Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
If you're hungry to learn how the Holy Spirit works among us humble, lowly minded people, look at the story in Acts of how the gospel first went to Europe. After the disputes among the early believers were settled by the Jerusalem council (Acts 15), "day by day, the congregations grew stronger in faith and increased in numbers" (16:5, NEB). Paul and Silas wanted to go and preach the message "in the province of Asia," but "they were prevented by the Holy Spirit from delivering the message" there (vs. 6). Interesting! The Holy Spirit closes doors--we have thought He always opens them!
Next, the frustrated apostles "tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them" (vs. 7). We don't know just how He closed these doors, but we do know what frustration is! Perhaps the Lord permitted travel restrictions to stop them, or persecution, or health problems. Whatever, they saw doors closing all around them. Strange, when Jesus had said, "Go forth to every part of the world, and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15).
Maybe you have run into these God-inspired roadblocks, maybe written something you think should be published but you find doors closed, or you want to preach or teach in a church and the pastor and elders don't want you. Paul and Silas didn't give up, they traveled right on through Mysia and went to Troas (Acts 16:8). Troas was getting closer to where the Lord really wanted them to go. They were almost there!
Then came the big break! The Lord gave Paul a vision--I have a whole new continent for you to pioneer, the continent of those to come, the Waldenses, of Wycliffe, Luther, the Wesleys (vss. 9, 10). Paul probably didn't realize it at the time, but this was where Daniel's prophecies were to find fulfillment. The problem of some closed doors always guides you to the right open door!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 20, 2005.
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