Some of our best surfing or camping spots were discovered after we took a wrong turn or were forced to take a different route to the one we expected. Although inconvenient at the time, once the camp site was set up or as we pulled into another wave, we were grateful for the detour.
Detours can be extremely inconvenient. There have been many times that I’ve pushed the time limits to make it to work on time only to come across that regrettable yellow and black sign blocking the road ahead of me!
There are also those unwelcome detour signs that block the road ahead of us in life. No one plans for them yet they appear at the most inconvenient times and the most awkward places. But although these signs can be seen as detours of distraction, God will often use them as detours to destiny.
Philip was one of those who found himself being persecuted by the religious leaders in Jerusalem. This unexpected wave of opposition put a sudden end to life as he knew it so he joined many others who fled for safety. Although some may have viewed this situation as the beginning of the end for the church, God had other plans and used this as a detour to destiny so that many more could be reached:
‘Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went’ – Acts 8:4 (NIV)
Philip immediately recognised God’s hand was at work so rather than resisting the detour he embraced it and began to see the unfolding of a much greater plan:
‘Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said, [and] many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city’ – Acts 8:5-8 (NIV)
As Philip made the most of the detour, the entire city of Samaria was reached with the love and power of God. In contrast, if Philip spent all of his time seeking an exit from the detour he would have missed the opportunities in front of him.
If you have found yourself on an unexpected detour, choose to trust in the mystery of God’s sovereignty and make the most of the situation – because as you do, you will discover that this is your detour to destiny!

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