Take the boxing gloves off and pick yourself up off the floor. No need to keep beating yourself up over what did or didn’t happen last year.
I know, I know … this is something we never want to ask ourselves, but always do. So, let me be the one who does the questioning to ease the pain of guilt or regret.
In review over your vision or goal list for last year, if you looked into your rearview mirror, did you accomplish all of them? Half … some … even one? (Wait … don’t pick up the guilt gloves!)
Did you discover God’s plan didn’t quite match yours and your expectations hit the wall? To tell the truth, that’s where I was, and in time spent with the Lord, He let me know exactly where I missed it.
Thanks for joining us on Daily Favor Blog.
When Go Turns to No
After time in biblical study I discovered plenty of people have walked that path of disappointment before me. Do you know who else found himself in that situation? The Apostle Paul, that’s right. The Bible tells us what happened in the book of Acts.
He had planned his 2nd mission trip with Timothy who was joining him for training, when all of a sudden God put a hold on it. The evangelic journey was scheduled through Asia as he headed for Bithynia. Instead, God stopped him with no rhyme or reason Paul thought.
Every detail was set and prayed through with no doubts in the process. He and Timothy were prepared; people were expecting them. It just didn’t make sense that in an instant the “go ye” plan turned to a “no ye” one. So then, Lord, what’s the problem?
For Future Generations of Favor
Has God ever said “no” to you by closing every door that was opened and you couldn’t figure out why? Scripture reminds us that although we may make our plans, our steps are directed by the Lord.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”
This is what seemed to be happening to Paul, that is except for something strange. All opportunities closed but one … to Troas, which wasn’t even part of the plan.
Troas Lord? Why Troas and not Bithynia? There was no way Paul could have known what the future would hold, but God knows the end from the beginning. He was placing people in position for future generations of favor and blessings on a larger scale that Paul couldn’t have imagined.
At the time it didn’t make sense, but Paul had to obey and Timothy watched this all play out for good and God’s glory. His plan is far better than ours and the Apostle wasn’t about to fight with the Lord’s change in direction.
The Voice in the Night
The two cities were very different from one another (Bithynia and Troas that is), not only in culture and language but geographically it would make a big difference. (Take a look at the above map.) This was new to them and not where they thought they would be according to the schedule.
There have been many times when I became frustrated because some of my plans and goals have taken so long. That's when the boxing gloves of guilt and regret emerge.
Over and over as I start questioning every step I’ve taken, wondering if I’ve had it wrong the entire time. Like Paul, it is during those quiet times in the night when the Lord speaks clearly to our spirit. If we are listening attentively, we will hear the Holy Spirit's voice speak to our spirit, giving direction and know this is His will over what we had previously planned or desired.
During the night in Troas, not the city of Bithynia, Paul had a vision of ministering to a man begging for help in Macedonia, Greece … a totally different place and continent! He was anxious to get to the first destination, but God took him on a different path first … steps that would alter the course of history!
“So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas, and a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying: Come over to Macedonia and help us.
Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to
go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us
to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:8-10)
Paul didn’t waste time, but hopped on board a ship from Troas ports and traveled to Neapolis (now Kavala), which is a major eastern seaport in Macedonia. He had to be where God was going to give him favor from the “future generations who would become” Saints.
Troas was where God launched Paul’s ministry of “go ye” and how the gospel was spread not only in Greece, but throughout all Europe.
There’s A Better Door
Although Paul’s mindset was Asia, God’s was for all of Europe and mankind. Troas would be the doorway for the gospel and Christianity to be preached among Muslim nations. It didn’t stop there either!
Eventually settlers would break free from other nations and travel to Plymouth Rock, yes to America where freedom of religion is practiced and enjoyed liberally! That is … at this moment, but for how long will this door remain open to this blessing?
I can write and post this because of the grace and favor of God that began thousands of years ago, without traveling across an ocean or body of water like Paul did originally! You are reading this because of that same grace!
