia and Bithynia. Maybe when he prayed about going to these places, or even when he was planning his trip, he just couldn’t get any peace about going there. In reality, it was the Spirit of God keeping him from where he shouldn’t be by disturbing him inside.

But that’s how the Spirit works as He’s guiding us through life. He gives us peace when we’re making the right decisions, and he disturbs us inside when we’re headed in the wrong direction.

Here the Spirit threw Paul a curveball and took him into Europe instead of into Asia to do ministry. It wasn’t what Paul had planned to do, but he went with it and the results are simply amazing! The very first European Christian convert and subsequent church was started right there in Philippi. And of course, the gospel traveled throughout Europe and eventually made it throughout the entire western world. Paul was able to be a part of that because he followed the Spirit’s leading. How exciting and rewarding it is to follow the Spirit’s guidance in this life. God’s got great plans for us if we’ll simply follow His lead.

I read about a group of missionaries from the early twentieth century known as one-way missionaries. They were called this because they would pack all their earthly belongings into coffins and buy one-way tickets to whatever mission field they were called to knowing they would never return home. The story is told of one such missionary named A. W. Milne who felt called to a tribe of headhunters in New Hebrides. (Even though all other missionaries who went to this tribe were killed by the people there.) But it didn’t stop A. W. He knew God wanted him there so off he went. He ended up spending 35 years ministering to that tribe of people before dying there. On his tombstone the tribes people wrote, “When he came here there was no light. When he left there was no darkness.”

When God guides us in a specific way He’s got some great plans for us and through us. We should be grateful that the Spirit is willing to lead us through this life. Seek His guidance for the decisions that you need to make. May His Spirit give you the green light of peace, or may His Spirit stop you from going the wrong way or from going too soon.

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