16:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Sometimes I think we have it too easy. This morning a message was waiting for me on my phone asking if I had been fully reimbursed yet for our expenses for a speaking engagement I had earlier this month. Paul, Silas, and Timothy got no such messages. Traveling costs money now and it cost money then. Lodging and food cost money now and it cost money then. These men had no salary and neither were their expenses covered. They literally survived on faith. When Jesus was training the disciples for ministry He addressed the practical side of things. He told them when they entered a town to rely on the hospitality of someone in that town and if no one received them they were to keep on moving.
It takes faith to not know where you will lay down at night or where your next meal will come from. It really takes faith to go so far in your travels that there isn't even a local synagogue. Who would support them? When they ask around and find out a handful of Jews meet for prayer by the river they go. When they arrive they share the good news about Jesus to a small group of women. How could they expect food and lodging from them? It seemed impractical, inappropriate, and impossible.
We are not given all the financial details of how their basic needs were met on a daily basis but clearly they were. In this particular case we know a successful Asian business woman persuaded them to stay with her.
In a nutshell it goes like this: If we are doing God's will and following His lead He will provide. It's one of His names - Jehovah Jireh - The Lord Will Provide.
We walk by faith and not by sight. Our circumstances are different today but our need to trust Him remains the same. We may not have the same financial pressures they had but there are time pressures and balancing competing demands etc... In all of the practical pressures and needs of our lives we can trust Him and He will provide. Never be afraid to follow Him. It's the only safe path.