And a vision appeared unto Paul in the night. There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us” (Acts 16:9)
One of the many great chapters in the Book of Acts is chapter 16. In this chapter, along with many other things, we see that Paul was committed to establishing believers and churches in the faith (5), sensitive to the Spirit’s guidance and direction (6-10), and a visionary (9-10). This resulted in people being saved, baptized, believers being persecuted, and a church being planted in Philippi.
The Apostle Paul was willing to “GO” where the NEED WAS GREAT; where the GOSPEL WAS NOT BEING PREACHED; where OTHERS WERE NOT WILLING TO GO; where the DOOR WAS OPEN; and where HE COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR CHRIST!
- WHERE ARE YOU WILLING TO GO FOR JESUS?
- WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO FOR JESUS?
- WHERE IS YOUR MACEDONIA?
- WHAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM GOING?
Of course, later in the chapter, we find that Paul and Silas are imprisoned for their faith in Christ and their service for Christ [Acts 16:16-40]. Even in their time of imprisonment and suffering, Paul and Silas rejoiced in the goodness of God, their lights shined brightly, the name of Christ was proclaimed, and praise the Lord, people were saved. Speaking of being imprisoned for one’s faith, I recently read the following words:
“He’s going to be someone God can use in a powerful way someday. But you cannot trust what he says now; he hasn’t been to prison yet.” This was an attitude that I would encounter often in China. Personal trust and respect for spiritual maturity were often in direct proportion to the amount of suffering that had been endured for the faith. If someone had not yet experienced personal persecution and suffering, trust was withheld until that happened. What was perhaps most remarkable about that was the underlying assumption that the suffering and persecution would inevitably happen.
… From the introductions that I heard, it seemed that most of the house-church leaders in the room had served at least one three-year prison term for their faith. I had observed the same thing at both of my earlier stops in China. Surprisingly, none of the people who reported on their time in prison seemed particularly resentful about the experience. At the same time, the believers who had not yet been to prison did not seem to be especially fearful about the possibility of someday having to go themselves.
… Virtually every believer who I had met in China had either been to prison for the faith— or they knew someone who had. They were personally aware of many of their spiritual brothers and sisters who had endured persecution and had come out of it with deeper spiritual roots, a more mature faith, and a greater appreciation for fellowship with other believers. They had also come out of the experience with a much stronger relationship with the Lord. One of the house-church leaders actually asked me, “Do you know what prison is for us? It is how we get our theological education. Prison in China is for us like seminary is for training church leaders in your country.”
-Ripken, Nik; Lewis, Gregg (2013-12-02). The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected
Everyone has a Macedonian Call!
Can we hear the voice?
Can we see the vision?
Like Paul, are we willing to go?
Just reflecting on “THE MACEDONIAN CALL!”