Countdown to Pentecost – Day 11
“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia…” Acts 16:6
When I was a child growing up in Jersey City, NJ, we used to play a game called “Mother may I.” The object of the game was to ask for permission to take steps towards “the mother” but you were only allowed to move if he or she said “yes you may.” If you moved without hearing “yes you may” then you were disqualified from the game. Likewise, to live a “Spirit-led life” we should only take major steps after we are directed by the Holy Spirit to do so.
In the above-referenced scripture the Apostle Paul and his team were traveling on their missionary journey to preach the gospel to the known world. To that end they had planned to preach in the province of Asia but the Bible said the Holy Ghost had forbidden them from doing so. Though preaching is a good thing and everyone needs to hear about Jesus, the who, what and where still had to be directed by the Holy Spirit. “Forbidden” in this context does not mean to be physically restricted. It means that the Holy Spirit told them not to go there at this time. A few verses later we see that the Holy Spirit wanted them to go to Macedonia not Asia.
My question is do you allow the Holy Spirit to forbid you from doing things or going places that you may want to go, especially if it seems like a good thing? I have discovered that the difference between “good” and “God” is one too many “O’s.” It is possible to do a “good thing” that is not necessarily a “God thing.” As spirit-filled believers, we must be open to the Holy Spirit “forbidding” us to do things that we desire or plan on doing. Being forbidden by the Holy Spirit may sound like “cancel that trip,” “postpone that meeting,” or even “don’t buy that.” If we try to rationalize everything the Holy Spirit directs us to do or forbids us to do, we are sure to make mistakes and miss God. Stay open to allowing the Holy Spirit to “forbid” you so that we can be in God’s perfect will for our lives.
- Acts 16:6-7
- Acts 22:17-18
- Mark 1:35-38