Thursday, January 28, 2016

Change of Plans

A candle flame dance and leaped in the night. Paul watched it from where he lay in bed. Staring. Wondering. Trying to figure out what God wanted.

Why wasn't He letting them go preach?

God had forbidden them from going to speak the Word in Asia. They had traveled up to Mysia, when the Spirit of Jesus stopped him cold. He did not allow the group to go into Bithynia. It seemed like every time they got excited about going into a new region to preach the Gospel, God stopped them. Several people in the group expressed frustration. Truthfully, Paul was starting to feel the same way.

"There must be a reason," he mumbled into the quiet night.

A haze of light overtook his vision, and a man of Macedonia appeared to stand before Paul as clear as day. His expression was desperate, and his eyes pleaded with Paul's. He realized the man was speaking. "Come over to Macedonia and help us." The man said it over and over and over...

Paul startled. The vision was gone. Like it had never happened, but Paul knew better.

A knowing smile overtook his face. He could almost feel God's smirk. There was a reason. God wanted them to preach the Gospel to the people of Macedonia.

Based on  Acts 16:6-10

"And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." Acts 16:6-10

I am a very stubborn person. So when I get a plan into my head, it is devastating ahem...very difficult to let those plans go.

I would have been so confused here. I would have been a wee bit angry. "God," I would have cried out, "I doing this for you! Let me go where I want to go! Let me do this for you. I want to go here! This is the better path!"


When God says, "Do this for me."

When God says, "Change of plans," what is your response? Mine is usually not good. It takes a lot of gnashing of teeth, crying, and pouting before I come around.

"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9

This group had their heart set on God. Instead of fighting God and being frustrated and angry, they said, "Oh, God must want us to go here for a reason. He must want us to preach here!" God always has a reason. Next time you face a change of plans, remember there must be a reason.

V. Joy Palmer

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