Saturday, August 27, 2016

CAN WE EXPECT A MUSLIM ANTI-CHRIST? PART 2

    Traditionally, the end time scholars have believed that Daniel's prophecy concerning "the prince who will come" referred to a world leader arising from a unified Europe. More evidence is beginning to surface that may suggest this world leader will arise from the Muslim world and specifically from Turkey.  In Part One, (CLICK HERE for part 1) we looked at a very specific prophecy from Micah 5 referring to this coming world leader as The Assyrian.  More commonly, we identify this world leader as the Anti-Christ.  Also in Part One, we detailed how current events, for the first time in history, are coalescing in such as way as to reconcile Daniel's prophecy of a revived Roman Empire and a Middle Eastern Anti-Christ. The silent Muslim invasion of Europe may very well be the catalyst needed for Islam to co-op the EU, paving the way for a rise to power of the Assyrian of Micah 5.
 

     Current events suggest we are living in the last days.  Israel becoming a nation in 1948, reborn in a day, fulfilled Ezekiel's prophecy of the dry bones, recorded in Ezekiel 37.  The nation of Israel is the key player in end time events, from 70 AD until 1948, Israel, as a nation, did not exist.  Most prophecy scholars view Israel's rebirth as the restarting of God's prophetic time table, signaling the upcoming end of the Church age.  When the Dispensation of Grace ends with the rapture of the Church, the 70th seven year period, spoken of by Daniel in chapter 9 of his record, can commence.  CLICK HERE for a detailed explanation of the rapture and Daniels prophecy concerning 70 seven year periods  Jesus allegorically referred to Israel as a fig tree and told His disciples to watch for a very specific event to take place, which would herald His immanent return: Mat 24:32-34  "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.  No one can deny that Israel is currently blossoming.
The land of Israel blossoms with life after the Jews return to the land


Ezekiel 38 & 39 coalition materializing before our eyes


     As we see prophecy literally being fulfilled in the nation of Israel, we become cognizant of other prophecies yet to be fulfilled.  One key prophecy being the war described in Ezekiel 38 & 39.  CLICK HERE for more details on Ezekiel 38  The prophet Ezekiel detailed an attack on Israel by a coalition of nations led by Russia and Iran.  Ezekiel describes an invasion of Israel led by the aforementioned nations, along with Turkey, Libya Syria and Somalia.  Currently, as detailed in Part One of this post, Russia is utilizing air bases in Iran to attack rebel and ISIS forces in Syria, in an attempt to strengthen Syrian government forces in Syria's civil war.  The U.S. is currently backing the rebel forces attempting to overthrow President Bashir.  ISIS has emerged as the common enemy of both sides in this conflict.  The past week's Russian air strikes marks the first time foreign forces have ever used Iranian soil as a staging ground, and it is no coincidence that a Russian/Iranian coalition has formed over Syria, as these are the very nations of which Ezekiel prophesied.  Events are lining up very nicely.  Also of interest, the aftermath of the attack described by Ezekiel seems to have a nuclear or chemical warfare component. Ezekiel 39:14-16  They will set apart men to travel through the land regularly and bury those travelers remaining on the face of the land, so as to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make their search.  And when these travel through the land and anyone sees a human bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog.  (Hamonah is also the name of the city.) Thus shall they cleanse the land.  For what reason will they wait seven months to search the land and why will markers be set up for special "buriers"?  These are certainly things to ponder. 

Turkey, NATO, Russia and the ancient city of Nineveh
Ergogan and Putin meeting this month
      
Last November, Turkey shot down a Russian jet, claiming the jet violated Turkish air space.  This almost created an international incident as Russia breathed threats of retaliation against Turkey and ultimately settled on economic sanctions.  It seems that all is forgiven, after only 10 months.  This week, Turkey and Russia have entered into talks, reestablishing business ties and even discussing a

military partnership.  Turkey, a NATO member, has expressed dismay with the U.S. and NATO, sparking fears that Turkey has or will reveal NATO secrets to the Russians.  Turkey, Russia and Iran are key players in the Ezekiel 38 scenario and, up until this month, a Turkey/Russian alliance seemed unlikely.  Much of the Russian/Turkey talks seem to be centered around Syria and ISIS.  In fact, Turkey said, this week, it would be open to requests from Russia to use the Incirlik Air Base for operations in Syria. U.S. forces are currently operating out of Incirlik and several U.S. owned nuclear weapons are stored on the base.  Allowing Russian forces access to Incirlik could be devastating to U.S. and security.  

