Mar 03 2010
Matthew 16:2 Jesus turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! ?You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men. Have you ever noticed that Jesus didn’t like to take shortcuts? Whether He was going through Samaria to meet a lonely woman (John 4) or taking the disciples on a boat ride through a storm (Luke 8:4-15), Jesus took great strides to not avoid places and circumstances that many of us would try to pray our way out of. He never missed an opportunity to meet people where they were, even if it meant putting himself in harm’s way and/or taking the chance of tarnishing his reputation.
I believe that Jesus was so full of God’s heart for His life that He was able to face every challenge knowing that His Father would give Him success. He could lay hands on the sick without fear of becoming sick; He could meet people who were full of demons and not be overcome by them; he could walk in love with people who He knew would betray Him, spit on him and kill him; and he could even rebuke his friends when they stepped in to try to rescue him from being put in harm’s way.
Detours may seem like a good idea at the time, but the truth is they only delay our journey. Occasionally we have had to take detours because of road work, but eventually we find ourselves back on the same road that we were travelling on. The inconvenience didn’t alter our final destination, it only delayed it. Jesus didn’t mind taking the risk of going through the troubling places because He knew that God’s grace would enable Him to complete His journey. He never allowed anyone’s voice to deter Him from the path God had assigned to Him and He never allowed fear to paralyze Him or force Him onto another road.
Jesus was faced with many challenging and difficult situations and at times His disciples tried to encourage Him to take a detour and play it safe. For example, one time when Jesus was describing what he would go through in Jerusalem, Peter got on the road in front of him and desperately tried to stop Jesus. But Jesus wasn’t too kind to Peter because He sharply rebuked him and told him to get out of his way! Another time Satan tried to get Jesus to go on a detour and worship him instead of following God’s plan. But Jesus, though hungry and tired, refused to take the shortcuts that Satan offered Him, remaining faithful to God’s plan for Him (Luke 4:1-13).
There are times on our journey with God that we too are faced with the temptation to take a detour from the path that God has called us to. God’s path for us is constantly being blocked by people who want us to play it safe and don’t appreciate bold moves of faith. Then there are the fearful naysayers who just don’t want us to get hurt or to have our dreams dashed who try to get us to take a detour away from God’s plans for us. But the truth is that God delights in us when we set our face like flint to follow Him and trust him with all our heart to fulfill His plans for us (Proverbs 3:5-8).
What about you? Are you facing situations that you’d rather not go through? Do the circumstances facing you appear to be hard and pressing? Maybe you’re not too sure that the boat you’re in is sea worthy or if the road you’re on is the right one. While I don’t know the answers to these questions, I would be willing to wager that you are probably exactly where God wants you to be, but fear is challenging your decision to follow God. You can be sure that if you entertain fear, you will either stop or make a detour that will cost you valuable time because fear and faith are diametrically opposed to each other! Living a life of faith isn’t always easy or pleasant. We aren’t guaranteed comfort when we give our lives to God, but we are told that the Comforter will be with us to strengthen and help us through the difficult situations that we will find ourselves in from time to time.
Whatever it is that God has given you to do, you can be sure that He is faithful to complete it. His greatest delight comes when we determine in our hearts that no matter what happens we will not allow our faith to take a detour from God’s promises. Regardless of the circumstances we know that God is with us and His grace is sufficient to supply all of our needs. When the enemy comes to us with temptations we must decide ahead of time that we will stand firm on the word of God. When fear surrounds us, we must choose to say of the Lord, “You are my God; in You I put my trust.” When our friends call us crazy and try to persuade us to turn down a safer path, we will say “Get out of my way, I am a faithful servant of God.”
God is calling us to take chances and believe Him like never before. The earth is groaning for the Sons and Daughters of God to rise up and take their place in the world and to boldly proclaim the goodness of God to all (Romans 8:13-22). Will you answer the call or will you take a detour? You are the one that God is counting on to share His good news in your corner of the world. Don’t allow the enemy to detour you from that task. Be bold. Be strong. For the Lord, your God is with you!
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for calling me to walk with you through this world. When everything and everyone around me wants me to take a detour, thank You for Grace that meets and supplies all of my needs. Help me Lord to stay on the path that You have laid out for me. You are my God and I have set my face like flint to follow you fully. In Jesus Name, Amen