“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16.6-10
This week and last I’ve been thinking and praying for the Asbury Revival. A part of me desperately wants to go and join my friends Brandon Shook, Mark Swayze, Jason Vickers and others who are bathing in the presence of God. I love a good revival! I’ve encountered just a few over the course of my “believing” life and they are not something to take lightly. Entering into the palpable presence of God is unforgettable.
I read today in a Christianity Today article that students were running to Hughes Auditorium where the revival began and continues to this day, a week later (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2023/february-web-only/asbury-revival-1970-2023-methodist-christian-holy-spirit.html). The desire to be with God is great and I don’t blame them for one second. However, my place is here, in Texas, at Truett Seminary on this Valentine’s Day. I have work to do which is significant and until the Lord calls me to Wilmore, I will remain in Waco.
As I think about my desire to go but my call to remain, I read where Paul, on his first missionary journey was prevented from going into Asia. The text says, “The Spirit of Jesus would not allow them,” to enter. Would not allow. Why? For what reason? Was God not going to do a good work there also? Was it for their protection? Were they better off going somewhere else? As we continue reading, Paul received confirmation of that decision during the night through a dream of a man “standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’” And this changed the course of Paul’s life and ministry forever.
“The Holy Spirit kept them from preaching the word in the province of Asia.” That is a fact. Not that there weren’t people there who needed grace, but Paul’s mission was elsewhere, as is mine. Now don’t get me wrong, the moment I hear the Lord say, “go,” I will fly on up to Wilmore and join the throng. But until then, I will remain where I am, doing the work he has called me to do.
Regardless of where the Lord sends us, the power of his Presence is available to all. Even if you aren’t in a state of revival, the same Spirit who raised Jesus lives in you. He is with you today, here and now. And he loves you deeply.
“O Lord God, come now to us, Lord Jesus. Bring revival upon our land. Help us know the power of your Word and the truth of your Spirit. Fall afresh on us! Allow us to find ourselves holy before the throne, seeking nothing but your face. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen