As my family is in the throes of discerning and deciding where we will live and serve next, theses words were a comfort:
If we read the rest of Acts 16, we see a series of events that led the apostles to understand that the Lord was directing their course to Macedonia.
Their story teaches us a good bit about how God guides our lives. God’s will about many matters is spelled out clearly in Scripture, but there are also many things for which the Bible gives us no black-and-white answers. Paul and his followers faced this very sort of situation as they attempted to go forward in their ministry. The Bible does not spell out for us where to work, to carry the gospel, or to settle down. Scripture provides us with all the criteria for making wise decisions, but the actual choosing is left to us.
Such decision making is scary. How can we know that today’s choice will turn out well tomorrow? We can’t, which is why we are fearful of having to choose, and the anxiety about it all can steal our joy. We have nothing to fear, however. Although God calls us to make choices and often puts us into situations that require us to do so, he never leaves us to ourselves. Like any good Father, he oversees our steps, and he is doing so even when—-perhaps especially when—-the way before us is unclear. God did exactly that for Paul. The apostle and his coworkers wanted to go to Bithynia, but God intervened in their plans: “They attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them” (v. 7).
Read the rest at The Purple Cellar.