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When God Says No

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“Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.”

—Acts 16:7
The apostle Paul was concerned for the new churches he left behind in Asia Minor. He wanted to revisit those churches and check on their progress, but there was one small problem: God had a different plan. The Lord stopped Paul and Silas from going where they wanted to go.

We read in Acts 16, “Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there (Acts 16:7). I find that fascinating. We don’t know exactly how the Holy Spirit stopped them. But clearly God said no.

Sometimes the Lord will do the same with us. We have our plans, and the Lord says no. There are many ways God can stop us. Sometimes it’s through the warning of a friend whom we respect. Sometimes it’s through the absence of peace in our lives when we start to walk in a certain direction. Circumstantially everything is looking good, but internally, something isn’t right. We have a lack of peace about it.

We are told in the book of Colossians, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts” (3:15). If you are starting to do something or starting to go somewhere and there is a lack of God’s peace and blessing on it, you should learn to tune in and listen to that.

Sometimes it can be circumstantial. It can be something as simple as running late for a flight or a car not starting. Whatever it might be, something happens circumstantially that stops you. However it happens, the Lord is saying no.

Maybe you had some plans, and God said no. God is wiser than we are. He is always dealing with us for our best eternal good.

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