Lots of us have a lot of plans in our lives. Some might have big plans for what we’re going to do today, tomorrow, and perhaps even into the next week. We might even have huge plans for our lives. Others might only have some plans for later today. Regardless of what camp you’re in, if you’re like me, you probably don’t like it when your plans get interrupted, changed, or God forbid, canceled. However, this has happened to all of us at one time or another. What do you do when you have Godly plans and they don’t work out how you intended?

When I was a kid my family and I used to make plans to go skiing every weekend during the winter. Those were great times together enjoying the outdoors and time with the family. Those plans were good plans to promote family health and well-being. They weren’t like the plans I had when I was in the military to go out partying and have a good time. It’s ironic though, when any of those plans changed, how bummed out I was. In some ways, I can still get a little bummed out today when the plans I make go awry. Most of the plans I make today center around God and doing the things I believe He has for me to do. Whether it’s going to work, school, church, or out to a movie, I endeavor to stay within the Father’s will.

It’s raining today in Sacramento. A lot. In fact, we’re getting a storm unlike one I’ve seen in the last three years with what meteorologists call “Atmospheric Rivers” and “Cyclone Bombs.” Along with all of that, there are crazy wind gusts shaking the house and slamming torrential rain against the windows. The roses bushes, which were covered in roses, have only a few stragglers as the wind whips them back and forth. Good times in Northern California because the rain we’ve been praying for to break this drought has arrived. I had plans for today. Like every Sunday, I was planning on going to church. I was eager to attend Sunday School and hear the message from God that He gave to my pastor. I also have a great testimony to share.

I didn’t give the rain that I knew was coming, much thought. Although I’m waiting on a new top for my car, my car cover is waterproof and should keep out the rain. The Lord told me to not worry about the rain, so I’ve been praising Him. I had a four-wheel-drive vehicle to drive for today so I figured I was all set. Last night, while I was reading in bed, my phone lit up with several weather alerts. Flooding and very high winds were expected. I thought about driving the Jeep in 30+ mile per hour winds, with the roads covered in water, and said, “God’s got it.”

When I first woke up early this morning, the wind was buffeting the house and the rain was playing a crescendo upon the roof. There were still several hours before I had to wake up, but when it occurred to me, again, to skip driving to church today, I didn’t want to listen. However, as I lay there in bed, listening to the wind, I was listening to the Lord. I was seeking His will in the matter. I wanted to go to church and wasn’t afraid of the rain or the wind, but I had a nagging feeling that I shouldn’t go. I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep. When I woke up around the time I would usually wake up for Sunday School, the thought occurred to me that God was waking me up to go to Sunday School. However, I thought on it and decided I would continue in the new, altered plan, and wait to see what happened with the weather.

When I got to my Bible reading for the day, I saw the verse of the day:

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Although I acknowledged this verse, and the Lord’s will in it, I still was thinking about going to church. Even while I went through my daily reading all about Paul and how he decided to go to Jerusalem despite the Holy Spirit warning him not to go, I was thinking about going to church. It wasn’t until my brother, who’s at the moment, unsaved, texted me to warn me I shouldn’t go out because it was “dangerous,” that I realized what I had heard was, indeed, from the Lord, and everything I’d been reading was confirmation.

It was then that the light went on, and I realized how I was, in a very vague way, in a similar situation as Paul.

Paul’s heart was for his people, the Jews, to be saved. He writes, in Romans, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1 NIV). Because Paul wanted the Jews to accept Christ and be saved he kept going to them over and over, preaching the Gospel, and being rejected. During Paul’s speech to the Jews, in Acts 22, Paul tells them, “the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentile’s” (Acts 22:21 NIV). This really irks the Jews who were listening but it shows us, if we hadn’t picked it up as we read the previous chapters on Acts, that Paul was supposed to be preaching to the Gentiles now, and not the Jews.

This is why, if you were wondering, the Holy Spirit warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem three times, while he was on his way there. First, there are the disciples at Tyre who, “Through the Spirit…urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4 NIV). Next, we are told about Philip’s seven daughters who prophesied. While the text doesn’t say they prophesied to Paul not to go to Jerusalem, it’s possible that they did since Luke mentions this for a reason. However, if you’d like to strike them from the warnings to Paul, I’m okay with that. The third (or second) time the Holy Spirit warned Paul it was through the prophet, Agabus, who, “took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentile’s” (Acts 21:11 NIV).

Scripture tells us the people urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem but Paul was determined to go and said to them, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13 NIV).

Paul had the choice to listen to the Holy Spirit, and not go to Jerusalem, or to do what he felt was right, continue with trying to bring the Gospel to the Jews. We know Paul chose to continue to Jerusalem where he was imprisoned, and sent off to Rome where he wrote, while he was imprisoned, most of his epistles.

What might have happened if Paul had listened to the Holy Spirit and never went to Jerusalem? Only God knows. We know God was still with Paul and continued to work through him to bring us about two-thirds of the New Testament.

Like Paul, I could have gone on to do what I thought was right and go to church, or I could have listened to the Holy Spirit and changed my plans for the day. Paul went on to do what he thought was right even though it cost him some freedom. I stayed home, attended church online, and I’m thankful for it.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.