When Plans are Thwarted

When Plans are Thwarted
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia." Daniel 10:13

I left at 5:00 a.m. to fly to another city to present some possible joint initiatives in ministry with another organization. I would have only an hour or so to meet with the board. I got into the city and taxied to the hotel. This is great, I thought. No glitches. I am even here an hour early. I asked where the meeting was. There was no record of such a meeting, even though my contact was staying at the hotel. I made several calls, to no avail. What had I missed? I continued trying to reach someone. An hour and a half later I reached my wife. She located a letter that seemed to indicate the meeting might be downtown. I took a cab and arrived at the location. "I am sorry, sir, there are no seventh-floor offices in use yet in this building."

"That cannot be. My letter says different." After I insisted, she let me go up. I arrived on the seventh floor. Nothing but concrete. Perplexed, I called my wife again. We made contact with yet another person who gave us another number to call. Finally, we located where the meeting was taking place. I got into the cab for another $30 cab ride. Forty-five minutes later the cab driver was lost. We stopped at a dry cleaners and he asked the people there, where the street was located. I was past the point of anger. I was laughing at this situation. A few minutes later, we arrived at our destination, three and a half hours after our scheduled time. Plans do not always go as we hope. Sometimes they are hindered for our purposes. Sometimes we are dealing in a spiritual realm in which we realize we are truly in a spiritual battle. And sometimes we are even hindered to protect us. After looking at this situation, I believe I was being hindered from getting to this meeting. However, perseverance and God's grace allowed me to make the meeting. Important initiatives resulted from the brief time I was there.

The next time your plans are thwarted, begin asking what is at the root of the calamities. Ask God for discernment on what is taking place. Just as He revealed to Daniel, God will show you what is behind such events.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

The Blessing of God's Spiritual Influence
Bayless Conley

In the beginning of Isaiah 55, God invites His people to come to Him and fellowship with Him. In verses 3 and 6 God says,

"Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live.... Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."

In verses 10-11, we are told what happens to those who respond to this invitation, to God's call to come and seek Him and listen to Him,

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."

In the same way rain brings blessing when it waters the earth (causing it to bring a bountiful harvest and fruitfulness into the lives of the people), so God's spiritual influence brings refreshment and fruitfulness to our lives.

What is God's spiritual influence? It is the impact of His Word and His Spirit upon the hearts of His children.

When you come to God, when you respond to His call to seek Him and incline your ear, He will speak to you. And the effect His Word has when He speaks it into your life, into your heart, is the same effect that rain has on the earth.

His Word, as it penetrates your heart, will bring refreshment, enlightenment, and ultimately, fruitfulness. It will bring revival into your heart causing spiritual growth and progress.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

Overcoming Self-Sufficiency
Dr. Charles Stanley
2 Corinthians 12:7-10

In many modern cultures, self-sufficiency is prized. People cheer over stories of the man who "pulled himself up by his boot straps." A lot of folks don't like to admit the need for help from other people or from the Lord, since a can-do attitude seems far more impressive. In a word, the problem is pride.

Adversity punches holes in pride. Paul reported that he had a lot of reasons to be arrogant—a good pedigree, education, religious fervor, etc. (Phil. 3:5-6). Even after his conversion, he had plenty of opportunity get a swelled head. God had specifically called him to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. But the Lord also gave him a "thorn in the flesh"—an obstacle so great that Paul required constant spiritual assistance to work through it. This was the pin that burst the apostle's pride balloon and then kept it so full of holes that it couldn't re-inflate.

God uses adversity in much the same way in our lives. We find ourselves in a situation that is beyond our capacity to handle. So we try to pull those bootstraps, but nothing happens. That is when God offers His sufficiency, His might, and His guidance. Those who submit to Him discover renewed strength, as His power dwells within them.

Self-sufficiency is no prize; it is a trap. That's why God's message is the opposite of the one that the world trumpets so loudly. Those who desire to conquer adversity must sacrifice self-reliance to depend upon Him. When we are weak, His Spirit makes us strong.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

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