In this season of my life, God is doing a work in my heart. He is stirring up some new things within my heart and it is all super exciting. He is shifting plans that I thought were his will and opening doors that will place me where I need to be and reach who I need to reach.
Along with these new passions and desires comes the opportunity to trust. I say opportunity because trust is something that we have the ability to choose. We have the power to either trust God and allow him to guide our every step even when it makes no sense or on the contrary, we can choose to attempt to control our lives and not let our every step be led by the Holy Spirit.
Things that I know God has spoken in one season of my life and situations that I felt sure would have worked out a certain way have absolutely not. Honestly, these situations have shocked me. When you hear from God you assume, or at least I do, that he will work it in the most logical, pain-free, and feasible way possible. This is not quite the God I have come to know.
In scripture, the Israelites seem to be in a very similar predicament in Exodus. They heard from God about being delivered into a promised land and were just experiencing their first taste of freedom when they were thrown a curveball.
7 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.[a] Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.[b
Here we are allowed a glimpse behind the scenes into the way God works. I don’t see many other places where we are provided with a direct explanation of why God does what he does. The text is super black and white about why God did what he did.
God intentionally did not lead them along the main road. God intentionally did not allow them to travel the mainstream, logical, and feasible route to the destination that he had promised to them. God took them on an alternate route. God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness.
God knew that if the Israelites continued on the straight path to their destination they would encounter a battle that they were not equipped to fight. If the Israelites would have taken the easy and logical path to the promised land, they would have encountered an obstacle forcing them to turn around. God knew that if the Israelites continued the route they were going they would have not been able to reach the destiny that God had for them.
This principle is so relevant to all of our lives. I am learning that there will be seasons when God will lead us in the most roundabout, illogical, craziest paths but it all has a purpose. There will be seasons where we the promises of God don’t line up with what we see in front of us. There will be times where it seems that the very direction the Holy Spirit is leading is contradicting what God spoke. As we see in Exodus, God had a purpose for this detour.
God was aware that the Israelites were not prepared and would not have been able to take on the Philistines in battle and would have suffered a defeat if they were to take the most direct route to the promised land. As God always has his people’s best interest in mind, he led them around the obstacle in order to bring them to their destination.
God knew that the detour would have been better for the Israelites than defeat.
Maybe I am not equipped in this season to face whatever is standing in front of me. Maybe God knows that if the straightforward path were to work out I would not reach the destiny that he has for my life. God always has the end goal in mind.
God is a God of detours. God is a God that sees what is in front of us at all times and knows that at times if we are to continue on the path we are on we will never reach our destination. God knows that in order for us to reach the destiny that he has for each of our lives, we must learn to trust the detour. We must learn to trust the wilderness seasons. We must learn to follow him even when life doesn’t make sense.
I am choosing to believe that the detour will always exceed defeat. The detour will require faith, endurance, and trust. The detour will not be the easiest. The detour may be discouraging. The detour may not make any sense. However, the detour will always prove to be better for our character and our growth than what lies directly ahead of us.
I am learning to hold fast to what God has spoken, yet allow the way God chooses to unveil those promises to be fluid. Yes, God’s promises and his peace is unfailing yet often we allow our own imagination to dictate the way God will come through. There is an incredible level of trust that is required of us to believe that even when the Spirit is leading us through the wilderness, there’s purpose. Even when the Spirit seems to be leading us away from the very thing we think God has granted us, it’s part of his plan.
The thing about detours is that they always bring you to the same destination. The route you take to get to that destination will look different, but the outcome will still be the same. The destination never changes. What God spoke is not in vain and his promises are not empty.
Detours allow for growth, expanding capacity and clarity.
I am a firm believer that detours can be some of the most rewarding seasons of your life if you allow them to be. If you choose to grow. If you choose to learn. If you choose to lean into God more than you ever have before you will experience him like never before.
Detours allow for purpose to be realized. Detours allow for growth to take place.
Detours Exceed Defeat