This message was preached by Franco L, at the Regions Beyond Advance conference in August 2022. To view the Video please click here
We have all walked through difficult times with the Pandemic and the unspoken issue of persecution.
In the midst of this, we need to remind ourselves that is it about Advance and it is about getting rid of any blocks in order to go forward. God wants to see advance amongst us. It’s about the mission.
Paul wanted to move forward but God had other plans. Mission was a part of Paul’s vision and mission and gospel advance is a part of the Father’s heart.
What can we learn from Acts 16?
How do we move forward?
- We are in a Macedonian moment for us as regions beyond churches- something totally new, a new era, new boats to sail into the open sea, discover develop and deploy, etc. we can overlook the prophetic and live in the familiar. Paul and all went forward leaving the familiar behind because they had a compelling vision. Abraham saw the city of God. Because of that, he could leave behind the familiar. We need to have a compelling vision
Metaphorically we are standing in front of an ocean, and we need to hear what God is swaying. Paul was looking across Europe and saw this vision of a man asking for help.
We can overlook
the prophetic and live in familiar surroundings. Paul could leave the
things behind and move in great acts of faith. Our name is our vision- Regions
Beyond. If we don’t have a compelling vision of the future we will hold on
to the familiarity of the past. Abraham saw the city of God whose architect and builder
was God therefore he could leave the land of his forefathers.
- Not have a settling spirit but a missional one:. Isaiah 43:18- forget the former things…. See I’m doing a new thing. I’m making a way in the desert and ways in the wasteland.
Unless we see we will not be able to leave the familiar and move forward. settling is default and it seems safer. But the advance is a choice. If Paul stuck to his original plan he would’ve never moved on to Macedonia. Paul adapted to what God was showing them. Some things will have to die to move forward. Don’t settle for what you can manage but be missional. God is going to scatter some of us but that is going to advance the gospel. Without the Holy Spirit, we will tend to stick with the familiar. Today we read Pauls's letters. We have come through 2 of the hardest years in history. We adjusted and did everything online – zoom, whatapp. It shows how fast we can adapt and God can change how we do things.
Some things have to die in order to lay hold of the new. Sometimes we also need to leave behind some success. Gospel advance is greater than everything.
persecution and suffering not deter us from advancing the gospel- 2 Cor 11: 23- 33. Paul knew he would be put to death in Rome,
yet he longed to go there so he could share the gospel there. God will
want to scatter some of us. Paul did not let persecution or hardship stop
discovered his original calling: his call was
to go to the Gentiles. Because of the Macedonian call, Paul discovered his
original call. In Rome, he finally says that he had proclaimed the gospel
in Asia and now wants to go to Spain. As the Holy Spirit picks up pace, we
need to find new ways of strengthening. Paul didn’t stop strengthening the
churches, he found new ways- wrote letters, sent others to the churches,
etc. We have to let go of the platform-focused ministry. We need to activate
every believer. The Pandemic taught us many lessons. We need to train and
deploy many new leaders.
- The Holy Spirit wants us to increase the pace of church planting: let go of the platform-focused ministry. It also means, the leaders have to start thinking of finding new leaders. Find your Timothy’s. It’s non-negotiable.
Reaching the unreached people groups is an apostolic priority for us.