Summary: Catch the vision and hear the "Macedonian Call". We are in debt to Paul and Silas who let God turn them around and into Europe. Link included to free formatted text version, handout, and PowerPoint.
The Vision, The Venture, & The Victory
This is part 1 of a 3 part message from this chapter. The 3 people saved were Lydia [A TENDER heart--this sermon], the possessed slave girl [A TORMENTED heart], and the Philippian jailer [A TOUGHENED heart]. Please see all 3 sermons and PowerPoints at:
Paul has chosen Silas as his ministry partner, and begun his 2nd missionary journey, and something interesting happens in vv. 6-7:
“they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost”…“the spirit suffered them not”
They were sensitive to the leading of The Spirit, as we should be. We should pray every day, “Lord, I’ll go where you want me to go, I’ll be what you want me to be, I’ll do what you want me to do, I’ll say what you want me to say.”
Paul and Silas tried to go south into Asia, but God said no, and put up a roadblock. Then they tried to go north and had the same response. They had come from the east, so west was all they had west to the Aegean Sea and the region of Troas, where they awaited further instructions from God.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord…
This can apply to us personally, to our families, finances, moves, businesses, decisions, dating, our church, etc.
But also, the “stops” of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
Sometimes God closes doors, puts up roadblocks, when we are going the wrong way.
This isn’t an audible voice, but sometimes it’s an inner impression, a lack of peace inside. God sometimes uses outward circumstances to guide us, like a door closing…and the worst thing we can do is kick it down and barge thru anyway. If we insist on having our way God may do something that we won’t like in the end…He may let us!
We need to have God’s wisdom to know the difference between Satan’s hindrances and the Lord’s roadblocks.
Ill.—C.H. Spurgeon, as a teenager, decided to go to a certain college, made an appt. to talk to the president of the school/he went to the man’s home to meet w/ him and the butler let him in, and showed him to a sitting room/president never came, and after an hour of waiting Spurgeon left, figuring it must not be meant to be/…later he found out that the man had been all the while waiting for him in another room!
God divinely guided that day and kept C.H. on the right course.
Man’s disappointments are often God’s appointments! And when God closes one door he opens another. It happens in v. 9…
v. 9-10 He heard the “Macedonian Call”, as the song “Send the Light” says! And they crossed over into Europe…as far as you and I are concerned, that’s the most important call that’s ever been made or answered! Aren’t you glad Paul had the vision and answered the call?
Have you had the vision and answered the call?
Have you had a vision of your relatives walking toward the cliff that leads to hell? Have you answered their call—“come and help me!”?
Have you heard the call from broken homes—come and help us!?
Broken hearts/ruined lives/failing marriages/lost jobs?
Now, they don’t always say it that way…sometimes their cries for help are in the form of rebellion, as often happens w/ teens, but it’s a cry for help!
We all have a God-shaped void inside of us, and often people try to fill the void w/ things of the world, pleasure, sex, drugs and alcohol, material goods, achievement, money, relationships, and even good works and social involvement!
But the only thing that can fill the God-shaped void is God! And as they try all these things they are really calling out, come and help me!
Catch the vision…of people drowning in debt, despair, and debauchery, calling out for a lifeline saying, “come help us!” Now, they may not have a firm grasp of this…they are deceived…that’s why they aren’t beating down the doors of this church to get in here. The church is like Noah’s Ark—people don’t believe or come near us unless the sky starts falling!
But did you know it’s not their responsibility to come to us? It’s really our responsibility to go to them.
Ill.—Evangelist Freddy Gage tells of visiting 2 churches back to back, and it was a great lesson in opposites. He said that 1 church was dying, the other was growing and thriving. The first had a big sign out front that said, “All welcome…come on in.” And it was dying. The other was thriving, but it’s sign wasn’t on the outside, but just inside the door…you could only see it from the inside as you made your way out… “you are now entering the mission field”. That sign was saying, “go out and bring them in from the fields of sin!” Just as Jesus said, “go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in.”