"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans" - Proverbs 16:3 (NIV).
The Apostle Paul had a plan. It was a good plan. He had this idea to take the Gospel to Eastern Europe, home of great civilizations. However, God had a different plan for him. "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.When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to" (Acts 17:6-7)
Having a plan is a good thing but the Lord's plan is far better. Other than Asia God has a different vision for Paul. It was to go to the capital of Western Europe, Rome. After making a detour and continuing to share the Good News, Paul would be arrested and then look at what the Lord told him. "The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome" (Acts 23:11). Other than Asia, the road for Paul led to Rome, where he would peach the Gospel to the end of his life.
Now going to Asia, which had been his initial wish, was not a bad idea, just to make sure. There were people there who needed to hear the Gospel as elsewhere. However, Paul was not the one with the final idea. This was God's business and there are certain things which were known to God and not man. For instance, because Paul took the Gospel to Rome, it would spring from that capital to penetrate the rest of the world through later Western domination.
Here is the point. You can have a plan. Fine and you should! But is it God's plan? Or, simply put, have you taken it to the Lord! And by the way if you hear differently from the Lord, do not resist, for His plan is far richer!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I bring to you all my plans that you choose the best course of action for me, this I pray in Jesus's name!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.