Paul continued on his journey to encounter in Lystra a disciple whom he would come to mentor – Timothy, that is. Still not wanting to rock the boat and sink it over the circumcision issue, he had Timothy circumcised even though his father was Greek. Then, as it is now, it can be advisable to be all things to all people that we might win some.
Timothy joined Paul and Silas, and we are told, “the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.”
There were still restraints though, as they were “forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia” and invited to Macedonia through Paul’s vision of a man asking for their help. The invitation was confirmed by the hospitality they experienced there as Lydia, a merchant, encouraged them to stay at her house if they had judged her to be a faithful believer.
Sometimes the Lord says ‘go’ or ‘go faster’’. Sometimes we sense the warning ‘stop’ ‘don’t go’ ‘not yet’. Discernment is needed. We don’t get this on our own but can trust the Holy Spirit who provides all the wisdom we need on our path toward God.
We can need to constantly pray Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer in these or other words.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.