I am a person of order. I thrive in order, meaning I like to know the plan. Spontaneous people sometimes grate me because they want to “flow” all the time. Not me–I need the plan. This also means that I struggle with chaos–those times I perceive disorder and cannot find the common thread in the circumstances of my life. A simple way to say it is that I am learning flexibility; that is, to see the plan without a plan. I am learning to discern Holy Spirit’s work in my life without His informing me. (Note: You do know the gift of discerning of spirits works this way too.)
One of the consistent ways I observe God’s presence and activity in my life is in my travel. Over a year ago I boarded a plane for a weekend trip to the northeast. Oh, what a plan we had in place! When we reached the layover city the crew informed us we had to change planes because of an aircraft repair need. The updates were fast and furious and the bottom line is we were stranded for the night in MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN.
I called some seasoned and connected travelers and they went to work for me. I was almost on a flight back home, but the gate attendant decided he had no seat for me while accepting standby passengers. Yes, you read that right. So, my trip to the northeast was a weekend in the midwest…in Milwaukee. Wisconsin. No, I knew no one there. It turned out I spent the weekend in a great hotel getting some rest and quality meditation time. Then I returned home.
I asked the Lord with persistence why He let me end up in Wisconsin. His answer: I retained you. That travel experience was a gateway to understanding God’s providence. To be retained is to be kept in possession, kept in service, kept in mind and held secure and intact. He did not tell me what He kept me from that weekend on the trip I planned. It had to be sufficient for me to know He did this.
Since then I’ve not had another time where He said He retained me, BUT I have been routed. Only very recently did I stop saying I was “re-routed”. My experience is not God taking what I want to do and altering it (that’s re-routing). With me, He just hijacks the plan (that’s when you’ve been routed)! To route is to send by a selected route; it is to divert in a specified direction. Apostle Paul in Philippians 3 tells us how he’s still in process, forgetting what is behind and moving to what’s ahead for the prize of this high call. Well, so are we. then he encourages us in verse 15: Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. (NLT)
Maybe you’re in a place now where you might rather know the plan. Maybe you’re experiencing what seems like delays, detours, or flat-out denials. Maybe you want to do more with what God’s said; you honor the prophecy as His word, but your hope has sustained some injury. I told you my little story about being retained and routed so that you might look again at your reality against His truth.
I told you to encourage you like Paul…if you disagree with what’s happening, and God’s behind it, He’ll show you where to put your focus.
I told you to set up this next session of The Queen Life. Esther was both retained and routed. It’s not the “great things of God” that require our attention as much as it’s life in between those mountain-top times. One of the reasons Esther was successful in her role as intercessor-deliverer for her people was the time she spent “not preparing” for it.
Join us tonight on the line at 8PM Central for Esther’s Call II.
Call (218) 862-6400 and use access code 6360503.