The River Church 

The River Church

Sundays: 10:00 a.m.

Located at:

The Siekman Center for Jr. Achievement

(2nd floor)
300 N. Appleton St.
Appleton, Wisconsin

(corner of W. Franklin and N. Appleton Streets)

Contact Info: 

The River Church
P.O. Box 1271
Appleton, WI  54912

(920) 213-2062







When the Doors to Asia Close

 --by Lee Ann Rubsam 

You've done your best to hear God and carry out His plans. But you've stepped out in one direction, and the door shut in your face. Undaunted, you stepped out again, only to have the perceived opportunity fall through again. Everything looked like a "go," but each time you tried, you came smack up against a wall.
You are not alone. Even the Apostle Paul encountered roadblocks, and it wasn't always the devil getting in his way. Sometimes it was God.
Now when [Paul and his companions] had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia, ... they attempted to go into Bithynia -- but the Spirit did not allow them to. And passing by Mysia, they came to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: there stood a man of Macedonia, and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over into Macedonia, and help us." Acts 16:6-9
Up until this time, Paul's ministry had been confined to Asia, but suddenly he found himself in a place where no avenue he tried worked. In fact, "closed door" circumstances, combined with the direct instruction of the Holy Spirit, indicated that the region of Asia Minor was off-limits for a while. Why? Paul had been successful in preaching the gospel there in the past. It may have been very frustrating to him to suddenly have nothing work for him as it ought to.
Finally, Paul, receiving specific instructions from God in a vision, ended up going to Philippi, a major city in what is now northern Greece. It was his gateway into Europe. Without the Lord hindering Paul's plans for Asia, Paul would not have been launched into spreading the gospel of Jesus throughout Greece and beyond. 
There are times when seemingly good opportunities present themselves before us, but we are unable to see that they are not the best God has for us, nor will they allow us to reach the most people with the highest good for their lives. God has better plans for us, but this is not always evident until we have a "door" snap shut in our face. When that happens, and we feel the disappointment and confusion over what is happening, we can be confident that God will speak His new direction. For the man or woman whose desire is to live in the will of God, closed doors are a sign that the Lord is about to open a major gateway to us -- launching us into something bigger and better than we could have thought of on our own.

An Encouraging Word is an outreach of The River Church, designed to uplift the Body of Christ. Copyright 2011.  All rights reserved. 




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