Pressing Forward

by James Dayton
September 2008


How many times have we made plans, put all our hope and belief in them, counted on a wonderful outcome, and knew God would make a way?

What hurt and disappointment we feel when things don’t work out like we want them to. Recently, our brother Johnny went up for parole; so many people had plans for him, hope for him, and we all just knew God would make a way, and he would be going home.

When my wife gave me the news that the parole board denied him for three more years, I got angry and for a moment I felt broken inside. I felt all my prayers and fasting were to no avail. Sorrow was felt by many.

When God originally sent Johnny to me, I saw something in him I have never seen before, a man with such devotion that he was compelled to reach out to everyone, regardless of who you were. In his strength he pulled many from the fire; he always put his faith and devotion to God above all else. In his labors for Christ, I was saved, I was pulled from the fire, and Johnny baptized me in a little fish pond.

If the world’s population could feel just one-tenth of what I felt when I came out of that water, they would all know the glory of God. I looked in the eyes of my brother Stan and could only cry. At that moment I could feel all their joy and knew I was a part of God’s family.

So, with all the things Johnny has done and all the blessings he’s had, I just knew the parole board would let him go, and all the plans people made for him would fall into place. After I got the news of his denial, I came back to my cell and prayed. I asked God why all of our plans failed and why weren’t our prayers answered? I felt him with me, and he said, “They were.” I was lead to Saint Paul in the book of Acts – chapter 9. Paul had a plan, he loved God and was loyal to his work, but Christ changed his plan on the road to Damascus and gave him a greater one.

On July 17, 2008, God changed Johnny’s plan, but watch, brothers. Watch and see what God unfolds for him. There’s a great work in that brother Johnny, so let us rejoice in it. Let God bring his plan to light and when he does, we will all be amazed. Johnny’s plans did not fail. God just gave him a greater one! Press forward, brothers. Press toward the mark and see the true plan, the true prize. Press on. And when you think your plans have failed, watch how God fulfills them his way. Watch his glory manifest in your life.

Press forward. Press forward.