Acts 16:6-10
Acts 16:6 (KJB)
Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Were forbidden - Restrained, stopped, or prevented
After Paul and his company had gone through the areas of Galatia and Phrygia visiting all the churches they had previously been involved with, their next logical step would have been to go into the Roman province of Asia which would have been directly west of Phrygia. Now this verse should be a problem to those who believe in free will because they could have gone there and preached at their own will. This verse teaches us that God has certain timing and He controls what areas evangelism is going to take place. Paul did eventually have a ministry there but God’s timing was not at this time. God has everything planned and there is nothing left to man to do but to fulfill God’s plan. This is what those who believe in free will have a problem with that they are to obey God’s plan and not make up their own plans. At that point, there may not have been any Elect in the area Paul wanted to go in and that is why they were forbidden to preach the word as they passed through. I am sure Paul wanted to preach that word but he had to obey the Holy Spirit and preach where he was directed.
Acts 16:7 (KJB)
After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
After they had passed through the province of Asia, they came to Mysia which was a western peninsula on the Aegean sea. From there they wanted to go northeast into the Roman province of Bithynia but the Spirit did not allow them to go there. While they were in Mysia, they probably decided to go to Bithynia and see if that is where the Holy Spirit wanted them to minister but that was quashed. Paul knew he had a missionary burden on him and did not want to sit around so he tried different places to minister to see if the Lord would confirm the destination or send them elsewhere.
Acts 16:8 (KJB)
And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
They came through Mysia and went to the town of Troas which was a port city on the western tip of the peninsula. Since they could not go east, they went in the other direction. I am sure Paul wanted to preach his heart out in both Mysia and Asia.
Acts 16:9 (KJB)
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.
While Paul was in Troas, he may have been sleeping when he experienced a vision by seeing a man who asked him to come to Macedonia and help them. Since Paul was in a port city, he would have been able to catch a boat to go west to the province of Macedonia. It is actually pronounced “Makedonia” because in the Greek there is no soft “c” but only a “k” which is kappa, pronounced like a hard “k.” There Paul would have an increase in his ministry because he would be involved in establishing churches there such as Philippi and Thessalonica and also where he would pen some of his epistles. God began to change the direction of Paul’s ministry from just preaching to establishing Christian churches which would prepared Christians for the spread of the Gospel.
Acts 16:10 (KJB)
And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
Paul did not waste any time by throwing out a fleece or something like that. As soon as he received the vision, he then sought to go forth into Macedonia believing that the Lord had called him to preach the gospel there. It seems in this passage that Luke had joined Paul because you will notice when describing the journey, Luke uses the word “we” and “us.” Paul had believed it was a preaching journey as before but because of his faithfulness to the Gospel, God was now ready to take his ministry to the next level and that is not only to preach but to start building Christian centers for the purpose of increased evangelism by other believers. This verse gives us a tremendous principle. Paul was faithful in his preaching of the Gospel and obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This means that we Christians need to be obedient to the Lord in the small things and He will enlarge our ministries if it is His will. We do not need to expand the ministry or worry that our ministry is too small. What we need to concern ourselves with is that our ministry is faithful, God will work out the geography.