Love… Self… Freedom… Prelude…

The Divine Detour…

I recall back in 2007, my mom let me watch a video of the “Last Seven Words” done at her church 1st Baptist Church of Mahan St. – Suffolk, Va.

There was one pastor, Rev. Janelle Riddick – 1st Baptist Church of Franklin, who spoke on “The Divine Detour.” I can’t recall what scripture she used; but it was definitely a message that stays on the mind. But what does it mean? The Divine Detour… Let’s break it down.

Definition of Divine. Having the nature of or being a deity. Of, relating to, emanating from, or being the expression of a deity: sought divine guidance through meditation. Being in the service or worship of a deity; sacred.

Definition of Detour. A roundabout way or course, especially a road used temporarily instead of a main route. A deviation from a direct course of action.

Hmmmm. Divine; being in the service or worship of a deity (in our case God). Being in the presence of God. And while that’s good it’s not enough. It’s when we operate in that presence or invoke His presence with praise and worship. After all that is the ultimate goal. But how many of us are just content with the presence? Let’s look at the Word.

God’s Presence & God’s Glory.

Matthew 13:53 -58

[53] When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country.

[54] He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?”

[55] Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.

[56] All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?”

[57] And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.”

[58] And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.

How many of us have gone away to the military, college or some job and when you come back “home” folks looking at you strange. Here’s a case with Jesus. He went back home to teach in the synagogue and the people wanted to discourage and belittle Him; saying he’s a carpenter son’s. Because they were offended and refused to believe in Him, Jesus only performed a few miracles because of their unbelief. Same with us; because we want more, the very ones that think they know us want to carry us. Because all they can talk about is your past, but they don’t know; God knows your past too and holds tomorrow.

But the key here is this; these people were in the presence of Jesus and yet not in His glory. How many of us are like this? We think it’s enough to have God’s presence, but what good will it do if we don’t invoke His presence with praise and worship? That’s how His Glory comes through and when that happens… everything changes.

Detour; deviation from a direct course of action. Let’s be real. At times, we feel like we have it all mapped out on how it will happen. Sure, we talk a good game but can’t play the game. But real talk, we don’t have all the answers, and we don’t know it all. But God does. In Psalm 139, David says that God knows our thoughts… On top of the fact that God knows our thoughts, we must also and always realize that God’s thoughts for us are more than our thoughts for ourselves.

In Isaiah 55:8-9
8)”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9)”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Now one of my favorite people from the Bible that comes to mind is Paul; you know the “Saul conversion to Paul”. Amazing. To think that this man, a persecutor of Christians would be converted to a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I’m pretty sure he did not have thoughts of this event, but God knows better. And yet while on his way to Damascus, God intervened with what I would think of as a divine detour. See Saul (in his mind) was to continue persecuting Christians, yet God got his attention long enough for Saul to realize the error in his judgment and to press forward in the Will of God.

Let’s look at the Word…

Acts 9:1-22

1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5″Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6″Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13″Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

Maybe for you it’s not persecution of Christians, but we all have demons that we battle. And yet God will intervene on our behalf. And that’s great! Great because, He will remove the problem and issues… but what He is really trying to do is take us on a divine detour to get to root of that issue. Many of us are dealing with crazy relationships, drugs, alcohol, bills and just self esteem issues. We ask God to remove it and He will, but what’s the reason why we deal with this stuff? What event or person has caused these issues to unfold? There’s always cause and effect, even when we don’t see in black and white. So instead of asking God to remove this issue or while He catches you off guard, ask Him to give you power to cut it off at the root. If that means you go back to the past and deal with some stuff… or if that means you gotta cut off folks that “love” and “care for” you that spitefully use you in Satan’s puppet show… YOU MAKE IT DO WHAT IT DO AND LET GOD LEAD YOU THRU.

Going on the divine detours are difficult… You are force to do self examinations and asking yourself questions that have been asked by others. Let’s face it, who wants to deal with all of that… but as you deal with it, you can become a stronger person in God and truly be a blessing to others all while God takes you to the next level. Not everyone will understand you once you start this divine detour, but don’t worry about it. When you are truly serious about what God has for you… plans… blessings… TASK and MISSION… you can’t allow others and yourself to deter you from the Mission that God has ordained for you. After all you may be the one that God uses to claim some of the false prophets and fake people back to God.

THOUGHT: Don’t be afraid of the Divine Detour. While it is a challenge, it’s worth it. We heard the song Pure Gold… and we sing it like we wrote… but when do you stop just singing it and start living it? We desire to be pure gold, but are we willing to tired in the fire?

Stay Tuned for Part 1. Isolation

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