     As Turkey cozies up to the Russians, Turkish forces are expanding operations into Kurdish held areas of Syria and Iraq.  Most interesting is Turkey's interest in Nineveh,  a region in Northern Iraq.  This region of interest as Nineveh was the ancient capital of the now defunct Assyrian empire.   The prophet Jonah was sent by God to Nineveh to warn the people against impending doom.  Nineveh was Israel's number one foe at the time and Jonah did not want to preach to his enemies, so he fled.  Everyone knows the story of Jonah being swallowed by the fish, not everyone knows the significance of the city of Nineveh as it relates to the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  The Assyrians destroyed the northern 10 tribes of Israel, carried the survivors into captivity and settled the land with people from other captured nations.  This land became known as Samaria.  The point is, Nineveh was headquarters for the enemy of God's people, the Assyrians.  We find a reference to the Anti-Christ in Micah 5, referred to as the Assyrian, making a connection to the city of Nineveh and end time events.  
     Currently, Turkish forces are occupying Nineveh, ignoring Iraqi demands for withdrawal.  Micah 5:6  they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border.  This passage reveals that Messiah will rescue Israel from the Assyrian, and defeat those from the land of Nimrod, at it's entrance.  Nineveh borders Turkey and Syria.  Traveling from the north, Nineveh is the entrance to the land of Nimrod, Babylon, which is modern day Iraq.  As Iraq is in disarray battling ISIS, it is quite feasible that Nineveh, under Kurdish rule and friendly to Turkey, could be annexed by Turkey.  Nineveh would be a very strategic staging area for an attack on Israel.  Staging a military attack against Israel from Nineveh, a Turkish leader could very well be referred to as the Assyrian. 

THE UNITED STATES AND THE TURKISH COUP

 
President Erdogan and the apostate Pope
 
A failed Coup attempt in Turkey, recently, has strengthened the hand of Turkish President Erdogan.  Erdogan claims the coup was financed by Fethullah Gulen, a former Turkish Imam.  Interestingly, Gulen is currently being protected in a Mosque in a residential area of Monroe County Pennsylvania.  I have received  a first hand, eye witness account of this Mosque located in Saylorsburg, a town in the Poconos. According to my source, the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center has been turned into a fortress, complete with around the clock armed security and paramilitary exercises.  Gulen is currently under CIA protection and all requests for extradition back to Turkey have been denied.  My source fears Turkey will send an extraction or, possibly, even a wet team in to take the compound by force, placing everyone in the community at risk.  

     Following the coup, Erdogan has rounded up his political opponents in Turkey, by the thousands.  Erdogan is reaching out to Russia, partly in response to his belief the Obama administration was complicit in Gulen's attempted coup.  If proven, supporting the overthrow of a sitting president of an allied country, could be considered an act of war.  Turkey is too weak to declare war on the U.S. on it's own, however, if backed by the might of the Russian war machine, Turkey's response to Mr. Gulen's antics could very well spark World War III.  

     This concludes Part 2 in a 3 Part series.  Part 3 will link the Biblical prophecies concerning the Anti-Christ and the Muslim prophecies concerning the 12th Imam.  Amazing parallels exist between these two prophecies, and we will look at how the man the Muslims are looking to as a savior bears a striking resemblance to the Man of Sin described in the Bible.  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

FORGET THE 10 COMMANDMENTS, LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS AND MAKE DISCIPLES

        Since the days of the early church, believers have struggled with the Jewish Law.  Are we beholden to the 10 commandments, must we keep the Sabbath, can we eat pork and shellfish, are we free to sin all we want because we are under grace?  We ask ourselves, "just what did Jesus mean when he said, 'if you love me you will keep my commands.'?"  What were Christ's commands, anyway?  What about the Jerusalem council?  On and on these questions go.  What we often forget is that God had made a promise to Abraham long before the Law. In fact, when God  covenanted with Abraham, He alluded to Christ, but made no mention of the Law.  

