Acts 16:1-9

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

Sermon Transcript:

Invite you to take your Bibles this morning. We’re gonna be returning again to the Book of Acts. Um, want to just give a quick update as much as I know of it, um, which is all positive and exciting. We have a ladies retreat this week. You may have noticed it was a fairly testosterone, uh, worship team up here today.

Um, just incredible things happening. Just praising God with Joanne and her whole leadership team for the way God is moving was exciting to me. Joanne’s opening talk was on the GPS of the spirit of how the Lord leads us in our lives, which is a parallel study to what we’re gonna be talking about this morning.

But we do want to be praying, um, over a hundred women there participating. Really, I, I just caught snippets. through my wife and others of the way God is moving in lives. It is beautiful. It is wonderful, and we want to continue to pray that God will use this last day of the retreat to really make himself known even as we believe him to be at work among us.

This morning. I’d like to read Acts chapter 16. I’m not sure I told you that. Acts 16 verses one through nine and then we’ll pray together. Paul came also to Derby and Lira. A disciple was there named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lira and I Iconium.

Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places for, they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on through their way through the cities, they delivered to them for Observ observance. , the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.

So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily. And they went through the region of Fri and Gala Glacier having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mya, they attempted to go into Bethen, but the spirit of Jesus did not allow them.

So passing by Mya, they went down to tr ass. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia was standing there urging him and saying, come over to Macedonia and help us. And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Lord, our hearts do go to the ladies on the retreat. God, thank you for the evidence of your spirit alive and real and moving there already. Lord, we pray that even now you would be a shield around the meeting place, around the conversations, around the, the many processing that is going on in the hearts of women and Lord may truth that’s shared, um, sink deeply into the lives of these, these women that are there.

Glorify yourself. Give energy to Joanne and all of the team that are leading. Lord, may your name be lifted up among them. And God, we ask for that here. We open your word. We love the scriptures. We love that you are willing to teach us and ask you to do that this morning. Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen. It all started with a simple conversation between two veteran missionaries.

The apostle Paul got together with Barnabas. They were back in Antioch at town 80 miles north of Jerusalem, which had now become the epicenter of the the early church. And they were talking together and Paul said, let’s, let’s go visit the guys, the people that we’ve discipled and those early small house churches that we’ve begun.

The plan was for a few week journey. They would walk there, um, and they would go among those that they had already begun to disciple in the gospel, but God had bigger plants. Paul and Silas, soon joined by Timothy and eventually by Luke would be gone for three years. at least three years, they would travel over 2,700 miles on foot or on ship.

This map shows that, and basically what this map is presenting to you and that red line is the journey. They’re over here in Antioch. And Antioch is, uh, where something tragic, at least to us tragic occurs. Things didn’t start well. Paul and Barnabas have a conflict over whether to take this young guy, John Mark, that has gone with them before, a man who later will prove himself faithful and used of God, including writing the Gospel of Mark.

But Barnabas and John Mark will go over to Cyprus, the island there, and as they sail to the island of Cyprus, Barnabas sails out of the book of Acts. We don’t hear. About him again. At the same time, Paul and Barnabas will go up north and go to this area, which is where Sia, which is where they have discipled people together.

And, but now Barnabas has been replaced by Silas. And when they come to this little town, Lira, as we’ll see in a moment, they pick up a third member of their party named Timothy. This passage that I’ve read this morning verses one through 10, gives the first part of this lengthy journey. And in this first part, it is a reminder that a follower of Jesus follows.

He leads, he directs, he directs in the lives of these men as he is willing to direct in our lives through the spirit that he has given to us. The third member of the triunity of God, who ent dwells the lives of his children, of citizens of Jesus kingdom. And this passage is a profound picture of how that and what that, how that happens and what that looks like.

The question before us this morning is very simply, are you following the spirit’s leading in your life? A secondary question is, would you know how to tell? We just finished a World Series where we came up short if you’re a Phillies fan, but in the third game it was a high point high water mark for us as we took a two one lead in this series.

And there was a picture that we were facing that we was fairly ominous because he was a powerful pitcher. He had recently come back and Lance McCullough was, um, known for not giving up home runs and against us. He gave up five babies, five dingers, and lot of conversation afterwards. If you’re a fan at all, you heard about it, you know that there was a lot of controversy of, um, that by commentators, by former ball players, even contemporary ball players that said the guy was, was tipping.

