Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 19: Year 2
“They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” (Acts 16: 6 and 7)
I often ask my followers to be attentive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The idea is that the Spirit is moving us to go here or there or to do this or that. I ponder, from this passage in Acts, that sometimes the Spirit is telling us not to go here or there, or, not to do this or that.
Maybe such guidance is more important than the doing, or saying, or going, or anything that requires action or moving ahead. Maybe there is something to be said for being quiet and being still. This message is about hearing the Holy Spirit say “stop.” Do not move another step. Do not say another word.
Even sin comes packaged in commission and omission. We ask for forgiveness for things done, and left undone. So too, we must hear the Spirit say “this is what you should do, and, this is what you should not do.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit forbids us from certain courses of action. And, sometimes the Spirit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will not allow us to do certain things. My brothers and sisters in Christ, even the Ten Commandments are constructed with do’s and not do’s. Half of them say what we shall do, the other half say what we shall not do. The point in all of this is that there are real occasions when we are guided by the Holy Spirit to not do a certain thing; to not go to a certain place, and to not say certain words. This is often expressed as a gut feeling, or a bad feeling. We must always heed the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John