The Spirit is faithful and purposeful, and the Lord’s plan for me is perfect.
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
By Michelle Jones, Journey Small Group Leader
“When Paul, Silas, and now Timothy were ministering throughout the region of Macedonia, they “came to the border of Mysia, and tried to enter Bithynia. But the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to…” — Acts 16:7
As a believer in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God (also known as the Holy Spirit) resides in me to guide and direct me. The Spirit is faithful and purposeful, and the Lord’s plan for me is perfect. As Paul sought the Lord in his ministry, the Holy Spirit directed Paul by opening doors and closing others, even in doing something worthwhile like spreading the Good News. How frustrating it must have been for Paul to be turned away from where he thought was the right place for him to be. However, it is through these series of events that we can see how Paul understands how specific and purposeful the Lord’s plan is for his children. Bithnyia was not ready for the Presence of the Lord and so the Lord directed Paul to preach the Gospel to a people that were ready: Macedonia. The Lord knows exactly what I need as his child and desires to give me exactly this, yet it is sometimes contrary to what I think or believe. How much more was the Lord glorified and made known through Paul’s act of obedience to go to Macedonia? I can always trust and believe in the Lord’s faithful hand as he guides me to where I should go; if the Lord closes one door, he will open another door for me to walk through.
As I seek the Lord first in all that I do, the Holy Spirit will direct my life, my words, my thoughts, and my encounters. The Lord will faithfully open doors and He may close some. As I learn to trust in Him and follow His loving, faithful ways, I will see His great purpose unfold in my life through each opportunity.
“Lord, as I dedicate this devotional time in August to you, please teach me how to trust in you. Help me to know that your ways are perfect and that you love me with an everlasting love. Help me also to realize that this everlasting love is why you desire to guide me in the way in which I should go. I understand that you desire the best for me and choose to trust in your promises. Let my life be guided by the Holy Spirit in all that I do and to recognize that at times you open doors and other times you close them all in an effort to guide me. Give me patience Lord! Thank you. Amen.”
Now You Try
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. Take time to read and allow God to speak to you. Write down the one or two verses that stick out. Even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make a basic observation about the scripture you just read. What stood out? Was something repeated? What is the author trying to communicate? What does the Scripture passage teach you about God? What does it teach you about humanity?
Ask, “What does this verse(s) mean for my life?” How might this verse affect your heart — how you feel? How does this verse challenge your thinking? How does it affect your will, asking, “What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?”
Write out a prayer to God. Scripture is God speaking to you, take this moment to speak back. Take a moment to say, “Thank you,” confess to Him what needs to change, or ask for something that is on your heart.