What if Paul didn’t obey God and stayed in Asia, would I have ever learned about Christ’s saving grace or experience His favor daily? How would I be able to proclaim or teach what I had not known in my own life? Oh, but thankfully Paul did take that step of faith to journey with Jesus!
There is a bigger plan for all mankind and history, not just what is in front of you or me. God is doing a different thing, He’s making it plain, 20/20 clarity for His vision. Can you not see it? It’s time to forget past failures and the unexplained closed roads.
“The LORD said, forget what happened long ago!
Don’t think about the past. I am creating something new.
There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts,
streams in thirsty lands.” (Isaiah 43:18-19 CEV)
He Will Lead Us On
If we read stories throughout history it’s easy to understand why God changed events to fit His overall plan for salvation. We read how people had their heart set on something, but God sent them down a different path changing direction of their destiny.
Someone once described it like this …
“God leads down a path we do not know
Upward He leads though our steps be slow
Though often we faint and falter on the way
Though storms and darkness obscure the day
Yet when the clouds are gone
We know that He leads us on.”
Maybe you’re frustrated over the past and even say, “This is not what I planned; I expected so much more and to be farther along in my goals.”
You may be confused about what God is doing, but He isn’t. When God stops or blocks your plans, it’s because the favor and blessings He has for you are not where you think or expect.
If you recall, God didn’t reveal to Paul His plans until he arrived in Troas. It wasn’t until Paul obeyed the first step that the Lord revealed another part or phase of the vision.
God is more interested in your obedience than you trying to figure things out on your own. There is no way we can know how big the blessing is, we just have to trust Him in the journey.
Go with God’s plan, stop fighting, scratching and clawing against what He is telling you to do. When we submit our plans to God, He will change them into something more than we could ask or think.
“Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination!
He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly
energizes you.” (Ephesians 3:20 TPT)
Have You Settled in Bithynia?
We’ve all missed a turn or two down the road of life, but the journey still continued didn’t it? Somehow, we got back on track and saw where we went wrong.
God showed me things I needed to take hold of and what to let go from the past if He was to bless the work of my hands. He’s not closing doors to stop us from moving forward, but leading us to our own Troas, a place where there are open doors for greater favor, opportunities and blessings.
I’m going to keep asking the hard questions … Where is your vision? How far along are you in where you want to be? Have you set the path with God’s permission or is it one you want to travel alone?
There’s a better way if you let God lead you in the direction to take. The path leads to joy in His Daily Favor and Eternal Presence!
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
This Week's Challenge:
What is your Bithynia & where is it leading you?
See, friends, we all have a Bithynia of sorts in our lives - a place and goal in mind, but they don’t always match God’s. Spend time with the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you exactly where you missed it or what needs changing. Don’t be discouraged if or when God changes your plans … it’s going to be okay!
Let me ask you again … What and where is your Bithynia? Have you settled there, or are you willing to go on to the “Troas” God sets so His favor and plans can be established through you? Who knows, it may be a road trip to Greece or even Paris, France, but if not it's still going to be the ride of your life!
Even though things aren’t exactly what I hoped for yet or where I planned to be at this point of my life, this is my prayer … it can be yours as well.
“Lord, I’m going to trust You and Your plans. Somehow, someway I know what You have in mind is much better. I submit to Your plan and timing, no matter how long it takes. I choose to enjoy the journey and watch the goodness of the Lord unfold in my life.”
Whatever your goal or vision is, be prepared! Never forget that if you are willing and obedient, God will always direct you to His path of favor… your road to “Troas”, the unexpected destination that is better than you can ever imagine.
“For the Lord God is a sun and a safe-covering (shield).
The Lord gives favor and honor. He holds back nothing good from
those who walk in the way that is right. O Lord of all,
how happy is the man (person) who trusts in You!”
(Psalm 84:11-12 NLV emphasis mine)
Lead Me On by Aiza Seguerra
Until next time, favor awaits you in your “Troas”!
“I will bring favor where you least expect it.”
- Jesus Christ
*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy.
Note: When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.
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