Acts 16:6-10, 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.
The passage above, which I read yesterday, during my time with the Lord, is one of my favorite stories. While we may not understand why, the apostle Paul “was forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia” (ACTS 16:6). Humanly speaking, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Paul had a desire to do, not only a good thing, but a godly thing. He wanted to preach the gospel in Asia. He wanted to win people to Christ. He wanted to baptize new converts. He wanted to disciple new believers. And, no doubt, Paul wanted to plant another church or two, or three, or more.
But God closed the door!
It is good to remember, that while God is in the business of OPENING DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY, at the same time, He occasionally, He CLOSES DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY. And, often when He does, it makes no sense whatsoever. It often bewilders and frustrates us, but we must let God be God, and recognize that He knows better than we do.
Understanding that God occasionally CLOSES DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY, and being sensitive to the Spirit, as Paul was, will enable us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives and ministries, and help some folks who really need our help.
We can always rest assured, if God closes one DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY, there’s another DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY that will be opened before long.