The title of “When God says No!” is perhaps not a very catchy or appealing title but actually when God is saying, “No” to one thing, He’s saying, “Yes” to something else. God’s “No” to Bithynia at this time became a “Yes” to Lydia and Philippi.
Timing is crucial.If Paul had tarried in Bithynia he may have missed the meeting with Lydia in Philippi. This meeting was a divine appointment. The Bible says that Lydia was a worshipper of God. God had been preparing her heart to receive Paul’s message.
God prepares us for a people and a people for us. We just need to trust His direction.
Lydia was a seller of purple. She was a well to do agent of a purple dye company from Thyatira. Purple cloth was extremely expensive – it was a symbol of status and wealth. The dye for purple was made from a juice found in minute quantities in shellfish. It took thousands of crustaceans to make a yard or two of purple cloth. So, to sell this cloth Lydia will have been mixing with very rich and influential people.
Lydia is believed to be the first European convert and the Orthodox churches have given her the title of, “Equal to the Apostles” which signifies her importance and level of holiness.
The Lord opened Lydia’s heart and her and her household got baptized. Then she invited Paul to stay at her house. Later, when Paul had gone to jail and been released (Acts 16:30) he, along with Silas, headed straight for Lydia’s house.
So after the “No!” he received from God, Paul met this wonderful lady, Lydia, whose heart was responsive and open to the gospel who became a big part of the Church at Philippi – a Church that was a constant source of supply for Paul – financially and spiritually. This connection was extremely significant
God’s “No!” to Bithynia became a “Yes” to Philippi!
This happened because Paul listened to and obeyed the Holy Spirit
God has a plan for you. Don’t be discouraged if you sense a roadblock. God has a greater purpose.
God has good plans for you – to give you a future and a hope.