Good Morning, it is so wonderful to have all of you here worshiping with us this morning.
Will you bow your heads for a moment of prayer?
Father, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer. Amen.
Today I would like to talk with you about facing detours in our lives.
A few years ago I had a doctor appointment scheduled on a certain day at a certain time. Now I was raised that when you were to be somewhere at a certain time it was always best to leave early enough that you would arrive at least 15 minutes early. On that particular day I left in what I thought was plenty of time. There was only one problem. I was unaware that the road I was taking had been closed to all traffic the day before. There was work being done on a bridge on that road. When I came up to the bridge and saw the barricades and Road Closed signs I knew I had only one choice I could make and that was to follow the detour that had been put into place.
Now from my past experiences with detours, I knew it was going to take me longer to follow the detour than if I could just cross over that bridge. I started to panic because I was not familiar at all with the roads I knew I would be led to use.
Suddenly it seemed my leisurely drive had turned into a fearful path that was totally unexpected. This detour was not something that I had planned for or wanted to take.
Now the ironic part of all of this is that I work for a civil engineering company. We design roads and bridges and many times as a part of my job I have to help work on getting Detour plans drawn up. I know the research and the thought that goes into those plans. So in my rational mind I knew it would be safe to follow that detour. But that didn’t change the fact that I really didn’t want to be in this situation.
The simple fact is none of us really like detours. When we want to get somewhere we want to there and we don’t want anything slowing us down or getting in our way. When we have to follow a detour we feel like we are no longer in control.
But the truth of the matter is those detours are placed in our path for our protection. When the bridge is removed those barricades and the Road Closed signs are placed to stop us from driving over the edge of the road and into the water below.
Now what about the detours we have to face in our lives? What happens when we are moving along in life and all of a sudden we come up against an illness, the loss of our job, an accident? A detour.
Let’s look again at this morning’s Psalm reading. Psalm 16:7-8.
7 I will give honor and thanks to the Lord, Who has told me what to do. Yes, even at night my mind teaches me. 8 I have placed the Lord always in front of me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved.
In this Psalm David is saying that he will not be moved. He was talking about the unique sense of security felt by true believers. God does not exempt believers from experiencing the circumstances of life. Believers and unbelievers as well are going to experience pain, trouble, sorrow, and failure.
When unbelievers experience these things they have a sense of hopelessness and confusion over what their purpose is for being on this earth. But believers who are seeking God can move forward confidently with what they know is right and important in God’s eyes. They know that even when they come up against a detour in life God will keep them from being moved off of his chosen path for them.
Let’s look now at Isaiah 26:7-8.
7 The way of the man who is right with God is smooth. O Upright One, make the path straight of those who are right with You. 8 While following in Your ways, O Lord, we have waited for You. To remember You and Your name is the desire of our souls.
Now I don’t know about you but for me at times the path of the righteous does not seem smooth and it is not always easy to do God’s will, but we need to remember we are never alone when we are facing difficult times. God is right there to help us through the difficult times, to comfort us, and to lead us. God provides us with relationships of family, friends and mentors. God gives us wisdom to make decisions and the faith to trust him. Don’t despair; stay on God’s path.
It is time for Christians to stop looking at hardships and disappointments as major road blocks and start looking at them as detours to greater opportunities and blessings.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
That doesn’t sound like a road block to me. In fact this verse just about sums up everything. No matter what you face in life God will either guide you through, around, over or under the issue to get to the other side.
Unfortunately regardless of all these wonderful promises of God that we have been looking at, there are still those who cannot wait for God or just don’t trust his guidance. There are many who would rather rely on the empty advice of secular counselors non-Christian friends, horoscopes, psychic advisors and self-help book.
God has promised us a FUTURE and a HOPE! What more could we want?
Which direction will you turn? Who or what will you seek after? When roadblocks are set in your path, turn to God for your lesson on how to “Detour” around those roadblocks.
First turn to God through prayer. Search for what He wants to teach you. Turmoil has been in the world a very long time and it is not leaving anytime soon. When we look back over past overwhelming situations it can be easy to ask “Where’s God?”
In fact that is the question we need to be asking God. “God where are you in all of this?” Ask it while you are down on your knees in prayer, in humble adoration searching for and seeking after God and his answers. God will open your eyes to the many blessings you received from him during those difficult times.
Let’s take a look at Matthew 7:7. I would like to read it from the King James Version. When I was growing up many of the scriptures I memorized were from the King James Version I hold them near and dear in my heart.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
On Wednesday evening at our Bible Study we were discussing the chapter on “I Am A Prayer Warrior” from the book, “I am A Christian” by Thom Rainer. Nate was talking about how wonderful it is at that moment when we can look back at a situation we had lifting up in prayer and God opens the eyes of our hearts to be able to see all the blessings that were a part of going through that situation. In Ephesians 1 Paul was writing to the people of Ephesus and in verse 18 he says,
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.
There is a praise and worship song titled “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord”
The words are:
“Open the eyes of my heart Lord, Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see you, I want to see you.
To see you high and lifted up, shining in the light of your glory.
Pour out your power and love as we sing Holy, Holy, Holy”
This is what our request needs to be. We need to ask God to open the eyes of our hearts.
Each time you are facing a detour in your life, look at it as an opportunity for God to mold you and make you into a better person, a stronger Christian.
- WAIT ON GOD’S TIMING
The first thing we need to do when we face the detours of life is to pray. The second thing we need to do is to wait on God’s Timing. God’s timing is always perfect because he knows your future as well as your present. We need to trust God for the results of the “Big Picture” by allowing him to work in our lives in his time.
The blessings you will receive while letting God handle the situation and for not fighting against him, will be worth it all if you’ll just wait.
- WAIT ON GOD’S TIMING
So the first thing we need to do when we face the detours of life is to pray. The second thing we need to do is to wait on God’s Timing. The third thing we need to do is to look at our situation as an opportunity to witness!
Never allow a problem in your life to get you to throw in the towel and give up. Take God’s detour and learn all you can about the “Road Block” to strengthen your relationship with God. You will find your walk with the Lord growing deeper and more intimately if you determine to stand firm in the valleys as well as on the mountain tops.
Let’s look back again at Jeremiah 29:11-13
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
The next time you find yourself facing a road block in life, allow God to guide you on a detour. Allow God to revive your relationship with him. Allow God to restore your soul. Allow God to comfort you and strengthen you so that you will have a passion to tell others of your Great and Loving God! Amen.