When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
Acts 16: 7
Have you ever been forced to wait for something? Waiting is difficult at any age. Waiting can also be lonely. There have been times in my life when the Lord has forced me to wait on Him. There have been times when I fell ill and was unable to continue with the work of ministry. There have been other times when I experienced delays and interruptions and couldn’t go forward with a mission that I felt was God-ordained. During these times, I discovered the gift of rest; and I also discovered the gift of spiritual growth.
In Acts 16:7, Paul, Silas and Timothy are prohibited from entering Bithynia by the Spirit of Jesus. Even though their missionary journeys had resulted in the churches on their route being strengthened and growing in numbers daily, Jesus said “No, don’t go that way.” Paul and his companions obeyed. What about you, would you know when Jesus says, “No!” and would you have the willpower to obey or would you charge straight ahead with your agenda because it felt good?
The Holy Spirit calls us forth to a service of work (Colossians 3:23-24), but he also calls us to a service of waiting (Isaiah 40:31). It is in these seasons of waiting that the greatest spiritual growth occurs. It is in these seasons of isolation, that we are able to hear the Shepherd most clearly. It is during these interruptions that our faith roots go deep. Waiting exposes our true motives; it builds patience and anticipation and also transforms our lives.
David had to wait almost 15 years from the time he was anointed until he became King (2 Samuel 5:4). Joseph waited patiently for three years in prison (Genesis 39:20) before God promoted him to Governor of Egypt, and Elias prayed for 3 years and 6 months before the rains fell (James 5:17). As these biblical characters waited, God was doing that which only he can do to move HIS work forward. Are you in a place of isolation? Has your life been divinely interrupted? How long are you willing to wait on HIM?
They that wait upon the Lord; Shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings as eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint,
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait. AMEN.