WHEN JESUS WOULD NOT ALLOW YOU TO PURSUE YOUR PLANS
“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:6—10)
The apostle Paul and his companions who traveled with him through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, were KEPT by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. They also came to the border of Mysia, and tried to enter Bitynia, BUT THE SPIRIT OF JESUS WOULD NOT allow them to.
This is quite an interesting happening worth noticing. Paul and his companions had plans to preach the gospel in the regions of Asia where they were traveling. However, the Holy Spirit KEPT them for doing so. Then the second time they tried to enter another city; the SPIRIT OF JESUS WOULD NOT ALLOW THEM TO.
Sometimes, our good plans must give way to the greater plan. Twice Paul and his companions were KEPT and NOT ALLOWED by Jesus. There was a reason and a purpose. Although Paul and his friends had a plan, their plans must give way to what the Holy Spirit wanted them to do.
During the night, Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia standing and begging him to come over and help them. When God stops us from our plans, he has a purpose and a reason that we may not know or understand.
It never mentioned whether Paul complained or question or ask for more details. Paul stopped, and then God gave him a vision in the dark. When we are in the dark about why things are not happening as we expected and planned, that could be the moment for God’s bigger plans ahead.
I learned from Paul today how to plan but always acknowledge the Lord in his planning. God’s plan was for Paul to preach the gospel, and while Paul planned accordingly, he was flexible enough to change the course of urgent matters at that moment; the Holy Spirit was working on him. Paul planned his events, but the Holy Spirit confirmed and directs his movement.
I learn a few principles of how to yield to the Holy Spirit. I can either wield my own plans and ignore the urgent urging of the Holy Spirit, or I can yield my plans to the leading and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- Always Plan but let the Holy Spirit confirms and guide.
- Be willing to yield my plans to God at all times.
- When God closes doors, he is about to open new doors where his purposes will be fulfilled.
- Don’t keep trying to pry a door when God closes it.
- God does not give out details of his plans aside from giving you the place where you need to go.
- God will only reveal what he wants me to do when I stop wielding my plans.
- I must be willing to let go of a good plan for the best plans even when I do not understand it.
- God called me to obedience, and it doesn’t matter how much I have sacrificed to do what he wants me to do.
Sometimes I complained, saying I have sacrificed so much time and I have prepared so much and only to be told to change courses. Obedience is always better than sacrifice. I must sacrifice all my efforts, all my preparation, however much I have spent, and all that I think is best on the altar of obedience. My best effort and sacrifice matter little to God. My obedience is a great deal to him.
I am not always that flexible when God wants to change direction. I often complain and ask questions. I recently realized that God requires my obedience more than all that I have sacrificed and accomplished. The moment my moment obedience is better than a fix planned on my calendar. I will continue to make way for God always to change my schedule, plans, and visions to fulfill the best outcome on God’s heart rather than on my planned-out calendar. I want to be flexible and bendable to the will of Jesus.
Father, thank you for reminding me that obedience is better than sacrifice. I know that my will is stubborn and hard to obey. Please teach me obedience that pleases you. Teach me to walk with you in humility and acknowledge you in all I do. I want to follow you, not thinking of how much I have sacrificed, but what your will is moment by moment and day by day. Give me a heart that follows hard after you. I need you daily. Amen!