The process of finding out God's Big Idea for your life can be a challenge. We know in what areas we have been gifted. We know what areas interest us. We combine our passions with ministry. We sense a calling from God to head into a particular direction. We make plans and proceed down a certain path. We have now taken ownership of this direction in our life. We don't want to give up, no matter what!
Then, something stops us from producing any momentum. We get stuck. We think we made a mistake. Everything and everyone is against us making any headway. We start to second guess our decision-making process. Unfortunately, though, we have taken ownership on our plan, and we stubbornly stick with the plan until the bitter end.
I wonder if the Apostle Paul felt this way at all? In Acts 16:6-10, we see that Paul and his traveling companions had apparently made plans to enter the Roman province of Asia, but God's Word states that the Holy Spirit stopped them. Then, they tried to enter the province of Bithynia. Again, the Holy Spirit stopped them from heading in that direction.
Finally, one night, Paul has a vision of a man from the province of Macedonia, calling out to him for help. Conclusion: God was calling Paul and his companions to preach the gospel in Macedonia. They answered the call. They dropped all of their current plans and immediately headed for the province of Macedonia. They were obedient to the Holy Spirit's direction in their lives.
It's OK to make plans and goals as you attempt to accomplish what God has called you to do. Nowhere in this passage do we see Paul condemned for making plans and goals for this missionary trip. What we do see, however, is the Holy Spirit stepping in to redirect Paul's plans to accomplish His purposes in Paul's life. Paul was sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and always obedient to God's direction in his life. Paul was not stubbornly fixed on his goals or his own plans.
As you work through the process of accomplishing God's Big Idea for your life, always be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Each step is a process. Don't get married to your own plans or desires. He might have something bigger and better that He wants to accomplish through you. Be obedient to what you have discerned to be the right direction at each point in the journey.