Acts 16:7 NKJV “After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.”
Have you ever felt like God has restrained you from going somewhere or doing something or obtaining something that you wanted? If so, you are in good company because the apostle Paul and his entourage were not permitted by the Spirit to go into Bithynia. At the time the probably didn’t know why or understand the reason. They just had to submit themselves to the goodness of God. Sometimes God’s guidance feels like a restraining belt.
On June 14, as Ozichi and I were at the airport getting ready to board a flight to Baltimore Maryland, I saw a young lady with a dog that had a restraining belt around his neck. As I was watching the dog was trying to run in different directions all at the same time. Following her, was another woman who had tied her son with a different type of restraining belt. I recall commenting to my wife at the time that this was an interesting and unusual scene – a restrained dog and a restrained boy.
Why were these two living creatures restrained? An unrestrained dog may not only cause distraction; the dog could cause serious harm to people. An unrestrained child may wonder away, be injured or even kidnapped. God’s restraints are for our good. God is using the Holy Spirit through his word to restrain us from a whole lot of things as the safest way to secure us in the world; to keep us within his richest blessing. God’s “restraint belt” by the Spirit serves not only as a form of protection, but also provides a reassuring environment for us. The Holy Spirit not only guides us to the right places, but also guides us away from the wrong places. We should be grateful for God’s guidance as He always has our best interest at heart.
Paul had a thorn in his flesh according to the Word. It was a kind of restraint belt for his inner being so that he would not become puffed up. Fanny Crosby, must have felt some restraint by her physical condition of blindness. But that restraint allowed her to write more than 8,000 hymns. As she reflected upon her own life, she said that God in his infinite wisdom allowed her to be blind, so that her beauty would not be a distraction to her from fulfilling God given assignment. It is obvious that she had grown to honor God for the guidance of the Spirit. Some may have said Fanny Crosby was restrained by having no sight. She would say that the Spirit gave her sight in other areas. She trusted completely in God’s guidance.
Do you trust fully in God’s guidance even when the Spirit says no?
The truth is that if God sees that you having eyes would bring a distraction to you, He may not give you eyes. Whatever God may have chosen to restrain with you, may be the most suitable selection. What do you is in your life that serves as God’s restrain belt for you? Thank him for that condition it’s there for your eternal good.