Today: Proverbs 16:8-17; Acts 22:22-30; Acts 23:1-11; 2 Kings 6:24-33; 2 Kings 7; 2 Kings 8:1-15
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Craig and I are planners, take charge kinda’ people. We like to determine a plan and then go make it happen. But we’ve learned over the years that control over our own lives is only an illusion. Regardless of how solid our plans might be, life can always intervene in a million different ways. We’ve learned to hold our plans with open hands, and lots of prayer. Our commitment is to follow GOD’S plans for us regardless of our own personal desires.
This goal has led us to this most unusual, interesting adventure where we currently find ourselves. It all started back in January, when God made it clear via signs, words, visions, and confirmations that He wanted us to sell our city house and our country property and move across the state.
That hadn’t been our plan. But He made it clear and we followed. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my beloved city garden and my country woods. But I worked through the grief. I refused to nurse my sorrows. And God miraculously transformed my sadness into great joy and excitement about this new plan.
Our house sold in three days, and we have now sold our cabin property. God has worked out all the crazy details one by one. We only needed to do the manual labor of moving all our stuff into storage and trust Him to direct us to our new home. Even that part God worked out. Way back last fall we bought a condo in Branson to rent out as an AirBnB property. We had no idea back then that we would need a place to stay while we looked for our new home. But God knew. And He was putting all the pieces into place for us.
And now we have found our new property. Once again, through signs, words, visions, and confirmations, God has made His will crystal clear. It is a beautiful house in a perfect location on 3 1/2 acres of flat cleared land, with a huge barn, chicken coop and even chickens. It is absolutely PERFECT for what we are wanting to do there… homestead.
There is only one problem. There are no woods. I really REALLY wanted some woods. It was pretty much the number one thing on my list. This was our opportunity to own some more woods!
But once again, God’s plan did not match mine. So I could grudgingly pout and wallow in disappointment OR I can praise the LORD for this amazing property He is giving us and immerse myself into falling in love with it. The answer is B! I choose option B!!!
Following God’s will doesn’t mean things are always going to be easy. Sometimes God’s plan will send you right through the fire. That’s what happened to Paul in Jerusalem when he found himself surrounded by rioting, murderous Jews screaming for his blood.
It may have appeared to some that Paul had flubbed up somewhere along the way. Paul himself may have been tempted to suspect the same. But God had mercifully warned him repeatedly that this was going to happen. Paul was spiritually and mentally prepared for it. It was all part of His plan. God arranged every little detail so that Paul could first proclaim the gospel in Jerusalem, and then to Rome.
Again God showed great mercy to Paul when he comforted him in his holding cell. He stood close to Paul and told him, “Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” (v.23:11)
When we are committed to following God’s will wherever it may lead, regardless of our own personal preferences, He WILL guide our path one way or another. He is more than capable of revealing His plan to us as He chooses, step by step. God loves and responds to hearts that are committed to Him.
2 Kings 6-8
Israel was nearing the end of a seven year famine. Things were so dire, people resorted to cannibalism to survive. Elisha had prophesied this famine to the king, so the king blamed Elisha for it. When the king approached Elisha to kill him, God gave Elisha another prophecy, “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel” (that means, very cheap!). (v.7:1)
At the time, this prophecy seemed completely outrageous. No one could imagine any way this could even be possible. But God had a divine plan. He worked out every miraculous detail, and it happened just as Elisha had said.
We get a rare glimpse into the heart of a prophet in 2 Kings 8. King Ben-Hadad was ill and sent his servant, Hazael, to ask Elisha if he would recover from his illness. Elisha told Hazael, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover,’ Nevertheless, the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” (v.10) Then Elisha “stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.” (v.11)
When Hazael asked Elisha why he was weeping, Elisha responded, “Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites… You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.” (v.12)
Hazael responded, “How could you servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?”
Elisha answered, “The LORD has shown me that you will become king of Aram.” (v.13)
Hazael returned to his master, Ben-Hadad, murdered him, and succeeded him as king. And then he proceeded to commit every single atrocity Elisha had described.