The guy was, was letting them see, not intentionally, but he was tipping his pitches. What that simply means is there would be some way you would know what he was gonna throw. In his case, the argument was he actually held his glove higher with certain pitches. Others, he kept it lower and you knew if a curve ball was coming, you knew if a fast ball was coming and.

Whatever it was, it worked out well for Philly’s fan. What happened there, if it was what occurred is his changes in posture were his tell it show what was going on in this passage, we are given some of the tells of the spirits leading in our lives, and I’d like to look at three of them this morning. The first is there is flexibility in our practice.

This is in verses one through five, and basically these first four verses are all about a young man named Timothy Paul at this time is probably in his thirties. Um, Timothy is probably a late teenager, probably not much more than that if he’s in his twenties. He’s probably just about 20, 21. And he’s a young man that is raised in Lister.

And if you remember Lister, when Paul was here before, Lister is, is a kind of a, a sore spot for him. He had ended up being stoned there and left for dead in lister, but he’s come back and he’s found one of the people that have been led to Christ as a result of their ministry earlier is Timothy and his mom, and apparently his grandmom.

The reason I say that even though the grandmothers not mentioned here, is in first Timothy, Paul talks about the faith that I see in you, Timothy, and in your mom and in your grandma even gives us the name. It’s Lois and Eunice that are the two women, but the one member of the family we don’t know is the dad.

We do know that he’s not a believer. He has described here as a Greek. Now, if he was a. His, his family was Jewish on the mom’s side. If he was a Greek Jew, he would be called a Hellistic, a hell Jew. But he’s called a Greek to identify that he’s still living a life of paganism. He has not embraced Christ.

He has not embraced Judaism. And so he has come to Christ. He is well reported among by the believers, and Paul embraces him and has drawn him and says, why don’t you travel with us? And he agrees. But Paul then says, I think it would be helpful for you to be circumcised. Now, this is a problem. It’s a problem for me.

It’s a problem for you, and I’m gonna try to make it a problem for you because Paul has a letter with him, right? It sucks about in verse four, the letter is from Jerusalem, and he is taking that letter to all the Gentiles in this area, Southern Turkey. Modern day Turkey, and this is what the letter says, if you become a believer in Jesus Christ, you don’t need to be circumcised.

You don’t need to identify as a Jew because you don’t have to come by way of Judaism to embrace the Messiah. As I’ve quoted Pastor Joe on numerous occasions, they were saying, you don’t have to become one of us to become one of his. That the idea is no, the, the Old Testament requirements are no longer on because it is now open to anyone.

The gospel is open to all, but what does he do? The first thing he does with Timothy before he takes him on the road is, Hey man, let’s have you get circumcised. And he’s doing it because he does not want to offend the Jews. He is doing it to try to expand his gospel ministry. But there’s confusion here, right?

And I would suggest it ties into what we read in First Corinthians nine. First Corinthians nine. Paul says this, I have made myself a servant to all that. I might win more of them to the Jews I became as a Jew in order to win Jews to those under the law. I became as one under the law, though not being myself under the law, that I might win those under the law to those outside the law.

I became as one, outside the law, not being outside the law of God, but under the law of Christ that I may win those outside the law. Here’s what he’s saying to the Jews. I became as a Jew, Paul is a Jew. Why does he need to become as a Jew? What he’s saying is among the Jews, those outside of the gospel who are still in the Jewish faith.

I am going to act Jewishly. I’m gonna acknowledge, yeah. I’m circumcised. Yeah. I, I, I honor When he went to Jerusalem, he visited the temple. He honored it. He didn’t take Gentiles in because he knew it would be offensive. He says, I, I acted Jewishly, I followed their practices. I, there were things I didn’t do that I would normally, there were definitely things I practiced that I would not normally feel were necessary to practice.

He says, because I don’t wanna make anything stand in the way or be offensive in the gospel. I think what he’s saying, I have a conviction that no one needs to be circumcised under the new covenant. He certainly had that. It, but he compromised not his belief, but his practice to not have the practice stand in the way of sharing the gospel.

Now, Gentile, obviously this is a unique situation. You have a guy that has both a gentile father, a, a Greek father and a Jewish mom. And, and I, without getting very earthy, I have no idea how they knew who was circumcised or not. I don’t want to know how they found out, but, but the idea is that they would have to acknowledge, yes, you know, he’s, he’s a Jewish background.

Has he been circumcised? This would be very offensive because he’s Jewish. So Paul says, you know what, um, Timothy wasn’t circumcised, even though he is been raised by a Jewish mom and grandmother. Let’s just do it. To not have this be something that stands in the way. Probably, well, undoubtedly what would’ve happened in those areas if they, because they knew Timothy’s background.