  In Galatians 3, the Apostle Paul writes on this topic and reminds his readers that 430 years before God gave the Law, He made a promise to Abraham concerning his offspring.  God did not make His promise contingent upon some future Law yet to be given, He made this promise of and by Himself.  Galatians 3:16-19  Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.   This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.  Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.

      To fully understand this, we have to look at the covenant spoken of in the above passage, we find that in Genesis 15:18-21 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,  the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,   the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites."  This is the land blessing made to Abraham. The land promised extends from Egypt to the Euphrates River.
A look at the map above is all we need to see as evidence Israel has never possessed the land promised to Abraham.  Israel did receive land from God, but not anywhere near what was promised to the offspring of Abraham.  
Even at the height of power, under the kingship of David, Israel never came close to possessing the land promised to Abraham's offspring.  

     Paul reveals to us that the offspring referred to is Christ, not the descendants of Abraham known as Israel.  God did make promises to Abraham concerning his descendants, recorded in previous passages, and God makes numerous promises to the nation of Israel concerning future redemption, but in the case of the covenant God made with Abraham concerning the land, the promise was made concerning Christ.  Later in Genesis 26, God reaffirms His promises to Isaac, Abraham's son, both the promise concerning Abraham's descendants and Christ.  

      To truly understand what this land promise represents, we look to the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.  Christ came offering the Kingdom. Matthew 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'   Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom, had Israel accepted Him, He would have ruled over the land promised to Abraham's offspring.  Israel rejected Christ, by representation,(CLICK HERE to see how a nation is destroyed by representation) and we see a marked shift in Christ's message as He stops proclaiming the Kingdom and expands His ministry to Samaria while at the same time, beginning to speak of His impending crucifixion and resurrection.  Matthew 16:21  From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 

     So, we have established the promise to Abraham was concerning Christ, and we, the Church, are the body of Christ. Therefore, we will share in the fulfillment of the land promise during the millennial reign of Christ.  We, the church, are factored into a promise that was made prior to the Law and not nullified by the Law, according to Paul in the Galatians passage above. By logic, we see that the church is not under the Law, neither the 10 commandments, nor the Levitical Law.  Jesus did say, "If you love me, you will keep my commands." We know that Jesus commanded us to love God and love others as our self.  He also commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations.  So, rather than squabbling among ourselves about whether or not we need to observe the Sabbath, we ought to be doing all we can to love God, love others and making disciples.  Loving God and loving others will automatically lead us to obey the 10 commandments, but not for the sake of being obedient, but as a natural expression of love. In other words, in loving God and loving others, obedience to the 10 commandments becomes inadvertent.  

     Before someone argues that we can please God by loving, we must remember that Hebrews 11:6 tells us "without faith, it is impossible to please God." and Jesus told us that He was the only way to the Father, so without Christ, we cannot love God or please Him.  

     Where does all this leave the nation of Israel?  God did make promises concerning His chosen people.  God has promised to redeem His people, He has promised to shepherd over them in the restored Kingdom and He has promised to forgive them all their transgressions.   I have written extensively on this topic and you can find some of my posts HERE , HERE , and HERE 

     In light of Galatians 3, we should no longer wast time on matters of the Law as they pertain to the believer in Christ. Instead, we should be focused on what Jesus told us to do, love God, love others, make disciples.  If we were busy doing this, we would find great fulfillment and peace.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CAN WE EXPECT A MUSLIM ANTI-CHRIST? PART 1

     
Looking at Micah 5, this evening, I was struck with something that I have read over and over and never really grasped, concerning end time prophecy.  God clearly identifies the Anti-Christ by the title, the Assyrian.  Micah 5:5-6  And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men;   they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border.  This passage comes immediately after the well known prophecy concerning Christ being born in Bethlehem and a reference to His millennial reign.  

Not long after I read this and pondered the growing movement among prophecy buffs to identify the Anti-Christ as a Muslim, I saw an article stating Russia is now using Iranian air bases to stage attacks on Syria, bringing to mind Ezekiel 38 & 39.  (CLICK HERE for article)  As I pondered these things, I was reminded of Erogan of Turkey who just emerged from an attempted coup stronger than ever.  

