“Believe half of what you see and some or none of what you hear…” are words from “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”. Normally that’s a good thought in dealing with people and rumors.
But as we continue walking through Acts, in Acts 16 Paul sees a vision that changes the direction of his ministry… and changes our life. Paul and Silas had started to visit the churches that had been planted in a previous missionary trip and they had reached out to new cities and people. But 2 different times they tried to turn to the east and the highly populated Eastern section of the Roman Empire and had been stopped by God.
They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia ; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; (Acts 16:6-7)
But God never closes one door of opportunity without opening another for His people. This was no exception. In a vision, Paul sees a man from Macedonia, to the west from where he was, in what is today present day Turkey. The man says, “Come to Macedonia and help us.” Paul follows the Lord’s leading and moves to the west.
God blesses Paul and Silas’ obedience and His Word. Lydia and her family come to faith in Christ. God uses a jail sentence to the missionary team to lead a man and his family to Christ.
The central truth of this is NOT that Paul saw a vision. The important fact for them and for us, is that God does indeed lead His people and He always leads them to spread the marvelous message of salvation through Jesus alone.
That vision is still the same for us. In whatever direction God leads his people, it will always be for the purpose of reaching those people whose hearts the Lord has opened (Acts 16:14).