Renee Fisher is a spirited speaker, coach, consultant and author, who published her first eight books in under eight years. A self-proclaimed "Dream Defender," Renee is passionate about calling dreams to life in others. A graduate of Biola University, she lives in Houston, TX with her handsome husband and their fur child named Star. Connect with her at ReneeFisher.com.
Detours. I don't know about you, but I tend to get caught in the detour than enjoying the journey or looking for a new destination.
For instance, I can literally go back through every major transition in my life and point out the detours.
The people that stood in my way.
The jobs that eluded me.
The broken relationships.
The health trials.
It's easier to want to focus on what's going wrong -- on the detour -- than the new path God is forging. New takes time, and it requires faith, but please believe me that it's there. I just love this devotional thought from Experiencing God Day By Day by Richard Blackaby. It says to "follow the Savior's example, and let your time alone with God, in prayer, set the agenda for your life."
Not the detour.
"Jesus had many people seeking to influence the direction of His life. His disciples wanted Him to go where the crowds were (Mark 1:37). The crowds wanted to crown Him king (John 6:15). Satan tempted Him to make compromises in order to draw a following (Matt. 4:3, 6, 9). Jesus knew that His mission was not to attract a crowd, but to remain obedient to His Father. It was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus' ministry (Luke 6:12)."
In transition God wants us to pray and look to Him.
Even when we feel stuck. When we're listening to feelings instead of faith. When we're believing the lie "Is the best life can get?" And especially when God is silent.
It's not up to us to have it all spelled out. We don't need to have control. We are just supposed to go. Easier said than done, right?
Instead of going, we tend to complain.
We nurse grudges.
We become bitter.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes in her devotional The Quiet Place that we tend to nurse gripes when we feel stuck. She writes,
"...learn a lesson from the life of Miriam, who had become jealous of her little brother Moses, the one God had raised up to lead His people. It seems she was tired of being stuck in the background. Unhappy about her perceived lack of influence. As a result, she grew increasingly critical of Moses, pointing out things that bothered her about him or tweaked her sense of fairness. And "the Lord heard it" [Numbers 12:2] -- not just when the words finally came out of her mouth but long before then, when her heart began beating the drum of discontentment, dissatisfied with the role God had entrusted her."
Wow. Just wow.
Why is it in seasons of transition that we start to complain bitterly about the detours?
And quite often, those obstacles or detours are people. It's not about our perceived lack of influence, but about what God is doing in you and me. And, in times of transition, there will always be people who think they know God's will for your life.
Like Jesus, we need to learn to pray. To seek His will no matter what others think. I don't know about you, but I want to know what God thinks -- before it's too late. Did you know that Miriam's complaint resulted in her getting leprosy? She was banished from the camp until Moses prayed and ask God to heal her. And even then she had to spend a few days outside camp for purification.
"He knows our resentment, our competitive spirits, our proud comparisons, and our bent to make ourselves look better by putting others down. He knows when our hearts are wanting more (or different) than what He has given. So let this be a day of awakening and repentance for us -- a time to clean clean from our proud self-seeking ways, being grateful instead for what He is accomplishing through others, lifting up rather than tearing down God's appointed leaders. May he heat the sound of a humble heart at rest."
There it is again. That word rest. Maybe the reason I wasn't able to enter into a season of rest like God wanted me too is because I was too proud. I kept comparing myself to other authors who were "successfully making it."
Friends, I don't want this to happen to you. I want you to learn from Jesus, from Miriam -- and from me.
I want you to see that God does have plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
I know what it feels like to lose hope.
I know what it feels like to want to focus on the detour.
Just go. Have faith. Rest in His promises. Something is coming around the corner, and instead of getting caught up in sin -- why don't you just take a leap of faith into the unknown instead? Through prayer God will eventually show you where He's leading you. For now, all you need to know is that God is in control and that is why detours are important.
Question: Has God ever used a detour in your life to point out an area of sin that He wants to remove before transitioning you forward (even if you feel that your sin is only 1% compared to others)?
*Previously published on ReneeFisher.com.