     I must confess, I have always been in the camp that believes the EU would be the revived Roman Empire of Daniel's prophecy (which we will look at in a moment) and the Anti-Christ would be a European leader, who would emerge in a time of great crises and unite the world under one government and religion. I am beginning to rethink this and am going to postulate a theory that the Anti-Christ can indeed come from the Middle East, be a Muslim and still be considered part of a revived Roman Empire, according to Daniel's interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream. 

Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream 
  
  The prophet Daniel interpreted a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar, in which God revealed to the king all the major world empires that would rule the region up to the coming of Christ's kingdom.  Daniel 2 records this prophecy, if you are unfamiliar with it, you may want to go read it for yourself before continuing.  History tells us that the prophecy was dead on and we can easily identify each empire and it's geographic role.  For our purposes, I would like to focus on the legs of iron and feet of iron mixed with clay.  The legs of iron, indisputably refer to the Roman Empire.  Every Bible scholar agrees on this point.  The interesting thing is the fact that the Roman Empire is depicted as two legs.  Every previous empire enveloped the Middle East and Northern Africa, Rome was the first to envelope all of the land occupied by previous empires, plus greater Europe.  Rome was by far the most prolific empire due to it's sheer size.  

For many years, prophecy scholars have believed that the rise of the European Union was the revived Roman Empire, described in Nebuchadnezzar's dream as two feet made up of iron and clay.  Surely the EU is a major component of this prophecy, but often neglected is the fact that Bible prophecy deals almost exclusively with the region we call the Middle East, the Anti-Christ is alluded to as coming from the region of the Middle East, and the kingdom of the Anti-Christ is referred to as Babylon, a direct reference to Nimrod, the forerunner of the Anti-Christ.  Nimrod was the first person to rise to power and attempt to unite the world under one government and one religion, in opposition to God and declaring himself divine.  Evidence suggests that the Anti-Christ will come from the Middle East, yet have a strong leadership role connected to the EU.  Until recently, such a scenario would have seemed unlikely, even impossible.

The EU and Islam and the Jesuit takeover of the Roman Church




      The majority of the Eastern remnant of the Roman Empire is

under Muslim control.  Currently, Europe, the land of origin of the Roman Empire is considered Christian, mostly under the influence of Roman Catholicism.  This traditionally posed a major problem for prophecy buffs trying to reconcile a revived Roman Empire, clearly depicted by the feet of clay and iron, with a Middle Eastern Anti-Christ.  Casting more confusion into the mix is a reference made by the prophet Daniel concerning the Anti-Christ, recorded in Daniel 9.  Daniel writes that the Messiah will come, be cut off  and the people of the prince who will come will destroy Jerusalem.  Daniel 9:26  And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. Clearly, Rome was the "people of the prince who will come".  In the very next verse, Daniel directly references the Anti-Christ's rise to power: Daniel 9:27  And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." Daniel 9 is one of the most important prophecy passages in scripture as it allows us to calculate to the very day the first coming of Messiah and identifies the Anti-Christ as being the head of a revived Roman Empire.  


      No one could have predicted the rise of Islam that has taken place around the world in recent years.  Currently, Europe, because of misguided principles, is undergoing a silent Muslim invasion.  London has elected an openly Muslim mayor and major European cities are being overrun and terrorized by Muslim refugees. Slowly, the very face of Europe is changing as EU governments seem impotent in facing the challenges brought by waves of Sharia Law abiding Islamists.   The Muslim takeover of Europe reconciles these prophecies.                                                                         


Here is an eye opening vido detailing the Islamazation of Europe

Traditionally, the Roman Church was a stalwart against the influence of Islam.  Going back to the days of the Crusades when the Jesuits led military campaigns against the Ottomans, driving Islam out of Europe and slowing it's growth and influence in the Eurasia.  Unfortunately, the Jesuits chose the use of military might to battle against Islam, rather than evangelistic campaigns.  Caught up in Papal zeal, the Jesuits went on a mad killing spree in which Jews and Protestant Christians were targeted along with Muslims.  While the Islamic forces were bent on military conquest, the Jews and Protestants were not.  The times of the Crusades and the later Spanish Inquisition are dark times for the Roman Church.  

