The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

Acts 16:6-10 or how Paul came to Europe (PDF) PDF version

Acts 16:6-10 or how Paul came to Europe

In Acts 16:6-10 we read:

Acts 16:6-10
"Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them."

Many of us may have found ourselves before closed doors. Many of us may have tried to move to one direction, pursuing something that is generally God’s will, only to find out that the door we are knocking is not open. Well, we are not the only ones. This has also happened to apostle Paul. His purpose was to preach the Word of God. He had already done a great work in Asia. As we read in Acts 16:5 "the churches were strengthened in faith, and increased in number daily". Great was the work that God had done through Paul in that region and he wanted to carry it on. However, in this effort he found the door closed - not by the devil, not by the people but by the Holy Spirit. As the Scripture says: "They were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word in Asia". Then, they tried to go to Bithynia - also in Minor Asia – but again the Spirit did not permit them. Yes, one can have purposes that are in alignment with the will of God in general and accordingly to knock some doors - yet these may not open. The reason - and as we will see, this happened in the case of Paul as well - is because the Lord wants to direct these purposes to paths that reflect better His will. In the case of Paul, the doors God closed brought them finally to Troas, just opposite to Macedonia, the place where God wanted them to be. When they were in Troas, the Lord gave them His instructions: He didn’t want them in Asia any longer, but in Macedonia. It was time for Europe to hear the Word of God as well and it was there where God wanted them to go now.

If you know that something is God’s will, but you still haven’t found a door open: "KNOCK AND IT SHALL BE OPENED TO YOU", says the Word (Luke 11:9). Paul didn’t sit in Jerusalem or in Antioch, waiting for the vision. He was knocking doors. He was on the way. Though the doors he tried were closed, they finally brought him through all Minor Asia to Troas, just opposite the place where God wanted him to be. It may be that the doors you knock are closed. However, the Lord does not say "sit and it will be opened to you". He says KNOCK. And if some doors are closed, He will open the one He wants for you.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou