“If I had known what was going to happen, I would have planned or done otherwise.” Many times we have the best of plans, and assuming that all will go well, we press ahead into them. We are believing that God will be upon us and that He will work through us. But to what extent and to what cost are we willing to work out our plans and ideas? Paul says in Romans 1:9,10 that he is requesting that God “by some means” he might be able to visit the Christians in Rome. He had tried to get to Rome before but something had hindered him getting there (vs. 13). Though he does not say what prevented him from getting to Rome, the scripture says that at one point Paul had wanted to meet with the Thessalonica believers, but Satan had hindered him (1 Thess. 2:18).
What would it cost to fulfill what is on our heart, how much are we prepared to pay? Paul really wanted to go to Rome – he is praying that God “if by some means,” would get him there. Well, Paul did get to Rome. Reading Acts 21-28, we see the steps to the “going to Rome” desire. In getting there, he had to be arrested in Jerusalem and put into jail, (Acts 21); he is threatened to be scourged (Acts 22); he is almost pulled to pieces in the tumult before the Pharisees and Sadducees (Acts 23); he is in prison for over two years in Caesarea (Acts 24); he goes through storms, is shipwrecked (Acts 27); is bitten by a snake and then finally arrives in Rome (Acts 28). What a physical and emotional price to pay for God to get Paul to Rome “by some means”.
Many of us would have quit, rather then following through with letting God get us to where we need to be. If you were to re-read Acts 21-28, look for the numerous opportunities that Paul had to share his faith before kings and leaders, spiritual authorities, sailors, soldiers, other prisoners, and island people. God was increasing His Kingdom through the “by some means” situations.
God has placed dreams, desires and aspirations in our hearts, will we allow Him to use “whatever means” He chooses to bring those dreams, desires and aspirations to completion? Take a moment to yield yourself and all your plans to the working of our great God. Ask God to help you rest when the “by some means” situations seem stressful.