5 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Kings 11:1–12:19
Acts 9:1-25
Psalm 131:1-3
Proverbs 17:4-5

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Acts 9:6 (NLT): “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

As I came across the verse I chose for today, I couldn’t help but see a biblical truth – that God typically doesn’t give us His long-term plans.

In Acts 9:6, we read that when Paul was converted, the Lord spoke with him and told him to get up and go into the city. After Paul had exercised that much obedience, God would give him more instructions. God wasn’t going to give too many details to Paul at the moment.

And this isn’t an anomaly. It’s the way that God often speaks with His followers. 

In Genesis 12:1, God essentially told Abraham to leave his hometown and just start heading west. God would tell him when he arrived at the desired destination.

In fact, the Psalmist said that God’s Word simply shows us what to do in the moment and the not-too-distant future. It’s not intended to provide us with a long-range plan.

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (and I might add … it’s not a massive spotlight for far down the road.)

So, why is this the case? Well, let me share why I think God often operates this way.

If God gave us a long-term plan, we would find very little reason to trust Him for the resources or for our next steps. So, He often desires for us to live moment-by-moment in dependence upon Him. 

We feel this moment-by-moment, particularly when life gets turned on its head and bad things have happened, or we have stepped out on a huge step of faith. In doing so, we have plenty of reason to trust God in the moments.

So, does this mean that we aren’t to come up with long-range plans and goals? Of course not! Nehemiah demonstrated what it looks like to assess a massive project (rebuild an ancient city’s protective wall), strategize, and organize the resources to get an enormous project done. But, even then, we see that God gave Nehemiah enemies who provided him more than enough reason to trust in his Lord. The book of Nehemiah is peppered with verses that tell us that he was often praying (moment-by-moment).

So, it’s not necessarily wrong to come up with long-range plans. But, realize that God often puts us in situations where we must trust Him in the moment, not knowing what the next moments will hold. Those are gifts from Him, though. They give us reason to opportunities for our faith to grow as we trust in Him.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash