Over the next couple of days I want to look at Acts chapter 20. Today let's look at verses 1-6. Take time to read these few verses.
In these few verses Paul takes a strange path for a journey. The starting point of this journey was Ephesus and the ending point was Troas. However, Paul goes from Ephesus, passed Troas, through Macedonia, into Greece, back through Macedonia and then to Troas. What a strange journey. This would be like me wanting to go from Atlanta to Washington D.C. by going from Atlanta to D.C., then to Philadelphia, up to New York City, back through Philadelphia and then to Washington D.C.
Why did God take Paul on such a strange trip? I think there is one reason with at least two examples. The reason is: because God wanted to in order accomplish His purpose. Is that vague enough for you?
Let's look at two ways that God accomplished His purpose in this trip.
1) Paul wrote Romans on this trip. Paul's purposeful meandering brought him into Greece to the city of Corinth. We see from this section of scripture that Paul spent three months in Corinth. What this passage doesn't tell us is that while in Corinth Paul wrote the book of Romans. Romans is a letter to the church at Rome. It also is one of the most important books of the Bible for the theological foundation of the Church. If Paul didn't have this period of purposeful meandering maybe he doesn't write Romans.
2) Paul was able to give some of the leaders of the churches a tour of God's work. Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timothy, Tychicus, Trophimus and Luke met Paul to take gifts of money to the church in Jerusalem. You can read about this gift for the church in Jerusalem in 2 Corinthians 8:1-21. So, these men are bringing a gift of money to Jerusalem, but they get a gift themselves. These men accompany Paul as he went back through the churches that he had helped established. These men got a tour of the work of God. Imagine what that did for their faith and the faith of the churches they returned to.
Paul's trip from Ephesus to Troas wasn't what Map Quest would have recommended, but it was in line with the will of God to accomplish His purposes.
Are you in a place where it looks like God has made you take a wrong turn? Does it look like God has you wandering when you He's told you where He wants you to go? Don't be discouraged. If God told you in your life you are to go from your personal Ephesus to your personal Troas then trust Him. Trust Him even if you just walked by your Troas. God has a purpose for where you are now. Don't miss His purpose for now because you are engrossed with the destination. Don't miss the blessing of the journey.
Trust our Lord. Sometimes we are called into purposeful meandering. Make each step of your journey worth it in the scope eternity. Live for Jesus wherever you are today.