Act Sixteen

The Spirit Led  Church (v.6)


Christ is the Head of the church, but the Holy Spirit is the Spirit all other spirits must obey. No other spirit should be allowed to lead, not team spirit, party spirit, or patriotic spirit. Even the willing spirits, humble spirits, and joyful spirit must be in obedience to the Third Person of the Trinity. Paul was sensitive to the leading of the Spirit. Such is the Spirit of the New Testament Church. How do we know we have found a New Testament Church? Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is peace, love, and joy. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is order and not confusion. This is clearly taught in the Epistles.

Here we see the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, nudging, constraining, and restraining Paul and his team of missionaries. The word “forbidden” is foreboding. Just because we want to go to Phrygia or Bithynia does not mean that it is God’s will. Many a man is “in the ministry” that has no business being there. Many have set sail without having been sent. It may not be so much that God does not want them as God does not want them there. If we learn anything in Acts 16, let us learn that God has a manifest and an itinerary, as well as tickets to specific destinations for His disciples. God is not fooled when a Prophet buys a ticket of Tarshish when God has made reservations in Nineveh. We must go where God sends us.

Paul’s sensitivity brought him to the place where he received the famous Macedonian Call. Answering that call led to Lydia and to a Philippian Jailor and the opening of Europe and brought the Gospel to many of our ancestors. Could it be that the Holy Spirit is blocking some desired move or path? Could it be that God is sending out a call, but we are not listening? Could it be that someone’s world is crashing down around them and they need to hear our voice and witness that answers their greatest question and need. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”