BE ON THE LOOK OUT…FOR DIVINE INTERVENTIONS.
Irritation, frustration, exasperation. Ever feel like that when you just can’t get things to go the way you want them? You have a Plan and you are trying to execute it and why won’t God just help! It is so irritating, frustrating, and exasperating!!! Oops! It’s amazing that we often speak of the Sovereignty of God, that God is in complete control and we love that teaching except when it clashes with our plans!!! And instead of resting in His Sovereignty we display the “gift” of irritability!!!
In the introduction to the book of Philippians. Paul writes, to these dear ones in Phiippi which was 800 miles from Rome. The boast of the inhabitants was they were “citizens” of Rome…they had an earthly emperor. Paul reminds the BELIEVERS they are “citizens of Heaven” and the Lord Of All is on the Heavenly Throne. Paul writes to them affectionately, though he himself is now in his fourth year of imprisonment. His concern is for them… and they also have concern for him, supporting him in the Gospel as he says “from the first day until now”-what a blessing and encouragement they were for one another- each one looking out for the welfare of the other.
In Acts 16 we see the beginning of the church at Philippi. In Acts 9 God had INTERVENED in Paul’s life and changed his direction from destroying Christians, making him a Christian and to sharing the good news of how to be a Christian. Paul and Timothy had plans to go to a particular place and again God INTERVENED and would not allow them to but send them in a different direction. Why? Because He had plan to fulfill His promise to build His church and it including a Sales woman- Lydia… a Fortune Teller who was in great bondage and being used for profit and a suicidal man who believed it was his worst night mare and that the only way out was suicide and GOD having INTERVENED in Paul’s life now would INTERVENE again in redirecting him to Philippi because He was about to open Lydia’s heart to respond to the Word of God… He was about to INTERVENE and break the shackles satan had bound this dear girl and free her from being used by men- who incidentally were so outraged they used the race card and the nationalistic card to have Paul and Silas thrown in prison and beaten severely. Why? Because they were more concerned their means of PROFIT was gone and were more concerned about that than a PERSON. It’s amazing how Profits are more important than people isn’t it!
God then sent an earthquake, and the jailer asked “What must I do to be saved? “And he asked the right question and God had the right men in the prison to answer it, why? Because God was interested in this man and his family and GOD INTERVENED and Paul and Silas, in the will of God, suffering for the Name of Christ were in the place to deliver the message of Life and hope to a hopeless and suicidal man…and that’s how the church began at Philippi!
God began with a Saleswoman, a Fortune -Teller and a Suicidal Man… not a bad start… and all these were helped by a former violent aggressor and man bent on destroying Christians who himself was the recipient of such outlandish Grace that thirty years later he would proclaim his master passion while in prison was, “That I may Know HIM and the Power of His resurrection and the Fellowship of His SUFFERINGS.”–Phil 3:10.
Neither jail, nor circumstances, betrayals or need could dampen the apostle Paul’s desire for the Lord Jesus and His people… All that to say this, the next time you can’t get “your” plan through…don’t panic, don’t fuss, perhaps God is hindering you because His purpose is to use you in the life of others, what you may perceive initially as an “irritation” may be in reality God’s INTERVENTION.
Look around and see who is in your life presently…. Don’t miss the people because you can’t get to the “place” you want… instead look at the people in the “Place” you’re at, to reach out to them with the Glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which produces, peace, hope forgiveness which are all found in turning to Him and submitting to Him.
God saved Paul and used him to be His blessing to others… and God wants to keep using YOU to be the same to OTHERS…Live in the “Now” – the moment, and use the circumstances to reach out to others for Jesus sake! It is easy to be “locked” in the past..or “fixated” with the future and miss the moment…where God has you and fail to recognize His opportunities for you right where you are….
Woman with a list;
I remember the story of one lady who would write out her “list” of things to be done for that day. She was meticulous and often very put out if someone prevented or interrupted her in getting through the list. Over time she came to say-Here is my list for the day Lord but Your will be done… she initially had been in bondage to getting her list done and missed out on the people who came into her life that day. This would cause frustration, exasperation…. over time she came to the right conclusion, God is more interested in people and the execution of His plan and will than ours when it does not match up with His. You may not have a “written list” but nevertheless you have an agenda- but God has His!
The next time you feel yourself getting exasperated, frustrated –stop= and consider who’s plan, business is it ultimately you are about?
Perhaps it is time to submit yourself and plans to Him and seek to be observant to the people He brings into your life… what you see as irritation may in fact be God’s kindness- an act of Divine Intervention...to benefit …OTHERS… through you!