“Sometimes, we are misled by Scripture. Not because they are errant or fallible, but simply because they are too easy to read. It’s easy to skip through 10 verses and miss the confusion, disorientation, disappointment, and disillusionment that certainly must have occurred.”
Wow! I think there’s some real truth in that statement by Heather Zempel on her blog series #LentChallenge. Below is the rest this entry on where God takes us and following him. See Acts 16: 6- 16.
How long does your faith last? For Paul and Silas, it was 450 miles.
Today, we read about Paul’s second missionary journey, and I want us to slow down our reading a little bit in order to dig out some lessons.
Paul and Silas set out on a trip to take the Gospel to people; it’s an act of obedience to the calling God has given to them. But the Holy Spirit doesn’t allow Paul to preach in Phrygia or Galatia. So Paul goes to Bithynia, but the Holy Spirit won’t let him preach there, either. “So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.”
This little adventure covers 10 verses in Scripture. But that same adventure on foot took 450 miles. Four hundred and fifty miles. I walked a few of those miles last year in Greece, and perhaps the most significant thing I learned is that Paul could have really used some hiking boots.
Four hundred and fifty miles…not knowing where he was called. He followed the Spirit all the way to Troas. Staring out at the sea as he comes to this dead end, I wonder what he must have been thinking. Was he confused about where God was taking him? Did he question his decision to abandon Barnabas and John Mark? Was he ready to turn around and walk back?
And that’s when the Macedonian man appeared, asking him to come to Greece with the Gospel. Verse 11- he set sail from Troas, landed at Neapolis, and went to Philippi. There, a business woman named Lydia and a Philippian jailer became the first converts and the Philippian church was born. Years later, Paul wrote his most affectionate and joyful letter to that church while he sat under house arrest.
Sometimes, we are misled by Scripture. Not because they are errant or fallible, but simply because they are too easy to read. It’s easy to skip through 10 verses and miss the confusion, disorientation, disappointment, and disillusionment that certainly must have occurred. It’s easy to miss the fact that Paul, Silas, and Timothy might have gotten tripped up in Troas. Sometimes the initial call of God only gets us far enough along to force us to seek him more closely. Sometimes God takes us on a 450-mile journey to a dead-end at the sea before he tells us exactly what he has called us to.
Click HERE for the original post, and look around while you’re there, good stuff.