Acts 16:6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
The call of the Lord that came in a dream to Paul one night was memorialized in this large stirring mosaic in Varia. The people of what was ancient Berea have built this in memory of the one who obeyed the call of God to bring the gospel to their ancestors. This mosaic pictures a man in Greek clothing calling Paul to come over here to help us.
As we read the opening verses of Acts 16, we find Paul and his companion Silas, together with others who joined them in the ministry, seeking the Lord’s guidance as to where they were to go. Who was on God’s heart? Who was the Lord longing to see come into his Kingdom? Where did they live? I can imagine Paul and his companions asking that question again and again as they encounter various problems which they see as the hand of God holding them back from certain areas of the Roman world. So they finally come to a town called Troas.
Here it seems Paul may have gotten sick since the doctor named Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, joins up with the traveling group. But one night, Paul sees a vision. A man of Macedonia is begging him to come over to his land to help. Immediately they set sail for the region we call Greece today.
So often in our lives we just know what God wants and we don’t wait upon his direction. We pursue our ways and our thoughts. But God is the one who is in charge of the world. He’s even in charge of our lives. Our plans must always be laid before the Lord to seek his will. In fact, it’s best to seek his will before we make our plans. Has your life been open to God’s plans or do you run ahead of him on your own?
Calling is the Only Currency Required to Receive Training
At Christian Leaders Institute we are providing the sort of training that makes possible the response to God’s clear call that we so often ignore. I heard people say to me many times that God was in need of people like me to serve his Kingdom. Over the years I have come to realize that was not accurate at all. First of all, God does not need people to accomplish his great work of salvation. But, on the other hand, God has chosen to call people to be his servants in the work of the gospel. The second fallacy is that God does not need people like me. Rather, the truth is that God needs me. As long as I believe that God needs people LIKE me, I can tell myself that God is calling someone else. “Here I am Lord, send George, he’s a lot like me!” No, God needs you and he needs me to accomplish his work in our world today.
Paul knew that God had called him to be his servant in the spreading of the Good News of Jesus. He did not try to escape the call, he simply obeyed the call. That is what we at CLI are affirming. In many lives all over the face of the earth today, people are hearing God’s call to them, not to people like them. We provide the training they need to be the best person they can be as a servant of the Most High God.
You may have seen roadblocks to being used of God just as Paul and his companions did. But then God gave them an open door for ministry. Here at Christian Leaders Institute we see thousands of people who are called by God to ministry but who do not have the funds needed for a traditional Bible School training. Our President, Henry Reyenga, is fond of saying, “The currency we accept here at CLI is your calling.” When God calls you, we come alongside and provide you with the tools needed to be equipped to bear witness for Jesus in your community. Do you hear the lost in your community calling for you to help them? Like Paul, you can know that by means of those lost people, God is calling you to serve. That is a privilege you can give your life for!