After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. —Luke 10:1
The nudge of the Holy Spirit was unmistakable. The emphasis seemed to be on the “sending them out two by two” part of the verse but since I was preparing to take a smallish group from my church to Israel, it didn’t seem to apply.
So I did what I usually do in that type of situation. I wrote the verse down, prayed for further revelation, then put it aside and waited.
A few weeks later the focus of the trip shifted. There was a lot of interest from folks in the church, but the timing seemed off and not enough people were able to commit. However, around the same time, a friend contacted me letting me know she had also hoped to go to Israel this Fall. Things fell into place quickly and soon there were five of us (including me and my friend Genevieve, who was already on board)–ready to head to Israel. Since everyone in the group moved significantly in prophetic intercession and we’d all spent time in Israel before, we were preparing for what we believed would be a very strategic time of intercession.
After the arrangements were made, once again the Lord brought me back to Luke 10. And once again, it didn’t completely make sense. Although this time at least part of the verse seemed to fit–we absolutely did believe he was sending us out to “prepare the way” in places he was about to move–I still couldn’t shake the two by two part. So again, I prayed–and again, I waited.
Then, just a couple weeks ago, things shifted yet again. Due to a uniquely combined set of circumstances, all three women who had planned to join Gen and I, suddenly canceled.
The verse in Luke hit me like a lightening bolt and finally made a whole lot more sense.
Now if you’ve ever planned an overseas trip, you know that this kind of change, this late in the process, is not exactly welcome news. There is usually a domino effect and a whole lot of moving pieces that all need to be rearranged. Usually it also means incurring additional expenses. This was no exception … except that, well, it sort of was.
What I mean is this–though things didn’t fall into place the way we envisioned and though there was indeed much last minute shuffling–it all happened quite seamlessly. Almost effortlessly.
It’s almost as if God knew or something.
Oh that’s right–he did. What do you know–he was sending us out two by two after all (well at least we’re one set of two–not sure who the other seventy are, but hey, maybe we’ll meet up with some of them along the way). But here’s the point …
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs–and sometimes redirects–his steps (see Prov. 16:9).
I’m really glad. Neither of us would have planned this particular trip this particular way. It seems like such a huge splurge. And, honestly, financially it has stretched us both big time. But God has already come through for us in amazing ways, and–because we know it was definitely on his heart for us to take this exact trip at this exact time–we have great confidence that he will graciously provide anything that is still lacking (and then some!).
Yes, we still believe this trip is incredibly strategic–more so now than ever–both in what we’re to release while in Israel, and also in what we believe he will release to us regarding direction for the future. But it’s so much more than that …
It’s an incredible demonstration of his kindness.
It’s not the strategic nature of his purposes that has my heart undone with gratitude … it’s that we feel so incredibly spoiled.
We get the luxury of going to Israel just to be there with him. Since there are only two of us, we have the absolute freedom to simply go where he goes and do what he does. Except for a few key places we already know we’re to go to and pray, our only agenda is to seek him daily and then follow where he leads …
Even if that means spending a day–or days–simply loving on him (in the place he loves so very much) and allowing him the pleasure of pouring his love on us.
No really, just wow.
Okay, I’m pretty messed up right now so I better go. But here’s a parting thought or two …
His ways really are better than ours. He’s SO much better than we know. And maybe, just maybe, some of those situations you’re facing right now — the ones that don’t seem to make sense — or the ones that don’t look quite the way you expected — maybe he’s got something in mind that you wouldn’t believe even if he told you.
Instead, let him show you. Let his kindness be revealed. Let his goodness prevail. And let the stunning greatness of his plans unfold in ways you never could have imagined. Mostly, hold loosely to your own plans, because you just never know when he might jump in …
And redirect your steps.
We’re heading out in just a few days and will be gone a little over two weeks. While I’m gone I may not write any “live” updates (unless Jesus really compels me to ) but I’ll schedule some previously written things to post. Believing I’ll have some great God adventures to share when I return. Until then … Shalom Aleichem!