Have you ever decided to take a path you felt was the right direction for your current season, but right after moving in this new direction you are stopped by a huge obstacle? I am in one of these moments in my life right now, maybe the most defining moment in my life. This is not the first time I’ve faced a challenge this big, but the complexities and circumstances surrounding my situation are the rarest I’ve faced and the outcome has the greatest potential to make the greatest impact I have ever had or to fall further than I ever have. That may not be all true but it feels like it.
Paul Blocked From Going To Asia
I read the book of Acts this past week and in the 15th and 16th chapter Paul was in a unique and similar situation, It started very simply when he decided to make a second trip to visit the groups of people he had planted in his first trip. It seemed like an easy decision with a simple path, but Barnabas wanted to bring Mark with them and Paul refused because Mark left them on the last trip. It becomes a huge deal that separates them and now Paul has to find someone else to go with him as Barnabas takes Mark and goes a different direction. Paul decides to get Silas and heads for the familiar route. When Paul gets to Derbe and Lystra he meets a young man named Timothy that becomes a lifelong friend and fellow companion and a spiritual son for Paul.
As they all now begin their journey to Asia they are stopped by God from going where they had planned. It must have been incredibly confusing for Paul and his team. He has already faced numerous obstacles, but finally has the team in place and the destination in sight when he is blocked from moving forward. So, he does what probably most of us would have done. They regroup and head a different direction with Bithynia in their sights. After getting to Mysia the same thing occurs when God stops them dead in their tracks. Now what? They were headed west, but they are forced to go north. Then as they start to move south they are stopped again in Troas from moving further. We don’t know how long they stayed in Troas trying to figure out what was their next move. At some point Paul has a night vision of a man in Macedonia calling for him to come there. The team concludes God is calling them that way and we all know the stories of the Philippian, Thessalonian and Berean churches that followed.
When you look at how it worked out those places may never have received the gospel had Paul not been stopped and hindered from his plans. We also may have never heard of Timothy if Paul had gone with Barnabus and John Mark and yet God used these crossroads in their lives to accomplish more than any of them probably expected or could have planned.
A Crossroad Means There is Disruption and Change
Let me be clear, no one enjoys crossroads because it means there is disruption and change. Can we agree that more times then not, God brings us to a crossroad so that we can face a necessary adjustment in life? Crossroads come in many flavors, sometimes our spouse will create a crossroad and sometimes it’s our kids. Oftentimes life situations will bring us to a crossroad and sometimes it may be our job. The truth is many times we know we need to face an issue, but instead we wait for the crisis to bring it to us. This only makes the outcome more challenging and then there are the times when nothing we have done brings us face to face with a crossroad. It is simply God moving us to do something different.
Crossroads are God’s Divine Appointments to Do Something Amazing
As I face my own crossroad in this season, I’m wondering what crossroad are you facing? If you are anything like me a crossroad can make you feel alone because the situation is yours to face and when others know you are in a crossroad they may start moving away from you like somehow your crossroad will get on them. On the flip side a crossroad is the greatest opportunity you will experience to see God do something amazing. Name one miracle or healing that hasn’t occurred in the face of someone’s crossroad? See, crossroads are simply divine appointments setup by God in advance where He plans to show you how great He is. You can bank on it, get your phone out and start recording because something big is about to happen!
The next time you are in a crossroad in your life don’t be afraid, just step into it and accept it for what it is. It may not be helpful for you to know why at the time but, If God is changing you, accept it, if he is changing others, support them. Love covers all sins and no matter how difficult it feels, rejoice that God is doing something amazing in your life and in the end you will see His finished work and have an incredible story to tell. Just remember its not meant to destroy you but to bring the gold out of you. Stay strong and stay connected!