Friday, March 18, 2016
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It had been a long ministry weekend in Chicago, and as I settled into my seat on the airplane. I was looking forward to being back home in New Jersey. The going home part of the trip is always the best part. I was quite surprised, needless to say, when the pilot addressed the passengers and said, "Some of you folks may have noticed we've been going north for a while." Now, you don't have to be a geography whiz to know New Jersey is not north of Chicago. We should have been flying east all the time! Great, we've got a rookie navigator.
The pilot went on to explain, "It looks like we're going to have to land in Detroit." Just what we had all been hoping for – a visit to Detroit on the way to New Jersey! And then came the explanation, "We seem to have developed a problem with our hydraulic system and we need to land at the nearest airport." Whoa! Detroit was starting to sound better all the time. Actually, we were greeted by a welcoming party of emergency vehicles as soon as we touched down in Detroit, and thankfully we were all right! That pilot sure changed what I'd planned for that day. I'm glad he did. It was for my good!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Plans...HIS Plans."
Our word for today from the Word of God, Mark 1:16-18, "As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and His brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed Him." They started their day as fishermen and they ended their day as disciples. What a day!
Mark 2:14, another incident that took place after that, "As (Jesus) walked along, He saw Levi...sitting at the tax collector's booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him." He would become Matthew, of course. Here's a man with a successful business position, in his office, a Jewish man, collecting money for the Roman government – great position! He wakes up a tax collector; he goes to bed a disciple.
In both cases and many others like them, Jesus changes people's plans like my pilot that day. He had the right to change our direction, and even though it didn't seem like a good idea at first, it later proved to be the very best thing for us. Peter and Levi could never have dreamed how significant their lives were about to become because they trusted Jesus enough to obey when He came to change their plans.
Have you pretty well laid out your course: your plans for your education, your career, financial security, your family, and retirement? And what about your relationship plans, goals for your ministry, plans for where you want to live, and suddenly you're hearing the voice of Jesus saying, "Follow me. This way." and we're talking a change of direction. Don't be afraid of taking that seemingly risky obedience. There's actually no such thing as a risky obedience. There is only a risky disobedience.
The One who gave you your life, who gave His life for you, is leading you into a change that He's been quietly preparing you for over a long time. He's actually moving you more and more into what you were born to be. Perhaps God wants to talk to you through verses that helped thrust my wife and me in the very ministry we're in right now.
Isaiah 43:18-19 changed our future. "Forget the former things;" God says, "do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." The Pilot is changing direction. It's not what you had planned; it's better than what you had planned.
You have nothing to fear when Jesus calls you to change your plans. Nothing, that is, except disobedience.