I wonder how many paths of life we followed that led to less than our best life, got us into more trouble than we needed, or merely wasted our time?  What if, instead, we had listened and obeyed the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit completely?  Ugh.  Too many times to count, so we repent.  We learn that it is best not to sit, lament and wallow but to keep moving forward, day to day, until precise direction is given.  I am reminded just now of the prophet Isaiah’s words,

“But those who wait on the Lord                                                                                    Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31, NKJV

The words written just before this famous scripture that we rely on for strength when weary of doing good are also encouraging and helpful when searching for God’s specific will for our lives. 

“Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

Isaiah 40:27-30 NKJV

Paul, being the devout Jew, would have known and relied on these passages along with relying on the Holy Spirit of Jesus to guide every step he and his team took on the mission God gave him.  Wow.  When you think about it, Paul still is talking to people about Jesus with every step but where his next steps lead is left fully up to the Holy Spirit.  Well played, Paul, well played.

Because Paul “waited on the Lord” while continuing the work to “go and tell”, God gave him specific directions, a “map”, of where he will go next!  Wow!

ACTS—God’s Actions through His Disciples

Acts 16:1-15, The Message

A Dream Gave Paul His Map

1-3 Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was. Paul wanted to recruit him for their mission, but first took him aside and circumcised him so he wouldn’t offend the Jews who lived in those parts. They all knew that his father was Greek.

4-5 As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. That turned out to be most helpful. Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.

6-8 They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.

9-10 That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.

11-12 Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.

13-14 On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!

15 After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.


Had Paul not listened to the Holy Spirit, the work of God, the going and telling, establishing churches would have gone on, but driven by human power.  When God calls, blocks, and then sends, we must follow for the best of life to be lived driven by God’s Holy Spirit.  We must know where true power with real direction comes from—God, Who knows all and Who is in all!  “Have you not heard?”, cries out Isaiah.

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth…

I’m now reminded of an old hymn from my grandpa’s hymnal.  The words and message of this hymn are derived from the very passage about Paul’s dream.  “Send the Light” by Charles H. Gabriel (1890)  Read the words…(while I send it in my heart!)

There’s a call comes ringing o’er the restless wave, “Send the light! Send the light”
There are souls to rescue, there are souls to save,
Send the light! 
Send the light!

Send the light, the blessed gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light the blessed gospel light;
Let it shine forevermore!

We have heard the Macedonian call today,”Send the light! Send the light!”
And a golden off’ring at the cross we lay,
Send the light!
Send the light!


Let us pray that grace may ev’rywhere abound, “Send the light! Send the light!” 
And a Christ-like spirit ev’rywhere be found,
Send the light!
Send the light!


Let us not grow weary in the work of love, “Send the light! Send the light!”
Let us gather jewels for a crown above,
Send the light!
Send the light!

I believe I can hear Grandpa Lacquement leading the congregation….


Thank you for teaching us to do your will your way for the best results.  YOU are our efficiency manager, our mission maker and our dream giver.  You are God and we are not.  We follow you!  We don’t pray “bless my plans” but we ask what you want for each day with renewed strength and power from you to accomplish it!  Thank you, Lord for working with your children, maturing us in your love, while teaching us to obey the promptings of Your Holy Spirit living in us!  Yes, I have heard you!

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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