They’d say, you, you’re not bringing that guy into the temple, into the synagogue. You wanna preach to us. We’re interested. We’re very interested to hear you, Paul. But quite frankly, if you’re gonna have a guy traveling with you as a spokesman for your, your faith, and he’s Jewish and he’s not even circumcised, we’re dissing the whole thing.

It’s, we, we, we have no confidence. Paul said, okay, it is not worth it. It’s not worth it. We’ll act Jewishly to the Jew. He also says in first Corinthians nine, to those outside the law, I became as one outside the law. Now here’s where gets dicier for us, right? I mean, these are, this is talking about the Gentiles.

So what does that mean? I, I, I’m not sure exactly all that he meant, but I’m guessing there were things that he had and convictions she had that he was not. Giving up his conviction, but he was saying, I am going to allow some bend in my life here if it is just gonna be a barrier to me being able to share the gospel.

It’s interesting the places Jesus went, I mean, Jesus went to Matthew’s house and, and, and all the Pharisees basically gathered outside, aghast and accused him, you’re going into a tax collector’s house, who were the, the worst sinners? In, in, in, in. They were known as notorious thieves, sellouts to the Romans.

And they said, you’re going in a house and the only people that are there are tax collectors, which were what they were, and sinners, which was a euphemism for prostitutes. And this is the result and you’re a drunker, which means he’s identified with drinking in there. And certainly some of those people are drinking to excess.

He was misunderstood. He was misrepresented and Jesus said, Hey, I’m here. I’m none of those things. I’m not being drawn toward the women. I’m not being drawn toward a sinful lifestyle. I’m not being drawn toward becoming a drunker, but I’m willing to be misunderstood. I’m willing to, to, to compromise some of my typical practices, to be with these people and to make them comfortable and to say, I’ll come into your world.

I’ll, I’ll fudge a little because I don’t want anything to stand in the way of the gospel. I think the spirit leads us that. John Newton, John Newton, the former slave trader who has brought gloriously to the gospel and wrote that great song, amazing Grace, said this about Paul. It said Paul was a bendable read in non-essentials.

And iron pillar in essentials. We’ve gotta figure out what those are. But what Paul says is, I got a lot more bend in me in order to get the gospel out there. I’ll be Jewishly acting, I’ll be henly acting, if you will, and don’t hear more of that than I am saying. But, but there’s bend, there’s, this is saying the spirit.

There’s some flexibility with the spirit. Secondly, there’s forsaking. Oh, and the impact of verse five. Not only of that, but just of, of the message they’re bringing, the way that they’re living. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and the increased in numbers daily. Secondly, forsaking of personal agendas.

I just want to walk with you through this map one more time because Plan A Paul, Paul has a, a plan a strategy. His Plan A, and we see it throughout his ministry. It’s to take the gospel first, where people haven’t gone before, but specifically strategically to go to the urban centers. He was an urban MIS missionary.

He went to the population centers. So Paul naturally is feeling like the Lord is continuing to lead them along. We can go there now. Thank you. Uh, they’re in Silesia. They’re starting to go, and where Paul expects to go is right over here. I mean, these are where the cities are. This red, this mean, these are the big cities.

Colossi, Phil Philippon, the Crown jewel. Eus. Eus is the second largest city of the Roman Empire. It is the Rome of the East. It is the Cosmopolitan Center for this whole part of the world and the Black Sea and all the world coming down there. And Paul, Paul’s eager to get there. He’ll eventually get there on the, on the, the final swing of his journey.

But he’s heading towards Asia, and he says, well, obviously this is where God would want us to go, because that’s where the people are. That’s where the I sins are. I’m, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a city man. This is where the gospel can most impact lives. And they’re on their way and God says, no, we don’t know how.

But the Spirit specifically closes that door. So then he heads north, he starts heading north, not sure where, and it says He then planned to go into Bethia and Bethia. Here’s what we read in verse seven. And when they had come up to Myea, that again is up here. I’m filling a little schizophrenic as I go back and forth between maps.

But up here in my macia it says, uh, they wanted to go in there. Now why would they want to go to Bethen? There are a whole bunch of cities along the southern coast of the Black Sea up there. There’s a city called naia, which actually will become where the NAIA Council, one of the most famous gatherings, Christian, to the left side of that, the left corner between the yellow and the purple is Byzantine, which will become Constantinople, which is today Istanbul, a center of all trade coming down from the north.

