The Apostle Paul was on his third missionary journey. And, he was compelled by the Spirit to go to Macedonia. Later “the Spirit compelled him to go to Jerusalem.” (Acts 19:21; 20:22 NLT)
I love that phrase: compelled by the Spirit.
Paul was being led by the Holy Spirit. God’s divine will was being revealed to him not by an angelic vison nor a dramatic voice from heaven. He didn’t receive direction at a burning bush or at the foot of a quaking mountain.
He was simply compelled by the Spirit.
The revelation of God’s will for his next steps came in a very simple and quiet way – the Holy Spirit compelled him. The Spirit of God captivated his attention and built in him a divine desire – a desire accompanied by a confident peace, a desire revealing God’s gentle, but firm hand of direction pointing the way.
Paul didn’t require the spectacular or the dramatic in order to know God’s will for his next steps. He just tuned his spirit into the wavelength of God’s Spirit and heeded the compelling of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes I think we miss out on following God’s quiet direction for our lives, because we think His direction has to be revealed to us in a dramatic or spectacular way. And it may.
But more often than not, the way that God leads us is by the compelling of His Spirit. We are led by God’s Spirit as He fills our hearts and minds with a compelling directive. It’s not a spiritual shout. It’s a quiet voice that stirs our hearts. And, if we quiet the noise of our lives and with intention, listen for His direction, He will compel us. He will direct our steps and show us the way!
For those reading “A Hand On My Shoulder,” Chapters 25-27 are three of my favorites. They are a testament to God’s compelling power to lead and guide us, and in M.D. Beall’s case, to do so in very dramatic way.