This is a rich portion that has much in it for us to learn.  First of all, we read in Acts 16:9, “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.”  So, while in the city of Troas, the Apostle Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia, asking him to come help ‘us’.  This call for help seems to be a call to hear the Good News of salvation.  Before we go further, let’s notice verse 7, “After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.”  While in Mysia, Paul and his traveling companions had determined to head east into Bithynia, but the Lord did not allow them to go that way.  We are not told how the Lord prevented them from traveling east, but with the vision from Macedonia, we see that Paul and his friends headed west.  At this time, it was not the Lord’s will for Paul to go east, but to go west.

After he received this vision, we read in verse 10, that Paul IMMEDIATELY began making his plans to go to Macedonia.  How important a lesson do we learn here!  When the Lord leads us, our obedience should be immediate.  The longer we hesitate to do His will, the more excuses we will make for NOT doing His will.  We become self-obsessed and we often begin to serve our own fleshly desires.  Paul and his company eventually reached Philippi, a chief city of Macedonia.  On the Sabbath, Paul went to where the people were so that he could minister the Word of God to them.  We read in verse 13, “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.”  Where were the men in this situation?  When Paul went to the river side on the Sabbath to speak, only women are mentioned as being in that place where prayers were often said.  So many times men: fathers and husbands do not assume their position as the spiritual leader of their household.  They too often refuse this important work, and many women, by default, take on that role of being the spiritual head of the house.  We thank the Lord for Godly women who are very concerned about the spiritual health of their family, but the Lord instructs the man to take that position.  We read in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”  It seems here that the men were not fulfilling their God-given roles.

At this river, Paul met a young lady named Lydia.  Let’s read Acts 16:14, “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.”  This lady sold different sorts of fabric that she had dyed.  She was a ‘certain’ woman, which means this lady was in the mind of God and He worked to bring her to salvation.  Lydia worshipped God according to the knowledge she had of Him, and to honor her desire to please and worship the Lord in truth, the Lord opened her heart so that she could hear and understand the words of the Apostle Paul as he spoke of the Lord Jesus.  The Lord opened this woman’s heart to receive the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I’m reminded of the two that the Lord Jesus met while on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection.  In Luke 24:45 we read, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.”  The Lord opened their understanding so that they might understand the scriptures and not fear.

He opened Lydia’s heart so that she might receive him and become His servant.  My friend, has the Lord opened your heart so that you can realize you are a sinner in need of a savior?  Do you understand that you are a sinner guilty of death?  The Lord died for your sins so that through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can be saved IMMEDIATELY.  Having understood and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as savior, Lydia became a lowly servant at the feet of her Savior.  What a wonderful privilege!!!   Let’s end this brief meditation by quoting Acts 16:31, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.”  Have you put your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s son?  If not, I urge you to consider this today and trust in Christ before it is eternally too late.  (199.10)