following God into the darkness

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following God into the darkness

Acts 18:18-23 (JDV)

Acts 18:18 After staying for some time, Paul said farewell to the brothers and sisters and sailed away to Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken.
Acts 18:19 When they reached Ephesus he left them there, but he himself entered the synagogue and made speeches for the Jews.
Acts 18:20 When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he declined,
Acts 18:21 but he said farewell and added, “I’ll come back to you again, if God wants me to.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.
Acts 18:22 On landing at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the congregation, then went down to Antioch.
Acts 18:23 After spending some time there, he set out, traveling through one place after another in the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

following God into the darkness

Paul’s ministry at Corinth was a wonderful experience, but after his few years there, he found himself following God into the darkness again. He made brief visits to a number of places, but couldn’t commit to a long term ministry in any of them, even when invited. Why? He had to be certain that another long-term ministry was what God wanted. He had always relied on visions from God to plan his ministry. So, this phase of his life was going to be spent “traveling through one place after another.”

I have to admit, this word on this day is a very hard one for me. I find myself looking back on years in search of a new ministry, and longing for an invitation “to stay for a longer time.” God has been very good to me during this phase of my life. But I cannot really relate to Paul’s attitude here. It takes a certain strength to say no to such an invitation. I’m sure in Paul’s case that strength came from assurance that when the time is right, God would open the next door, and he would be sure.

Lord, build in us a confidence in you that supersedes our need for others.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at -- !
This entry was posted in courage, dependence upon God, discernment, ministry, missions, trust and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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