For those that are in the service of God, they do this work in order to seek out the lost and bring them unto Christ. However, there are times when our desires are not God’s and we are led off course. This happens when we desire to do our own will, while going our own way, and not do the will of the Father. This might seem OK, especially when our intentions appear to be right with God, but this is only distracting us from finding the lost and having divine appointments. Please know that our own good intentions can easily get into the way of those that God has prepared from being saved. How is this? Well, it is easy, really. when we are not seeking the Holy Spirit, that is when we will always go off course, no matter how hard we try. We may very well think we have a great plan ahead of us but it is only a disaster waiting to happen if God is left out. The mission trip may even seem ripe for the harvest, as we have the right people to go. However, if we were seeking the Lord’s wisdom and not our own in prayer, we may be very well be planning out an entirely different mission trip. Even our local evangelism efforts would be more beneficial if we went in the areas that God called us too. Please know that while in the Spirit, we will know the places we ought to go. It may not be exactly where we intend to be at, but nonetheless, it is God’s destination for us. This is where the harvest is truly ripe and where people are waiting to be saved by the Lord Jesus. Now read what happened to Paul and the new disciples of Jesus, in Acts 16, specifically speaking, verses 1-10, which you can read below….
Acts 16:1-10 (KJV)
1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
As we look at those verses above, the new disciples that were with Paul, were excited to go with him. They wanted to serve the Lord and seek out the Lost along the way. Truly, they were eager to share the truth of God with Paul. However, their own desires got in the way. Therefore, their were road blocks. The first was Phyrigia, then Galatia, Mysia, Bithynia, and lastly, Troas. Fortunately, God was able to speak to them and they listened. It was the Holy Spirit that compelled them not to go that way. It first started with Phyrigia and Galatia, which was at Asia Minor. In this place, the Holy Spirit forbade them to not preach in Asia. So they went to Mysia and Bithynia instead, of which “the Spirit suffered them not.” You would think that they would have learned to seek the Lord and not their own intentions, but instead they went to the city of Troas. There, they camped out for the night. However, before Paul could get any rest, he had a vision. In this vision, “there stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” So, after going the wrong way, again and again, they were finally put on course by God. Paul then records, “after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.” Please note that God called them to preach there. Now, do you think they could have known this earlier and avoided the detours if they would have been seeking the Lord’s counsel all along?
Early on in my own evangelism efforts, my excitement to serve the Lord led me to places where there was little to no fruit. This happened time and time again until I decided to seek God instead of my own plans. So I began to start off my efforts in prayer and then allow God to designate the areas for me and others to witness too. We did this by way of the Holy Spirit. And know that this was when we experienced much fruit. Instead of people rejecting us left and right, people began to truly listen and the gospel was preached. The best part about it was that we were not alone, for God was with us. After going through the good and bad times in evangelism, I realized that the best times is when the Lord is leading us. This is when divine appointments took place. For example, this last weekend, I was led to speak to some young adults on the streets. One of them was a believer, another was a semi-believer and anther was an atheist. The conversation started when I was prompted to ask them about their faith in Jesus. This is when the lady said she was a believer but that the other men were not. So after hearing their stories, the Spirit spoke through me in a way that convicted their hearts. I may not have known what to say to them but God did. He knew what was going on in their lives and what I said impacted them for God and His kingdom. If I had not been seeking the Spirit that night, this encounter would have never happened. For that reason, please remember to always seek God and where He would lead you. There is much fruit when following the Lord.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that the hearts of all believers will be awakened to You, this day. May their hearts be changed and transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that their desires for Your kingdom may be elevated. May they understand the need to serve You and to seek out the lost, as we are each called to do. Surely, there are many people that You have prepared, but only few messengers in Your harvest to reach them. Each weekend, that I go out on the streets, I am often either alone or with one or two other people. However, there are swarms of people on the streets that we cannot reach because of this. Our intentions are good but there are so few of us to preach the gospel to everyone. This is very sad, and for that reason, I pray that a revival will stir up in every believers heart, starting today. May they be given the courage and the necessary boldness to also be a witness for You, Jesus. And when more people decide to go out and be a witness for You, I pray that it is to seek Your hand and not do their own will. I know that we can only have divine appointments when it is in Your will and not our own. This is when You are with us and the Holy Spirit is able to speak through us. In these moments, I am able to speak the truth of God with conviction. Lord, I pray that others will also have these experiences and not find themselves uncomfortable, because the Spirit is not present. For this reason I pray that people will get right before You. May they repent and allow You to change them from within, that they may be Your vessel. This I pray, in Your holy Name, Jesus. Amen.