Acts 16:6-15 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 … 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. … to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. [Lydia became a key supporter of Paul’s missionary work from that day forward.]
Exposition (Rev. Derek Gentle)
“God is not hiding His will from you or your church. To the contrary, God has already taken the initiative and is ready to guide you, but are you willing to follow?
Our church was growing, but it was landlocked with no room for expansion. Efforts to buy key properties around us had failed. One day, as I prayed, I asked the Lord that if He wanted our church to relocate, that He would have someone offer to sell the church some land. …. A few weeks later, a member of the church offered to sell the church a piece of property on the main road through town. Within days, the deacons were on the church bus touring possible sites for a new building. Someone on the bus asked about a particular parcel that was not for sale at the time. Inquiries were made of the owner. Within months the church had purchased 25 acres of land on the side of town where growth would come. The judgment …was that the Lord had closed the door to staying at our present location and that He wanted us to relocate.
This is not to say that you should pray that same prayer or that your church should relocate(/merge). It‘s to say that if you seek God‘s guidance He will give it. He promises, ―I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. (Psalms 32:8). Once God has revealed His will, you must obey. God does not reveal His will for our intellectual evaluation, but for our ready obedience.
God‘s guidance will come whether He leads our church(es) to relocate(/merge) or not. If He leads our church(es) to relocate/merge, it will be with a new vision and a new opportunity for mission. If He leads you not to do so, He will renew your vision, perhaps giving you a fresh strategy for reaching and ministering in the community where you are.
Pray for leadership of both churches and thank God that he has a plan for our future work in his name. Also, thank God that he can and will make his plan clear to the leaders and congregations of both churches.