"They next traveled through Phrygia and Galatian territory, because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia." —Acts 16:6
The Holy Spirit is Lord (2 Cor 3:17, 18). The Holy Spirit, being God, gives orders to us (see Acts 8:29ff) rather than taking orders from us. Paul and his fellow missionaries had to go to Galatia because the Spirit prevented them from going into Asia. Because of Paul's Spirit-led diversion, we have in our Bibles Paul's letter to the Galatians. In Galatia, Paul obviously reflected on the Holy Spirit's guidance, for he tells the Galatians and us:
- "God lavishes the Spirit on you" (Gal 3:5).
- "God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son Which cries out 'Abba!' ('Father!')" (Gal 4:6)
- "It is in the Spirit that we eagerly await the justification we hope for, and only faith can yield it" (Gal 5:5).
- "The Spirit [lusts] against the flesh" (Gal 5:17).
- "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity" (Gal 5:22, 23).
Sadly, many have stifled (1 Thes 5:19), saddened (Eph 4:30), or even opposed (Acts 7:51) the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit knows what will succeed far better than we do, and in His mercy "has revealed this wisdom to us" (1 Cor 2:10). The Spirit will instruct us in all things (Jn 14:26) and guide us to all truth (Jn 16:13) and to all places, such as Galatia, where He wants to send us. Therefore, "since we live by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's lead" (Gal 5:25). Come, Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I will go wherever You send me (see Is 6:8).
Promise: "I [Jesus] chose you out of the world." —Jn 15:19
Praise: Pope St. Pius V was so open to the Holy Spirit that he became a Dominican at the young age of fourteen.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004
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