BLACK POPE/WHITE POPE UNITED 

     In the mid 1960's during the transition of the Vatican 2 council, the Jesuit order was undergoing a major transition of it's own.  The order begun by Ignatius Loyola, for the express purpose of defending the Pope and his decrees, rebelled against Papal authority and embraced Liberation Theology and Marxism.  The order of the Jesuits no longer believed in a special creation of man, the deity of Christ, sexual purity nor the prohibition of abortion.  Pope Paul VI attempted to challenge the head of the Jesuit Order and sanction their rebellion, only to be met with an assassination attempt. Too old and weak, Paul VI was unable to oppose the transition of Jesuitism from strict Papist to seemingly atheists. Pope John Paul I was preparing to deliver a strong rebuke to the Jesuit order, however, two weeks prior to his scheduled meeting, he died under mysterious circumstances and few in Vatican circles deny he was murdered.  Pope John Paul II delivered John Paul I's prepared speech to the Jesuit Order, planning on bringing them back to orthodoxy with threats of ex communication.  Shortly after, John Paul II met with an assassin's bullet.  Coincidence?  You decide.  Coincidence or not, John Paul II no longer made bringing the the Jesuits to Papal obedience a priority.  Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's doctrinal expert became Pope Benedict XVI until health concerns forced him into early retirement.  Enter Pope Francis - the first Jesuit pope.  By the time Francis ascended to power, the Jesuits were the renegade branch of the Roman Catholic Church, actively challenging every sacred doctrine, openly supporting secularism to the point of seeming atheist. In fact, well known atheist and nemesis of all things sacred and moral, Bill Maher declared that he believed the Pope must also be an atheist  based on Francis' stated position on many social issues.  In the sense that a broken clock is right twice per day, I may have to agree with Maher on this one. (CLICK HERE to read more on Francis' heresy)  

    So, I say all that to say this, if the Roman Church was once the sole protector against Islam in Europe, that line of defense is now gone as Pope Francis openly visits Mosques and prays with Imams.(CLICK HERE for more on Francis embracing Islam)  The False Prophet of Revelation shall be a well respected religious figure who will eventually direct all human worship and devotion to the Anti-Christ.  Is it possible that Francis may indeed be the False Prophet of Revelation?  Again, you can decide that for yourself.  The fact is, aside from Christian evangelism, there is no force capable of stemming the Islamic takeover of Europe.  Christians need to pray for a great spiritual awakening. 

This concludes part 1 of this topic, in part 2, I will link Russia and Iran together in an invasion against Israel, according to Ezekiel 38 &39, the connection between Turkey and the ancient city of Ninevah and the Muslim's 12th Imam prophecy in relation to the Beast of Revelation

Monday, August 15, 2016

WHY DO MY PLANS FAIL? - 6 BIBLICAL TIPS FOR MAKING PLANS



Life is filled with obstacles and unplanned detours. It is how we respond to hindrances to our plans that measures our spiritual maturity.  Even the most godly among us make futile plans for the future.  The Apostle Paul, in the latter half of Romans 15 demonstrates just how easily plans, altruistic as they may be, may not necessarily be God's plans. Paul, in writing to the Roman believers, shares his plans to pass through Rome on his way to Spain.  God had plans for Paul to go to Rome, just not the way Paul expected.  Rather than a ministry stop along the way, Rome, for Paul was an extended stay prison sentence.  Paul's plans being foiled reveal nothing of his spiritual life, however, his reaction and behavior in the midst of failed expectations reveal just why God was able to use Paul to change the world.  Paul's reaction and faithfulness to God in the face of persecution and wrongful imprisonment can be attributed to one word - trust.

This does not mean we should not make plans. On the contrary, the Bible contains numerous passages dealing with planning for the future.  Here are some common sense tips that every believer can employ in order to mitigate the discouragement found in unmet expectations and seemingly failed plans.