This is to cities days. Okay? I can’t go to those cities. I’m just go to I’m, let’s go to those cities. So he is on plan B and verse seven, and when he had come up to Myea, they attempted to go into bien, but the spirit of Jesus did not allow them. The question I want to ask is this, was Paul wrong to push ahead?

I mean, maybe he should have just waited, right? Maybe he should have stayed and there are times, you know, and just not set out and just say, Lord, you know, what do you want me to do? Well, there are sometimes God says to wait. Uh, one of the guys that mentored me in ministry said to me, and he was a bull in the China shop.

Go get him. Type a guy. He said, mark, you’re gonna find out in the pastorate the hardest verse in the Bible to live out, but you’re gonna probably be asked to live it out more than any other is from the Book of Psalms. Wait on the Lord, wait on the Lord. We have to wait. Sometimes we have to say, I’m not moving.

But God didn’t tell him to wait. They were prompted to move on, but they didn’t know what their destination was. And God, first of all, closed one door to Asia. The second of all, he closed the door to the north to Bethia where they were. They were being led by being told no, but they needed a yes. They needed to know this is the way they needed real clarity on what God wanted them to do.

My guess is, , you’re in that place or have been in that place, you certainly will be in that place Again, you have situations where you’re really needing God’s counsel. There are questions that need to be asked. I’ll tell you, uh, having lived number of decades now, that never will stop. Every season of your life, you will find you are in over your head.

There are questions you don’t have the answers to. You don’t know what’s next. You don’t know where. Now, Lord Asia looks good, but then it looks good. I mean, we’re gonna constantly need to be casting ourselves. This is what the life of the spirit is all about. He’s the leader. We’re the followers. So what are some principles of discerning the spirits leading associated with this passage?

And I’m gonna throw a cuff couple in that I think are inferred here, and I’m gonna tell you four quick principles. number one, you must empty yourself of your own will. George Mueller, who is the individual that started the great orphanage in Bristol, England years ago, and George Mueller written a lot of books.

Spiritual Autobiography of George Miller, many others, um, George Mueller had over 10,000 orphans that he cared for, and he never received a governmental dime. He never put out a request for funds. Literally, they, I mean, the story is, is astonishing in its beauty. If you read the story, literally they would come and the people, his associates would come and say, we have no breakfast for the, for the orphans.

And they’d be praying, and then all of a sudden this tr this wagon would be there and this guy would say, I’m sorry, I’ve got fresh bread. Um, but my wagon wheel has broken off. We’re right outside. Can you, can you have people come and take the bread because it’s gonna go bad? Just story after story after story.

This was his statement. The first requirement for finding God’s will is emptying yourself of your own will. That sounds easy, right? That’s not easy, but that’s part of it. It’s part of it saying, Lord, I really do want you more than I want this new house. I really do want you more than this job. I really do want you more than this relationship.

I really do want you more than this sale. I really do want you more than this. A I really want you. Doesn’t mean we can’t ask God for it, but that we are saying, Lord, ultimately the passion of my heart is for you. So sometimes we spend most of our time finding us. Well, just saying, Lord. Here it is. I’m open.

Whatever you have, may I find joy in your will. The second thing is, count on these two realities. God is more concerned about you finding His will than you are. I find a lot of comfort in that because that leads to the second reality, which is this, God does not have a secret code. He wants you to crack.

He’s not trying to hide his will. He’s not trying to trick you and say, oh baby, you’ve got, you know, here it is. It’s the secret room and you’ve gotta find the clues. And Mark, you just may not be smart enough to know the will of God. No. He wants you to know his will. Now, in this case, they were getting, no, they, they were, they were.

There was certainly some confusion, but they were waiting. They were trusting. God was using all of this in their lives as he led them along. But there’s just things to really count on when you’re waiting on God and to show you his will. And those are two of them. He’s more concerned with you finding it than you are, and it is not a secret code that you have to crack.

Number three, employ the spirit’s resources for finding God’s Will we see this directly in this passage? There is revelation that God gives Now in this time period there’s very little New Testament, right? As a matter of fact, the only New Testament that has been written to this point is the Book of Galatians, which Paul wrote and we’re not even sure at this time that he knows it’s New Testament or not.

He just knows the letter and God is gonna make it clear. This is inspired scripture, so he’s not walking around with a, with with the Biblical manual, the New Testament. You know, I can claim these verses and these, he doesn’t have those verses. . So at this time, and in the early part of the Book of Acts, there’s a lot of dreams that are involved.

