so, setting sail from troas, we made a direct voyage to samothrace, and the following day to neapolis, and from there to philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a roman colony. we remained in this city some days. and on the sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. one who heard us was a woman named lydia, from the city of thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by paul. [acts 16:11–14]
the Lord is leading in all of these events, not paul, luke, silas, timothy, or anyone else. paul has had some success as an apostle and missionary at this point in his life. he could easily have let some of the notoriety he had gained become a part of his identity. or he could have decided that he knew what the next best strategic move was from his past experience.
but instead, when the Holy Spirit says to go to macedonia, they go.
and God’s leading remains evident in philippi.
the word is clear: “the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by paul.”
the gospel reaches a new part of the world and salvation happens not because of man, but because of God.
this is a beautiful example of how we as christians are called to live: submitting to God and trusting in his sovereignty and timing rather than focusing on our own identity, purpose, or ideas.
so today, as you spend time with friends and family, let the Lord lead in your life. spend time with God this morning asking him to prompt you, to guide you. the pressure to save isn’t on us, so may we follow the Lord today in freedom!
~ john sandman