God has a plan for your life. More often than not, it’s a detour, one that can leave you feeling temporarily stalled and slowed down. Which nobody likes. But detours are necessary if any improvements are going to be made on the paths we travel. We have heard and read: “ALL things happen for a reason..”
Paul, having been falsely accused and imprisoned, was transported by ship to Rome under military escort. Heavy storms blew the ship off course and caused it to break up near the island of Malta. God’s protection meant Paul finally arrived in Rome having survived both a storm, a shipwreck and a snake bite (Yes! 2 attempts at Paul’s life after false accusations.) There is a reason for everything!
Quick aside: Panic in the storm? Result – drowning. Snake bite? Arguments have risen over ‘time’ – not poisonous etc. But, regardless the observers expected Paul to drop dead. I truly laugh – did not happen!
A detour? Many times in life we may experience detours or a detour. I personally have chosen to place my 100% trust and faith in God!!! Amazingly, there were a few things pointed out to me in my heart – Accident, being thrown from a bridge, knocked unconscious, falling into water, being rescued by a stranger, being choppered to a nearby hospital…being in the field – a trauma team was paged…X-rays, CT/MRI, blood-loss, brain trauma…. I could go on. But, it is what I thought was a dream that changed me for life! I have shared the dream earlier….
A very brief recount is expanses with no limits. An indescribable peace. Sheer beauty and awesomeness. What was beneath me on the ground and in ‘surfaces’ around were what were akin to pebbles/stones in this life, but in my dream were jewels! Noone was concerned with them. I had ‘thought’ of pocketing a few pebbles (Uhh! I had no pockets!) Yet, there were more important things to focus on! The light was so very incredible, yet I was not blinded but rather drawn to gaze in that direction. The number of other individuals standing in that direction! Millions at least. It goes on, but as promised, this is a brief summary!
Next, I was addressed by Something and thought I fell into a ‘dream’ within my dream. Every day prior was seen. Giving my life to Christ then blank – forgiveness. What I had done hours before the accident I was shown. Key! Always before every time I leave home, I commit my path unto God, into His holy hands.
Here are 6 ways to take your thoughts captive:
- Accept responsibility for your thoughts. You have the ability to exercise control over your thoughts. God warned Cain to focus his mind on the right things, but Cain chose to think about the wrong things – anger and jealousy – which led to his murderous actions. Are you willing to admit that you can, with God’s help, regain control of your thoughts – and think enabling thoughts instead of disabling ones?
- Your mind – not just your behavior – must change. God calls us to change sinful behavior that does not honor Him. Instead of focusing on your outward behavior, work on disciplining your mind – from which the behaviors stem. Allow God to transform you by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2).
- Think through your problems rather than just react to them. When you experience difficult challenges, you can react to them and think yourself into despair every time. Or you can look forward to the next opportunity and ask yourself what you learned from this failure. Is your first thought I’ll never do anything right? You don’t have to get trapped by disabling thoughts. You are capable of getting out of your shame, despair, hopelessness, and anger – by taking control of your thoughts.
- Take your disabling thoughts captive through confession. Paul urges us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (Rom. 12:21). Confront your disabling thoughts. Turn them over to God and become who He sees you can be. It will take work to take your thoughts captive each time they pop into your mind. But it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.
- Choose to focus your thoughts on the right things. We are to think about those things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable” (Phil. 4:8). When we think about those things, God promises to give us His peace. What a contrast that is to the thoughts of millions of people today. Don’t look to a movie, TV show, or how-to formula to accomplish this for you. It takes personal discipline and commitment.
- It is possible. It is not easy to retrain your thoughts or to respond in new Christ-like ways. Take heart: as God empowers you to focus your mind on the right things, it will become easier. You can develop a new frame of reference, based on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
Ensuring that we stay fixed tight to our topic: detours – God ordained. Gone was the Minimally Invasive Surgery job and title. Should cause untold sadness but, I reiterate that I was Allowed back for a reason! Testimonies have reigned in my life, Amen. In Jesus’ name ALL my needs are met, Amen.