There’s visions there, there’s angelic appearances, and God uses those. But over the course of time, as the scripture become more prominent, that becomes the primary means of revelation that God will use in the hands of His spirit to lead his people. It is also why, in my opinion, in talking with a number of missionaries that are, that are serving in different parts of the world, notably the Muslim world, almost every missionary I’ve ever talked to that is working f consistently in the Muslim world, comes back with stories.

Of how people have been led to Christ. They had a dream. Uh, they dreamed about Jesus. They know who he was. And then you start talking to him. They say, oh, I’ve been dreaming about that. There, there are revisions. There are things that God is doing there where they don’t have the scriptures. It makes sense to me.

It seems to follow the same pattern, but we are living in an era, in a season where we have the scriptures. Now you may say, well, that stinks. I love the idea of dreams and visions and angelic appearances. I mean, I get a book, you know how many books there are,

I can only say if that’s our emotional response. You really need to interact with this book more. This book is a lamp to your feet and a light to path. It is a living word. I’m just using descriptions it uses of itself. The spirit takes the scriptures to make known the purposes and will of God. I’ve said this before, I, I almost cannot remember a significant decision I’ve made in my life where I didn’t ask God to give me a scripture to affirm it.

My wife has an older Bible than I do, and she won’t give that baby up. And the reason is because she’s got so many dates in the margins next to verses with a little note of where God used those verses to lead indirect in her or our lives. The scriptures, God uses revelation. He will use his word as a part of the process as you are seeking him.

Secondly, he uses God’s people. In this passage. It’s interesting, as Luke is recording, in verse seven, he says this, when they had come up to Mica, they attempted to go into bien, but the spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Then in verse 10, he says this, we sought to go into Macedonia concluding that God had called us.

He says, us. We, they, it’s not Paul. It was a team. They were collaboratively seeking the will of God, godly counselors, godly voices in your life. One of the deepest times of spiritual growth for any married couple is when you begin to really learn to seek the face of God together. That I’m not moving ahead of you, babe, and I’m not moving ahead of you.

Whatever he is, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re doing this together. We’re seeking God’s mind together. The voice of close, godly friends that speak into us that so often in our lives determining the will of God is a collaborative, letting other people that you trust in the Lord to have voice into you. The third principle of that is third element of that revelation, people circumstances.

This is a clear one here in this passage. There were doors that were closed. God slammed that one shut. He slammed that one shut, and then he has a dream come. He opens the doors and closes the doors. The fourth thing is this, engage your mind to come to a conclusion. Verse 10 says this. Let me just read it.

And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. The word concluding here is an interesting word in the original. It actually means to gather the pieces and put ’em together. It’s used in Ephesians four 11 where it says, we are all pieced together with one another.

He’s talking about spiritual gifts and how we all need each other. He said they, they took the pieces and they, they, they put it together. Well, that’s what you do with the will of God. You get the scriptures, you get people’s counsel. You, you look at circumstances and then you engage the brain that you process.

And now we, and and so again, I’m gonna devil’s advocate. You might be out there and say, well, well how hard was that for them? This guy shows up in a dream and somehow they know he is Greek. So he is across the island. I’m looking at remodeling the kitchen. I’d be great if tonight I had a dream and, and this guy shows up and he’s got a tool belt with a blueprint in his hands and he says, here it is.

Come over to our office and we’ll give you the office. Well, you probably won’t have that dream, but you still engage your brain. You still look at what has God said through his word? What has God said through my wife, through, through other Godly counselors in our lives? What has God said through, as we look at the doors and the opening that are closed and open and just put everything on paper and then we put it all together and seek to say, okay, this seems to obviously be the spirit of God leading the last thing.

and I’m now back to the big three, is following promptly. There’s an interesting side note here in verse 10 where Luke changes from the, I gotta think, which is the third person plural, to the first person, plural. It had been a they, and all of a sudden, once Paul is in Troy ass, which is Troy, and they’re getting ready to follow this, this, this dream of envision of the guy from Greece across the a c.

Luke says, we went, apparently Dr. Luke joined them here in Troy Troyes, but basically he says, man, we immediately followed. As soon as you know, you move on it. I mean, God doesn’t show you his will for you to consider it. He shows you his will for you to do it and. You better be ready when you ask for the will of God when he shows it.

He only has one next step at that point.

