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Saturday, September 1, 2012

DETOURS IN LIFE


DETOURS IN LIFE

by Pastor Mark Taylor

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Ex 13:17 “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:”

The verse above tells us that the Jews were going from point A to point B, but God made them detour and go the long way for their own good.  We are told the reason for their detour. Basically God said, the Jews are not ready for a fight, they would turn back and return to Egypt at the first sign of trouble. So the detour was to save them some trouble, and to keep them on God's path.

A detour is an unexpected event that changes the course of your life.  Some examples include: the loss of a job; a death or illness; an unexpected pregnancy; a job offer; or a best friend moves away.


We don’t like detours or signs that slow us down.  Reduced Speed Ahead; No Right on Red;Yield; No Parking Zone; Dead End; Detour; Red Lights/Stop Signs.

Each one of them, in one way or another, cause us to slow down on our journey. We don't like slowing down. We don't like things that hinder or change our plans to use the most direct route possible.

Detours are put up by the relevant authority because some danger or obstruction is ahead. God gives detours for the very same reasons, but He doesn't usually bother to tell us why.

Detours are a course correction that God uses to keep us on the right path.  Not our path, but the right path.

We want to get from A to B, God wants us to get from here to the crucified life, the life of holiness, the upward call of God in Christ, that is the path that God is concerned with.  Not the path to a physical location, but a path to keep us walking with Him.  We are told to pray, deliver us from temptation, and here we have an example of God doing it.  The detour you may today be fussing about, might just be God's answer to your prayer for Christ likeness!  Eternity will only tell all the messes God kept us from.

Detours send us on an unfamiliar route and require that we trust the sign makers.

When we are traveling away from home and come to a detour, it usually sends in a direction we know nothing about. Detours require us to pay strict attention and keep looking for signs on the way we should go. One of the blessings about detours is that help us to be very diligent about seeking God and His direction for our life.

Detours involve a time delay, and a longer trip.   It is important we don't let impatience move us off the route God has chosen. We need to remind ourselves from the passage in Exodus that the shortest trip, was also the shortest trip to trouble. We don't do delay very well. We prefer to get in the end zone as soon as possible, patience may be a virtue, but we tend to avoid it at all costs.

Sometimes in life the best course is just to slow ourselves down.

Detours involve a longer trip.  You can see a shorter route, just beyond the sign, but are denied access to it. Can you say "frustration!" Have you ever tried to find out if the bridge was really out?
Don't waste your time.  God always has a good reason for detours.  Detours involve routes that seem to go in the wrong direction. Our internal GPS has a hard time dealing with detours. 

Sometimes detours are not from God but are caused by the sins of others, but we have great promises to guide us in those times.  Joseph, Mary and Jesus had to go to Egypt because of the murderous intentions of Herod. Some of Paul’s detours were caused by Satan.  “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.”  I Thessalonians 2:18.

Finally, sometimes we cause our own detours. “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” I Peter 3:7

Regardless of the reasons of your delays, if you love the Lord Jesus and trust Him in your journey, you will arrive at the right place and at the right time.  “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

If you can just wait on the Lord a little while longer he will renew your strength. The answer hasn’t arrived yet but he will renew your strength.  “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40: 29-31)

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