52 - Walking By Faith

Life Lessons with Dr. Steve Schell

01-02-2024 • 57 minutos

About 20 miles west of Pisidian Antioch, the road on which Paul, Silas and Timothy were traveling intersected with a smaller road which headed north. Initially it seemed right to these missionaries to continue going west into the highly populated coastal region called “Asia” and they may have passed the intersection and kept walking for awhile before stopping and turning around, because Luke says they were “…cut short from speaking the word in Asia by the Holy Spirit.” He doesn’t tell us how this was done, but there are a number of ways the Holy Spirit could have corrected them. He might have “spoken” to one of them, or imparted a “word of knowledge” (1Co 12:8) about what lay ahead, or He may have simply caused them to feel “grieved” in their spirit as they walked along (Eph 4:30). But one way or another they felt they should turn around and take the smaller road leading north. It skirted along the eastern border of a rugged hill country called “Mysia,” until it arrived at the city of Nicea on the southern border of the heavily populated area around the Black Sea, called “Bithynia.” And, this time, they thought they should go into Bithynia, but Luke says, “…the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them to do so.” In the previous verse he said the Holy Spirit was the One who prevented them from going into Asia, yet here it’s Jesus who guides them. While it is certainly true that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus, and for that matter, the Spirit of the Father, all dwell within us (Ro 8:9, 11), Luke is probably not trying to make a theological statement about the Trinity. Rather, it is much more likely that he’s describing the manner by which God’s guidance was communicated to them. Apparently, Jesus spoke to one or more of them in a dream or vision or they simply heard His voice, whether audibly or inaudibly, telling them to stop walking toward Bithynia, and to turn around and go back to the road that led west toward the Aegaen coast. This road ran along the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara, and then followed the Aegaen coast south, passing through the port-city of Troas (near ancient Troy).  Nearly the entire journey from Nicea to Troas, which was over 250 miles, ran along the northern border of Mysia. Luke uses a word here (v8) which means they “went beside” Mysia, meaning they didn’t travel into the interior of the region, or stop to minister. During this portion of their journey it appears they were not aware of any particular destination, but felt they must keep moving forward, and when they took a wrong turn, God corrected them. At Troas, God’s method of guiding them changed. Paul received a vision specifically directing them to go to northern Greece (Macedonia). This vision may have come more than once during the course of the night and in it Paul saw a Macedonian man beckoning him to come near, and saying “Come over into Macedonia. Run to our rescue!”

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