So, final question. So what do you do when you think it is the move to make, but you still have doubts seems right, but it also seems a bit crazy risky. I just, I I I don’t wanna do the wrong thing. What I’m, this is just a practical suggestion. There are some times when you know you need to move and

you’ve done all that I’m talking about. You’ve done the processing, you’ve gathered all these things. You, you’re really seeking the mind of God, and you say, I, this seems right, but I’m not sure. What do you do? Here’s a practical suggestion, which I have done on a number of occasion. . You say, Lord, I, I need to move.

I need to make a decision. This seems right, but you care more about me knowing your will and doing your will than I do. And you do know, I do believe my heart’s desire is to do your will not mine. So God, this seems right, so I’m gonna start this way, but I’m pleading with you and I’m believing you that if this is wrong, shut it down.

Save me from myself. If you haven’t prayed that you should start, God protect me from I, I cannot tell you the stories of where, how God has led in my life, others that have prayed that way. When again, you’ve done the work, you’ve done the processing, you’ve done, the praying you’ve done, yielding your heart to the Lord, and you say, Lord, I think, but I don’t know.

So I’m gone. Lord shut the door. He’s very creative. He’s very creative to shut doors. He’s very creative. To affirm doors that you thought was just a, you know, just a sliver, and you start moving just, or he can do it the other way. So that’s just a free one. What do you do when you’re not sure, but you’ve really done the work?

Just move, believing God, crying out to God. God protect me from myself. I want your will more than I want. This thing he will. The tells of the spirit’s leading flexibility of practice, forsaking of personal agenda following promptly. We see it in this early days of this missionary journey, and I believe God wants to see those tells in our lives as.

At the end of the message, I have a personal prayer request I’d like to share. I just actually this morning felt prompted to wanna bring it. Um, I’ve had the opportunity completely on the basis of relationship to, uh, speak Crew Ministries, formerly Campus Crusade has a ministry to the United Nations. Um, it’s an amazing ministry.

It’s of course based right in Manhattan, and they do bible studies with ambassadors. They have bible studies with ambassadors, wives. These are ambassadors from all over the world. There’s different levels of ambassadors, the senior ambassadors and then secondary ambassadors, but they’re all ambassadors of the country.

But on two occasions, because of my relationship with the Bradleys who are part of that ministry, , I’ve had the chance to speak there. I spoke first at an Easter dinner they had, and secondly, I spoke at a, at a more of a, um, a simple breakfast that was actually in the UN building. The first one was at Cruise.

I got an invitation a couple of weeks ago, actually, probably more than that, uh, to speak at a, uh, a Christmas. I thought it was just a little prayer thing or something, cuz she, she alluded, she compared it to the, the international prayer thing, which was a breakfast. I thought it was just a breakfast and it was gonna be just very low key.

But it actually turns out it’s a giant Christmas dinner. They’re inviting all the ambassadors come to a, a, a posh place. It’s going to be a fairly big, I I, the first time I went, I was terrified. Scared to death. Um, God gave me great liberty. The second time I went, I felt less terrified, uh, but still completely over my head and God was gracious there.

I’m back to the terrified spot and I, I will acknowledge to my disappointment, there has not been international peace that has broken out as a result of my two former speaking engagements, . So that helps to not have as high a hopes, but from what they have written, it’s, it’s, it’s an important opportunity.

They, they, they really expect a group to be there and they really want me to just share about what Christmas is. Um, I would really covet your prayers. It’s December 8th. It’ll be that Thursday night. It’s an evening dinner. Of course, Marion will be with me. Um, and as God prompts you, I would be grateful for your prayers that God will just give me exactly what to say.

It’s every possible religion represented there or irreligious people. Um, they’re all very respectful, but it’s a, it’s, it’s, I’d just be grateful for your prayers. Okay? Let’s pray together. Lord,

it really is an astonishing thing that you wanna lead our, in our lives. And God, we’ve all been able to identify with Paul, just wondering why that one was a no and that door didn’t open the way we expected. And, and then all of a sudden you throw open this door to go into Europe and ever into Asia Minor and.

Just whole places that Paul had never dreamed he was doing on this journey. Lord, we want to have that same sensitivity to the leading of the Spirit. God help us in the clutter of our lives to be listeners, to seek your face, to look to your revelation, to let your spirit be a guide to us. We love that.

You want us to. We love that you wanna lead us. We love that Your will is not a secret code. Lord, guide us and in that glorified Christ, in whose name I pray? Amen. Thank you. Now go in peace to love and serve and enjoy the Lord.