—by Tom Lewis, Sunday School Teacher, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
God’s Guidance Through The Holy Spirit is the Only way to see Christ Increase.
Acts 16:6-15 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,  After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.  And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.  And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.  Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;  And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.  And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
Paul and Silas had the right heart and motivation. They wanted desperately to preach for the Lord! They wanted to preach in Asia, but the Holy Spirit forbade it (vs. 6); They tried to take the message to Bithynia but the Spirit would not allow it. But then direction came from God, they were sent to Macedonia (vs. 10) and led down to the river bank where with the salvation of Lydia the Philippian Church was born and the evangelization of Europe was begun.
What can we learn from this?
- Our heart and zeal must be to Let Christ Increase.
- Human effort alone can not make Christ Increase (See Zech. 4:6b).
- But we can and must let God use us as He causes Christ to be glorified and to increase (See John 12:32)!
HE MUST INCREASE