SERIES: Unstoppable – The Book of Acts

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Journey Church


  • Malcolm Gladwell – Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
  • Sometimes we trust our gut or our own wisdom or the advice of others and it turns out great. Other times not so much.
  • When you become a Christian (a follower of Christ) you have access to another voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit
  • And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth… But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. – John 14:16-17, 26 (823)
  • When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. – John 16:13 (824)


TS: Throughout the book of Acts we will see this play out time and time again as the first Christians and first churches stop, wait, and go as they are directed by the Holy Spirit.


TEXT: Acts 16:6-10 (845)

  • Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 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.So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas. That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. – Acts 16:6-10 (845)


  • Paul and his companions are following the Holy Spirit’s direction:


  • The Holy Spirit says, “No
    • prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time”
    • Prevent = koluo = “prevent, hinder, stop, restrain” (not passive)
    • No reason is given for the no – but Paul yielded to the Holy Spirit
    • Maybe you’ve had a moment in your life when you sensed that God was saying “no”. It seemed good to you and to other people, but deep down you knew God was saying no
    • How we respond to these moments in our lives reveals the “Lordship level” in our lives.
      • Do we see God as the authority in our lives – or do we see him as our Divine personal assistant?


  • The Holy Spirit says, “Wait
    • Have you ever felt like God put you on pause? Or that you were on the shelf, waiting for God to show you your next step?
    • “but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there”
    • They saw a door was closed, so they looked in another direction. They were going to head to Bithynia, but the Holy Spirit stopped them again. (Did not allow)
    • Often when God says wait He is either preparing a place for us, or preparing us for a place.
      • We tend to think in terms of result, God thinks in terms of process.
    • When I feel like God says, “wait,” I have learned to focus on GROWING rather than GOING.


  • The Holy Spirit says, “Go
    • While they wait, Paul has a vision of a man in Macedonia calling for help
    • They concluded that this was the Holy Spirit saying, “GO!”
    • Luke: “we left at once” = literally “ran”
    • This prompting from the Holy Spirit brought the gospel to Europe and established the first groups of Christians in Europe.


TS: When God said NO or WAIT, Paul didn’t move. But when God said GO he didn’t hesitate. This wasn’t driven by circumstances – later Paul would write in his first letter to the Corinthians, “There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.” (16:9).




  1. Submit your plans to God’s purpose.
    1. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purposewill prevail. – Proverbs 19:21 (494)
    2. 13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. – James 4:13-16 (932)


  1. Cultivate a listening posture in your life.
    1. Be stillin the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. – Psalm 37:7 (429)
      1. Proverbs 27:19
    2. If you never slow down to allow God to speak to you – you will miss it
    3. Regular times in Bible reading and prayer (Scripture = key way God speaks)


  1. Act on what God is saying to you.
    1. We often confuse agreement with action.
    2. James (Jesus brother) says that’s like looking in a mirror and then walking away and forgetting what you look like
      1. Looking in a mirror only helps if you do something about it
    3. When God speaks NO or WAIT to your heart, wait, allow God to prepare the place for you, or you for the place. When He says GO – run


  • Pray > Obey

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