". . . and passing by Mysia, . . ." Acts 16:8
We are raised in an aggressively competitive culture. We measure ourselves against others education, athleticism, scary popularity, fashion appearance, and performance. Many are crushed from living the law of the jungle. Competition is bred into us, we evaluate ourselves by everyone around us. The result of this cutthroat way of life is we end up living for ourselves, guided only by our own personal interests.
Paul was a submissive visionary. His will was directed by the will of God. In doing so he learned the quirky ways of God. In this case, God’s strange guidance is displayed in the way He prohibited Paul from going to the places he wanted to go. While its right to have visions and plans for the future, our plans must be submitted to the will of God and we must remain open and willing when God tells us no!
It's wise to remember, we plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live in His ways. We may have a strategy, but only God directs our steps. Paul was totally abandoned to the will of God and was also receptive to His voice. Though he had plans, he always submitted them to God. A submissive spirit makes us susceptible to the Spirit’s leading.
If we will factor God into the plans we make, God will surely get us through whatever we are going through. But our self-absorbed ways only prolongs immaturity. Oh, we can power through making our grandiose plans, saying today or tomorrow we will travel to a city, we are going to start a business, make a lot of money, when in reality we don't know the first thing about what tomorrow holds. We easily forget we are only a wisp of fog catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing forever. We should develop the habit of saying, if we are still alive and the Master wills it, we will do this or that. It's better to take time to grapple with God, to know His will.
Make a list of reasons to be guided by God.