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A word in season, a green light for ‘Go’

Many Christians live with this philosophy: I have a red light until God gives me a green one.

They tend to be caught in the land of “waiting on God” before they do anything, less they do something out of His will or timing. Unfortunately, they may be in danger of  living a life of minimal impact on the world around them.

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” — John 5:19-20 NKJV.

Some have misunderstood this passage to think that if they do not see something specifically revealed to them, then they cannot do it. However, Jesus had previously seen the Father do many things. He already had an understanding of the Father’s will in many matters. He often understood this to be the ongoing will of the Father. As Jesus acted upon the ongoing will of God, He would often receive more specifics concerning the how, when and where of the matter at hand. For example, Christ already knew it was the Father’s will to heal the sick. As He acted upon this general revelation, He would often receive more specifics for specific people. However, it does not appear he would wait to receive some specific revelation for each situation before He would minister.

“Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” — Acts 16:6-10.

 The apostle Paul did not wait for some specific leading by the Holy Spirit before he would go preach the word of God. He acted upon what he already understood to be the ongoing will of God. Years prior, Christ had already revealed His desire for His followers to “go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Asia and Bithynia were part of “all the world.” Yet Paul tries to go into Asia to preach and was, “forbidden by the Holy Spirit.” Next, he try’s to go into Bithynia, “but the Spirit did not permit” him. Eventually, God gives him a dream that seemed to indicate God wanted Paul and his traveling companions to make a geographical move into Macedonia. As Paul acted upon the general will of God, “Go into all the world and preach,” he received more specifics concerning location, people and timing from the Lord.

“So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’” — Acts 22:10.

In the above passage, Paul is told to arise and go. As he obeyed and went into action, then more specifics concerning the things which God had appointed for him to do would be revealed. It is easier to steer a moving car than a parked car. Many have been parked for too long. It is time to start moving forward in faith on what God has already revealed as His will. As we do, we can lean into Him and expect more specifics to be revealed to us as we need them.

 Instead of living with the concept, “God will lead me when it is time for me to do something”, perhaps we should live with the understanding, “I already have a green light to do the work of the Lord. And as I go into action, the Holy Spirit will show me more specifics concerning how I am to do my assignments.” A commitment to a lifestyle of “going“ positions us to receive the specific directions God has for us.

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