A couple of years ago, near the end of a long work shift, I was tired and looking forward to getting home. At the time, I performed technical support for Gap and Old Navy stores in the United States and Canada. Since it was after nine o’clock in the evening, most of the stores were closed, so I probably wasn’t going to run into any tough issues. If any, at all. However, after getting my stuff ready to go, I got a call from someone who had a problem. There went my hope of leaving work on time. 

After helping the store with their problem, I not only didn’t get out of work on time, I got out of work late, and the long drive home looked even longer. Fortunately, because it was so late, there would probably be less traffic on the freeways. About 10 minutes into my drive, I ran into traffic that eventually reached a standstill. While I waited for traffic to move, I listened to Christian Contemporary Music and praised the Lord. Although I was tired and running late, I was glad to be off work. 

As traffic started to move at an aggressively slow snail’s pace, I eventually saw flashing lights ahead. There was an accident or something on the shoulder, and everyone was slowly driving by. I wondered why people have to rubberneck when they see an accident. Why can’t they just pick up the pace and move along? After all, I was tired and wanted to get home. 

However, I noticed more flashing lights ahead; this time, it was where the on-ramp and freeway met. This is why people were still driving so slowly. Someone must have collided while getting on the freeway. I continued driving slowly until, just past that accident, there was another, and finally, I could get back to speed and get home. Much much later than I would have ever wanted to be. 

As I continued homeward, I realized that I could have been in any of those three accidents if I had left work on time. After all, I could tell that they had all just happened. Suddenly, it didn’t matter how late I was because I knew it was God who kept me from being in any of those accidents. 

As Christians, we must always remember that nothing happens without God’s permission. When something does happen, God allows it to happen. However, that doesn’t mean that Satan had nothing to do with what happened. It’s up to us to have the discernment to be able to tell the difference. Yet, so often, we blame every bad thing on the devil. “I was late to church this morning because the devil didn’t want me to come.” “___________ didn’t or did happen because of the devil.” 

Satan can indeed disrupt our plans. Evident from this verse in 1 Thessalonians. 

For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way.

1 Thessalonians 2:18 (NIV)

Yet, the Holy Spirit can also disrupt our 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. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

Acts 16:6-7 (NIV)

Paul correctly discerned that it was Satan who kept him from returning to Thessalonica and Luke discerned that it was the Spirit that kept Paul from further preaching the word of God in Asia. Although Paul likely told Luke what happened since they were traveling together. 

What we ought to do when our plans are disrupted is remember that God could be protecting us from hurt, harm, or danger. Consider these verses.

He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.

Psalm 91:3 (GNT)

The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

Proverbs 3:25-26 (NIV)

The Lord can, does, and will allow evil to have “its way” sometimes. Sometimes for punishment. Still, what I like to do, especially when my plans have been so disrupted as to take me on a different course, is to really lean into the Lord and what he might be doing. After all, if I always drive that route on the way home, and today, I’m taking a new and completely different route. That means God is doing something. And, even if all that I see happen is that I get to my destination later. I still thank God. Who knows, I might have gotten hit by a bus if I had gone the other way? 

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, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, 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:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal 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.