Can God’s plan be delayed? Does man determine when things happen? Does God get frustrated when man doesn’t “follow the plan”?
Well, I guess we should start in the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve didn’t follow the plan. They decided to make their own decision, apart from God’s instructions, and we see how that worked out. We have to know that God already knew it was going to happen (because He knows everything) and had already made preparation for the remedy, “…the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world,” (Rev. 13:8) gives us a hint that that is true.
We see the Israelites in the wilderness and God told them they could have the Promised Land; He had already given it to them. Twelve spies went to check everything out; two came back, saying, yes we can do it, they are bread for us. Ten came back and said, oh man those people are giants and we are grasshoppers. (My paraphrase) The ten spread their fear and doubt among the people, who then refused to obey out of fear. So the plan was delayed for 40 years while that first generation died out and their kids got prepared to do it.
There are all kinds of examples where man did not do as he was asked and it put a delay on what God was wanting. Keep in mind that God already knows all of this, what men will do or not do.
Lately it has been brought to my attention about what happened to the Apostle Paul in Acts 27. Paul knew that God was sending him to Rome. However Paul perceived that the ship that he was getting on was going to meet an ill fate with loss of life and cargo. The men in charge ignored him and embarked on the journey anyway. A major typhoon storm called a Euroclydon came upon them for several days and it seemed the ship would be lost. But Paul announced to the crew that an angel had appeared to him and told him the ship would be lost, but all the men on the ship would be saved, which is exactly what happened.
The ship ran aground on an island and all the men made it to shore. They met some natives and Paul preached the gospel to them and and healed their people. A viper bit him and attempted to take him out, but that didn’t work either. Then another ship arrived to pick them all up and take them on to Rome. Paul was destined for Rome…that was the plan of God, even though unbelieving men managed to delay things for a while.
Jonah is another prophet of God who disobeyed, and by that action, put many men’s lives in danger. When he was dealt with and turned and obeyed God, he saw the repentance of probably the largest most evil city of that time. See, God cared about them too. And that city of Ninevah actually survived for another 100 years before judgment eventually came.
Man’s disobedience can delay the plan of God, but it seems not for forever. All things still work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.
Personally I’m all for getting it right the first time if at all possible. I want to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when I see Him face to face.