1. Seek God's council
    
 Planning, in and of itself is not sinful and we are encouraged by scripture to "count the cost" before embarking on an endeavor, but at the same time, we also are in need of seeking the counsel and direction of the Holy Spirit.  Throughout the Old Testament, we find the most successful people inquiring of the LORD prior to embarking on or making a plan.  Some of the greatest failures recorded in the Bible are prefaced by, "and they failed to seek the LORD in this matter."   Before we ever begin planning, we should be on our face before God seeking His direction.  Often, we make a plan, then we go to God and seek His approval and when the plan fails, we get angry with God. ( How to handle anger with God, CLICK HERE  ) Our plans may be completely God honoring and born of the best intentions, but if they are not God directed they are destined to fail. Proverbs 16:25  There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 

2. Seek godly counsel

God designed us for community.  The phrase, "no man is an island" can very well be applied to our Christian lives.  Unless we find ourselves completely cut off from all communication, like John on the Isle of Patmos, we know other believers of whom we can seek good and godly counsel and of whom we can bounce ideas off. Seeking the counsel of others, especially those who are not directly affected by our decision, allows for an unbiased perspective that we may be missing due to emotional involvement. The one caveat is, and this is a major caveat, we must ensure that our counsel comes form someone who has a solid relationship with God.  Scripture tells us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers and asks us, "what fellowship does darkness have with light?"  We cannot seek direction from those who have a worldly perspective and expect a spiritual outcome.  Choose advisers, but choose them well. Proverbs 15:22  Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. 

3. Have a specific goal

     Often, people make plans without an end strategy or a specific goal in mind.  If there is no concrete desired outcome, discouragement can quickly neutralize our action for lack of results.  Before implementing a plan of action, a key question to ask is, "what am I hoping to accomplish?"  Without a clear answer to this question, a plan is destined to fail because it has no real objective, and unless, by some fluke, a pleasant outcome is reached, our plan will land on growing pile of other failed plans and unmet expectations.  Rather than taking a "let's do this and see what happens..." type of attitude, be sure  objectives are clear, not only to yourself, but others as well.  If we cannot coherently state our objectives, we do not have any. If we do not have a set goal, we certainly cannot reach it and will have no ability to gauge the success of a plan. Philippians  3:14  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 


4. Be prepared for detours 

    We may have a plan to accomplish a certain goal and suddenly find ourselves on a different path towards that goal than we expected.  We must keep in mind that God is just as interested in our spiritual life and growth as He is in those with whom we minister to and evangelize.  Because God is interested in our growth and maturity, He is actively working in our lives and that may mean life detours.  Just because we take a different path towards a goal, does not mean our plans have failed, after all, our plan is based on outcome more than actual execution. The Apostle Paul wanted to bring the Gospel to Rome on his way to Spain, but instead, he was arrested, detained, shipwrecked and imprisoned.  Surely Paul did not plan on being shipwrecked and locked up in a Roman prison, nonetheless, he brought the Gospel to Rome.  Paul did not fail, he still brought the gospel to Rome, which was his plan all along. Eventually, Paul was released from Roman prison and embarked on a missionary journey that included Spain.  Even the most meticulous planners must acknowledge God's sovereignty in the execution of said plans. Proverbs 16:9  The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. 

5. Consider the cost or effort required
    
    One of the quickest way to see plans fail is to realize we are not willing to expend the resources required to see our plan to the end.  Surprisingly, the biggest obstacle to most people is the expenditure of time.  Time is the one thing that everyone on earth has in equal measure, yet the complaint, "I just can't find the time" is often used as an excuse for failure in plan execution.  Whether we plan to work on our own personal devotional life or a city wide evangelistic campaign, the cost of time may be one resource we are not willing to expend.  If we fail to consider the cost of resource and effort needed prior to embarking on a plan, discouragement and disillusionment may derail us before we really get started.  One very important thing to remember is, if God  never directs us to do that which He has not already equipped us to accomplish.  Luke 14:28  For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

6. Trust in the power of God

     One of the biggest mistakes a disciple can make is failing to act on a plan or God directed course of action due to the seemingly impossibility of the task set before us.  If after prayer, godly counsel and acceptance of the cost, we are positive God is directing us in a certain direction, no obstacle should hinder our action.  We must take care not to listen to the nay sayings of those without the Spirit of God.  The amazing part about serving a supernatural God is that He can, and does, accomplish supernatural wonders through willing servants.  Imagine if David listened to the discouraging words of his brothers rather than God when he decided to challenge Goliath with a sling and stone.  Imagine if Elijah failed to call fire from heaven, while challenging the prophets of Baal, because it seemed too unlikely to work.  If we are set on a course which we are confident God has directed, we must also trust in the power of God to bring about His desired result. Zechariah 4:6  Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.