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  • Bishop Keith Butler

Some Things Start with a Stop

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:6-7)


The book of Acts reveals how many of the early churches began, and in Acts 16:6-7, we read how the church in Philippi was born – it started with a "stop." Paul, Timothy, and Silas were on their second missionary journey, obeying Jesus' command to: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” They intended to minister more in the region of Asia when the Holy Ghost told them, “Stop; do not go into Asia.” God wasn't rejecting Asia; eventually, several large churches would grow in that area, including the well-known Ephesus, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Colossae, Sardis, Pergamum, and Thyatira. But now wasn't the time. God needed Paul and his team to take the Gospel westward, into what we now know as Europe, and the start of the church in Europe came from the "stop" that kept the missionary team from proceeding further into Asia at that time.



Luke doesn’t record that Paul and his team were frustrated or confused by the “stop” they got about going into Bithynia. They looked to the Holy Ghost for direction and trusted Him and His timing.


I've seen many young pastors who had gotten discouraged when the Holy Ghost told them to stop going in a particular direction. They didn't understand that a "stop" in one direction is often a "start" in another. God may have you stop a particular outreach or ministry because your resources, time, and energy are needed somewhere else at this moment. Don't view "stops" as "ends;" they are usually the beginning of something new.demption are ours when we receive Christ as Lord.


Practical Application – Be led by the Holy Spirit. Don't depend on open doors, closed doors, or words of wisdom. Your inner man recognizes the Holy Spirit, but you have to pause and pay attention. He speaks in a still, small voice. When He tells you to stop going in a particular direction, continue to listen for the next step, which will be a start!


Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8

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