Changing Course

Michael Beck

“After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not … And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.” (Acts 16:7,10)

A life in the Spirit is always open to the redirection of God. Paul was on his way to do his thing when the Lord knocked him off his horse and gave him new marching orders. The cry of his heart from that moment on became, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Having once been so deceived by his own sense of right, Paul now became utterly dependent on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Without a broken dependency upon the Holy Spirit, we always run the risk of becoming brittle in our service toward God. If what we think today, speak today, do today, is what we did yesterday, without a fresh seeking of God, we may end up missing God’s boat for us. God, by His Spirit, must be able to move us as He wills. This is the mark of all those who are of the Spirit. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

The true worshiper of God is a bond servant of Jesus Christ. Every master has the right at any given moment to issue a new instruction to his servant. “And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:6). Day by day, as we cultivate the ear of a Samuel (“Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth”), we can expect God to direct our course. Without a bowed heart and an inclining ear it is doubtful the Spirit can lead us very much. We are called into a dependency upon the Spirit even as Jesus was dependent upon the Father to speak and do only what the Father showed Him. Each church and the church as a whole must “hear what the Spirit has to say” to them.

Life became a glorious adventure for Paul as he put up his sails and allowed the Spirit to guide his life. It is well said that he who walks with God is out of step with the world. It is also true that those who walk with the Spirit of God are often out of step with the rest of Christendom. Are you afraid to launch out and put up your sails? We need not be afraid God will give us harmful fare if we crave a greater portion of the Spirit’s leadership. Staying in a box the Holy Spirit has not drawn for us should be a greater cause of concern. Let’s get out of our boats and into God’s!

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.