A Divine Appointment
Last week, I challenged us ot remember the important principle of God's sovereignty in the salvation of individuals. He chooses, calls, draws, and saves helpless sinners by His grace and mercy. God is sovereign. We are not. He saves; we do not. Therefore, we do not know how God might be working a person or in a situation. God has His divine appointments planned, and in His love and wisdom, He uses us to share the Gospel in many of those appointments. We just do not know how God might be working. We simply are called to be faithful in sharing the Gospel that has been entrusted to us. We never know: God might have a divine appointment with those whom we share the Gospel. If we are not sharing the Gospel, how can we ever expect to witness God's divine appointments?
Acts 16:6-15 illustrates both God's sovereignty in His divine appointments and the necessity of our preaching the Gospel. Paul and his associates were preaching the Gospel in what is now modern day Turkey. They concocted plans to continue spreading the Word in other parts of Turkey, but God had other plans. Clearly, Acts 16:6-8 indicates that God had a plan that they did not anticipate. They continued to try to preach in different areas of Turkey, only to be continually forbidden by the Spirit of God. Doesn't that seem a bit counter productive? If they were to fulfill the Great Commission and the Spirit continued to forbid them, wouldn't they be failing to fulfill the Great Commission?
After many attempts to bring the Gospel to other areas in Turkey, the missionaries received direction from God through a vision in Acts 16:9-10. The missionaires take this as their cue and set sail to Macedonia, landing in the leading city of the area: Philippi (Acts 16:11-12). Remember, these men attempted time and again to bring the Gospel to other sections of Turkey, only to be shot down by the Spirit. God had a divine appointment for a lady in Philippi of which they were unaware.
Acts 16:13-15 narrates the divine appointment. It was Lydia's time to be called and drawn to the Savior. Acts 16:14 reveals that Lydia was a seller of purple from Thyatira. She must have been in Philippi for business. Do you know where Thyatira was? Turkey. Thyatira was a city located right near where Paul and his companions had just come from. Think about it. God gave Paul a vision in Turkey of a man from Macedonia so that he might go to Macedonia to preach the Gospel to a woman from Turkey!
We simply do not know how God might be working. I guarantee that Paul was not expecting God to work this way. Like Paul and his associates, we do not know what appointments God has divinely arranged for those with whom we share the Gospel. But be encouraged: there are appointments. Get preaching the Gospel and stand back in amazement at our sovereign God.
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