The plan. Have you ever had a plan that just did not work out like you wanted or expected? When Amanda and I were first married, it was our plan to move to Branson where she was going to college. We saved up some money. We scouted out an apartment complex and visited with them. They told us to come back couple weeks prior to the move in date and they could rent us an apartment. So 2 weeks before Amanda had to be at school, we went to the apartment office. Apparently, our financial status was good enough in the initial walk through, but it was not adequate on lease signing day. So here we were, trying to figure out the new plan. Sometimes plans change...sometimes the pathway gets blocked. Check out this story from Acts 16:
6 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.
9 That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
Did you know it was possible for the Holy Spirit to prevent and for the Spirit of Jesus to not allow you to do something even if you think it is with the right motives and intentions? I mean Paul and Silas were trying to preach the Gospel.
I believe it was a work of the Holy Spirit that we were unable to land the apartment in Branson. Living there would have made our ministry to students in Lebanon, MO almost impossible. Without the experience of part-time youth ministry in Lebanon, our hiring as full-time youth pastors in Springfield would have almost been impossible. Without being youth pastors in Springfield, the willingness to obey the call to plant a church here would have almost been impossible. Sometimes doors close for a reason. Usually, because there is a better path.
With sincere love for each of you,