“I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” Ac 26:19
Paul had a “heavenly vision.” But there are those who “speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord” (Jer 23:16 NKJV). So you must be sure you are operating according to God’s plan, not your own, or somebody else’s. The story of the Tower of Babel teaches us two things: (1) When people make up their mind to do something, they often succeed. (2) Succeeding doesn’t mean that you’re in the will of God. The word babel (confusion) means others can think you’re right, yet you’re wrong. You ask, “But isn’t it okay to make plans and set goals?” Yes, but your plans and goals should come out of a vision that God has given you. When Paul said, “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision,” he meant that there’s only one acceptable response to God’s plan—obedience! Partial obedience, selective obedience, or delayed obedience are still disobedience. William Carey, who is considered the father of modern missions, gave up comfort and fortune to go to India and introduce the gospel. One of his more memorable quotes is: “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God!” But you can only say that with confidence when you know what God has called you to do. What He ordains, He sustains! When you set your own goals you lack a heart-deep confidence that God is doing the work, so you wear yourself out thinking it’s all up to you. However, when you know God has given you a vision for your life, you trust Him, even when you can’t see any way to bring it to pass.