In the first part of this discourse, we saw that no matter how well-planned our life is, there could come a time when God decides to take us on a detour for several reasons. We outlined some of those reasons and went on to explore the four factors that affect the duration of detours in life.
In this second part, we shall explore seven more factors that elongate the duration of detours in life.
While on the new course, one of the things that could elongate or outrightly take you away from the new course that God has charted for you is getting distracted with the things that appeal to the eyes and flesh. When you allow sinful things that are incompatible with where you are going to, you are bound to be grounded. If you are travelling but constantly stop to go into each city for sightseeing, you’ll eventually reach your destination later than someone who focused on getting to his destination on time. So, allowing things that aren’t necessary for your journey will only slow you down, thereby elongating the duration of the detour. The Bible says that it is sin that has distanced us from God, and as such, from where He is taking us to.
Lack of trust in God and in the plans he has for you will certainly elongate the amount of time you’ll spend in the detour. It’s little wonder that people who stay long on the detour are often those who don’t trust in God’s wisdom and ability to take them to their destination. If you don’t have faith in God’s plan for your life, you can’t please Him. And He only guides those who trust in Him. So, faithlessness is a factor you need to watch out for when on this detour. His thoughts for you are thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you your expected end. So, trust His wisdom and ability to get you through this phase. Afterall, he caused you to take the detour in the first place.
g. Amplifying the words of satan and downplaying the words of God:
When you are on a detour by God, satan will raise all manner of accusations against you with the sole aim of making you feel responsible for all the delays you’re experiencing. And sometimes, his voice is so loud that if care is not taken, his voice will drown the voice of hope and courage in you. If you allow this and start believing him or even attempt to follow his suggestions, you’ll only be elongating the duration of the detour. Satan doesn’t take you faster than God, he only makes you run in circles, remaining on the same spot the whole time.
h. Murmuring and accusations towards God:
One thing you need to realise is that God is the Designer and Creator of the entire universe, known and unknown to man, and He orders the affairs of the universe the way that pleases Him, your opinion notwithstanding. If God decides to take you on a short detour that would help you build certain virtues before re-joining the main road, the best you can do is to humbly yield and avoid throwing accusations. Murmuring and accusing him of all sorts will only keep make the short journey long – ask the Israelites.
i. God is not done with you yet:
Sometimes, God may plan to take us through a longer route to build stamina in us for the blessings we will experience later. He knows our today, as well as our tomorrow. And He also knows the spiritual wisdom and maturity necessary to manage the numerous blessings He wants to bring our way. When God sees that we are yet immature for the things He’s about to release on us or for us, He takes His time to build the capacity in us for them. So, yes, when God is not done with you yet, the period of the detour can be elongated.
j. Pride, Stubbornness and Arrogance:
Some of us have latent pride, stubbornness, and arrogance. Such attitudes often manifest when we are told to follow a path that is different from what we had envisioned. We think that our lives are ours to live, forgetting that Christ took our place on the cross, meaning that our lives are not ours in the truest sense of it. So, we attempt to persevere on our original course in life, neglecting what God has said, just for the sake of selfish pride. This is a perfect recipe for elongating the duration of the detour, for God will always abase the proud until he learns – ask Nebuchadnezzar.
Detours in life can be quite weakening whenever they occur, especially when you didn’t have prior knowledge that God often does that for several good reasons. So, you may find yourself very disappointed and have many questions running through your mind as to why God would allow such things to happen in the first place.
My humble counsel would be to go to God to understand why He’s taking you through this new path. If He seems silent, still trust in His omniscience. When the way tastes unpalatable, still trust in His ability to make all things good in their time. And if frustration wants to set in, remind yourself that you are complete in Christ who is the head of all principality and power. (Col 2:10)