When plucked out of context, some Bible verses are easily misunderstood. One such verse is Philippians 4:19, where the apostle Paul says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (NKJV). He does not mean that believers will never experience times of need. Paul often endured trouble, lack of funds, hunger, and persecution. But He had “learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:12, ESV). What Philippians 4:19 promises is that God’s faithful servants will be fully supplied with what they need to continue to serve.
Paul’s secret was knowing that God is trustworthy. We can say, “My God shall supply all my needs,” when we trust Him to provide what we lack. Sometimes what we need is the strength to persevere through times of hardship. God often gave Paul the power to endure: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11–13, NLT).
Israel’s mighty king David trusted God to accomplish remarkable feats: “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (Psalm 18:29). The Lord empowered the young David to strike down both lions and bears. He faced the Philistine giant Goliath and slew him with a sling and stone. David pulled off superhuman exploits because he put his confidence in the Lord: “The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37; see also verses 45–47).
We can say, “My God shall supply all my needs,” because day by day God gives us the grace and strength to meet every new challenge: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
The same David who conquered giants later said, “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. . . . Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:1–4, NLT). The image of God as a shepherd highlights His personal care, guidance, and protection. Even when we face death, we don’t have to fear deprivation because God is with us. Like Paul, David had learned the secret of trusting God. There was nothing he would ever lack as long as God was with him as his shepherd.
If we humbly go to God for help—even in our weakest, neediest moments—He supplies the grace and power we need to follow and serve Him and endure through every adversity (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We can say, “My God shall supply all my needs,” because He has unlimited resources (Psalm 50:10). His riches are inexhaustible. The Lord’s abundant treasury puts the wealthiest humans to shame: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:33–36).
God is a loving and gracious Father, willing to give up His own Son to save us. How can we not trust Him to give us everything we need (Romans 8:32)?
And, finally, we can say, “My God shall supply all my needs,” because we are in Christ Jesus. In Him, God has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3). Only those who are in Christ can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
I laugh when I think of the account of Joseph’s life. Son of Jacob (renamed Isreal by God.) Joseph was one of Jacob’s 12 sons. His father loved him more than any of the others and gave him a coloured cloak. His brothers were jealous of him and sold him into slavery. He was taken to Egypt and eventually became steward to Portiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials. The trials he went through were necessary. The story of Joseph, the son of Jacob who was called Israel, is a vivid representation of the great truth that ‘all things work together for good to [those] who Loved God. ‘ (See Rom. 8:28.) Joseph always seemed to do the right thing; but still, more importantly, he did it for the right reason.We have shared on what he learned being in charge of the rest of the household staff in Portipher’s house. Are we learning through our seasons?
Detours are often a regular part of God’s plan in guiding us to our destinies. God will often give us a glimpse of our destiny long before we are prepared to actualize it, as He did when He told Abraham that there would be a 400- year detour in Egypt before they would reach their promised destination (Gen. 15:12-16).
And we pray:
Lord, I am so thankful for Your sovereignty — Your authority over all things concerning me, detours and all. You know my coming ins and my going outs. You know my thoughts from afar off. You lead me in the paths I should go.
You do all things well.
These things I know, Lord, but sometimes I need to be reminded of these truths every moment of every day. Sometimes I take my eyes off You, I let my thoughts wander into the netherlands, and despair tries to consume me — confusion, fear and doubt call to me from the darkness and I answer to them, instead of keeping my heart stayed on You.
You are faithful — this I know.
You are trustworthy — this I know.
And You are good — so good.
Had it not been for Your mercies new every morning, I would have been consumed by this detour I never saw coming.
But You are teaching me that Your ways are not my ways, Your thoughts are not my thoughts.
Your perspective is much higher than mine and allows You to see all things.
Your perspective is broad.
Your perspective is eternal.
And because of Your perspective, I can know that You will work all things out together for my good just as You said. I know this because I trust You.
This detour will bring You glory.
This detour will work righteousness into the depths of my being, deepening my faith and finding it more precious than gold. This detour will swallow up my enemies like the Red Sea swallowed up the Egyptians.
And this detour will cause my blind eyes to see You as never before because Your glory and power will be revealed.
Help me remember this when the way is hard — whisper Your declarations of promises over me so that I will not forget You hold me in the palm of Your hand wherever I go.
I love You, Lord. You are so faithful, well beyond what we deserve.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,