“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
I wish I could say that I am someone who loves change, but the reality is, I only love change when I am the agent of that change. This past year Lighthouse Church went through what many in our church family have called a “Mile High Miracle.” In January 2019, we were given an eviction notice on a building we were renting for our church. Due to our imminent move, the Holy Spirit directed us to find and purchase a building we never thought we could possibly own. And in the midst of all of that, we were able to renovate, move in and host services on schedule, with very few hiccups along the way.
It was a miracle in the mile-high city of Denver. But it was change I didn’t initiate.
You see, about a month before all of this happened our goal was to plant a second campus of Lighthouse Church at the former Garden Park MB Church location. We had dreams of reaching a new area of the city with the help of the kingdom-minded believers of Garden Park. We planned, we prepared and we organized for change, but the Holy Spirit changed our plans.
It’s so fascinating how the Holy Spirit does that, isn’t it? Just when we think we are going in the right direction, with the right intentions, Jesus turns us in a direction we never thought possible.
It reminds me of when the apostles questioned Jesus about the coming of his kingdom just before he ascended to heaven in Acts 1. They vigorously planned for Jesus to return and restore the physical nation of Israel. And in their planning, Jesus changed their plans.
He told them, “It is not for you to know…” In other words, “It is none of your business what plans the Father has.” And then he says, “But you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus masterfully takes the plans of the disciples (as well intended as they may have been) and he changes them into something far greater—to be witnesses of the gospel throughout the entire world!
I don’t know about you, but one thing I have learned in the past year is that Jesus loves to change our plans. It’s his way of keeping us not on our toes but on our knees in obedience to him. And my prayer for you, as the reader of this article, is not to grow weary when your plans change into Jesus’ plans but that you will fall to your knees in humble obedience to him. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Josh Shaw is the pastor of Lighthouse Church in Denver, Colo. In 2016, Josh and his wife, Brianne, and a small group of 12 college students began Lighthouse with a dream of guiding the city of Denver back to the kingdom of God. Since that time, the fledgling congregation has grown to 280 in attendance, has sent missionaries across the globe and has had the privilege of baptizing 30 new believers in Jesus Christ. Shaw is the father to two boys, Ezekiel and Asher.