“And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 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. 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 myhouse and stay.” So she persuaded us.” (Acts 16:13-15)
This short account of the conversion of a businesswoman in Philippi holds a number of points of interest that we need to remember. As Paul came to Philippi, he went down to the riverside where people in the town went to pray to God. It was there that he found this woman named Lydia.
It is interesting to note that Lydia was already worshiping God. She was not an idolater or unbeliever, but believed in the God of Heaven and worshiped him. However, just because she believed in God did not mean she knew the truth and was fulfilling God’s expectations. Nor can we assume, contrary to popular opinion, that just because someone believes in God and worships him today that they are where God wants them to be.
The Lord knew the heart of Lydia. She wanted to do what was right and wanted to serve God acceptably. So, through the words of Paul, her heart was opened and she obeyed the Gospel, being baptized into Christ. Many Jews worshiped God in those days, but their hearts were closed to the truth of Christ. Likewise today, many worship the God of the Bible, yet close their hearts to the truths that book proclaims.
Do you, like Lydia, want to serve God enough to allow your heart to be opened to its truth, or even while you worship God will you refuse to acknowledge what is found in his word?