We are finishing off a study in the book of Acts in my bible study group and I have been struck in these last chapters of how God’s plans to get Paul to Rome came to fruition!
We see first of all in Chapter 21 that Paul had a mind to go to Jerusalem even though he was warned that he would meet strong opposition & imprisonment there.
Then in Chapter 23:11:
“The Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome”
Hardly had the Lord given Paul this “Word” than Paul was arrested and sent to Caesarea, not Rome! Two years Paul was in prison in Caesarea! Two years!! What happened to that Word, that Promise, that Vision of going to Rome during that time?
Eventually he gets to speak with Pro Counsel Festus, Paul declaring his innocence at the false charges laid against him, he appeals to Caesar!! Yah! On his way to Rome at last? Well not quite!
There is a long journey ahead, it takes time to prepare, time to get a ship organised which will take prisoners, then they needed to wait for a gap in the weather! Unfortunately, they chose the wrong gap and a violent storm came in catching them, battering them, instilling fear and terror into them. And Paul? Well he had Jesus in the boat with him and he wasn’t worried! Again God comes and reassures Paul:
“Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before Caesar!” (Acts27:24)
That is still the promise. It still stands. Delays are nothing in God’s timing, but used to refine us. And storms – they strengthen our trust as we hold on to Jesus. Shipwreck – nothing will thwart God’s plans!
We may face all these things, delays, obstacles, seemingly impossible closed doors, YET, yet God. God has a plan and it will be fulfilled.
Those delays, those obstacles not only do they make me quake with fear and trembling, they make me doubt, they make me doubt, “did God really say …“; was this really a word from the Lord?. I doubt my calling, I doubt God’s ability to see me through, I doubt that it will come to pass. How? How can it? It is impossible.
Yet with God all things are possible!
Delays are not God’s denials. Obstacles are but stepping stones.
As God calls, so shall He equip, so shall He prepare the way, so shall He bring us to fruition, so shall He fulfill His promises, so shall He fulfill His plans.
If we have a call, if we have been given a “heavenly vision”, then keep to it dear sister. Hold it before the Lord. Remember He will bring it to fruition and He will be with us every step of that way no matter the delays or obstacles we face before the fulfillment!
The Lord of hosts has sworn:Isaiah 14:24
“As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,