No matter how often we say to ourselves or to other people that we are waiting God’s plans, you and I both know that it is very tempting to delude ourselves into following our own personal agenda that we see fit as the “best plan.” However, we realize VERY quickly that when we try to follow our plans rather than God’s plans, we will get nowhere until we are forced to take that painful detour to get back on track.
A great example of this is Paul’s life. When you take a look at the life of Paul the apostle, it is truly mind-boggling! He went from this Pharisee who was persecuting Christians to a leader/missionary of the early church age.
His life was living proof of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit!
However, the work of the Holy Spirit did not end there. There was an early notion that if Paul got caught by the Roman government while he was ministering, then that would be it—the end of the ministry. Instead of “playing it safe” as he was advised by his fellow believers, Paul went straight into the fire because he trusted in God and knew he had more to gain than lose by moving ahead.
Yes, Paul did get arrested by the Romans, but Paul’s usefulness for the kingdom of God did not stop there as everyone had feared. In fact, God used him even more as a prisoner than as a freed man! Just look at the New Testament!
Most of the epistles written by him were the ones written while he was incarcerated.
I doubt that he realized it at the time, but those letters that he wrote would go down in history to lay down the groundwork for the doctrines for Christianity and the Church that we continue to practice today.
Now, you know who DID know? God knew from the very beginning what would be the best plan.
Paul did come to realize that God did have a purpose for his imprisonment, and when you read Philippians chapter 4 the latter half talks about being content regardless of what is happening in life whether it is in abundance or lack because we have Christ who is all sufficient and gives us the strength we need in all situations. I especially love how nonchalantly Paul ends the book of Philippians, but is in reality the best mic drop in the New Testament in my opinion.
All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. | Philippians 4:22
He literally tells the Philippian church, “Oh btw, the believers within the household of Caesar (you know the great world leader and my imprisoner) say howdy.”
How insane is that?!
Paul was not only ministering to the believers by sending them letters with God’s teachings, but he was also witnessing to the lost even in his imprisonment!
He was able to reach a very specific set of people that was RIPE for hearing the truth of the Gospel ONLY because he was imprisoned. Paul realized in hind sight that if he had just gone along with the “safe route,” then he would never have been able to be used to his FULL potential that would produce the most fruit for the kingdom and bring God the MOST glory!
Next time you think that your life is not going according to your plans, just remind yourself that maybe it’s actually going according to God’s plan, which is the right plan.