I wrote the following to the other members of the team with whom I was going to Israel. I now want to share it (slightly edited) more widely:
If we want a deep friendship with God, it is important to cultivate a state of mind where we view all of our time as God’s time, a state of mind where we are totally available to him. It is necessary to do this because God speaks to us at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes he even lets his favorite servants spend time, energy and money in organizing a mission journey. Then he waits until they get in the middle of that journey and forbids them to engage in ministry. Paul and his friends made plans to minister in Asia, but God wanted them in Europe (Acts 16:6-10). He let them “waste” time, money, and energy before he redirected them there.
It seems to me that God almost delights in speaking to us at the most inconvenient times in order to test our availability. …
I am also reminded of how God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and then at the last moment told him not to. He is testing our availability to him for whatever he would call us to do. Whatever happened, it was not an accident.