In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, NIV 1984).
Since I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. So, after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. (Romans 15:23–28, NIV 1984).
Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!” (Acts 25:10–12, NIV 1984).
The brothers who are with me send greetings. All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. (Philippians 4:21–22, NIV 1984).
My Musings – We can plan our course, but we cannot see all ends. So different steps may be required, as God sees best. Paul planned his course to Jerusalem, and God determined that was the right step. From there, he planned to visit Rome on his way to Spain. He made it to Rome. Not in the exact steps he planned. As a result, as far as we can tell, he may never have made it to Spain. God had other plans. Plans that allowed the Gospel to reach into Caesar’s household.
My Advice – Do you have your course carefully planned? Hold onto those plans loosely. God may have other plans. Plans that will ultimately “work out for the good.” Better than you could have ever determined. That doesn’t mean that the route won’t be bumpy. It very well could be. But “[fight] the good fight…[finish] the race…[keep] the faith. [And] there [will be] in store for [you] the crown of righteousness.” (2 Timothy 4:6–8, NIV 1984). Just like there was for Paul.