The Pattern of Detours

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Life is full of detours. Tony Evans says if you’re not currently in a detour, then you either just came from one or are about to head into one. But detours have a pattern that you can look for if you find you’re not where you had planned to be. In this lesson, learn about the three patterns that detours possess to help get yourself back on the main route.



remember your blessing includes you. But it’s not only about you detours detours are distractions from the original intended route that you had planned to go. They take you off the beaten path. It takes you longer than you had planned to be using to arrive at where you are hoping to go. If you’re here today and you want your destiny, I would not be being fair to the word of God if I didn’t tell you that they’re going to be dry spots where nothing appears to be happening and you find yourself stuck. If you are a believer in jesus christ today, you have a destiny. I’m telling you to let you know that when God is ready to move it, don’t take long today. I want to look at the pattern of detours. Detours have a pattern about them that you should look for. If you know you’re not in the place that you had planned to be in and there’s not a person here today who is not in a detour come from a detour headed to a detour because life is full of detours. There are three things I want to talk about today about the pattern that detours take the route of detours because, you know, detours usually have twists and turns. You gotta go up here and turn here and come back here and go over there in order to get back on the main road, taking you to where you plan to go and where God wants you to go is your destiny. The first aspect of a detour, which we’ve kind of introduced is detours always involved test detours involved a test. I love Second Chronicles Chapter 32 verse 31 because it says the purpose of a test is to reveal what’s in your heart. The purpose of the test is to reveal God already knows what’s in your heart. But the test is designed to reveal it because our hearts are deceitful. The bible says, they trick us and so God wants you to really see what’s deep down inside of you. And it comes out with a test. So, a test is adverse circumstances, joseph is in a test because he’s now a slave in a situation he never planned to be in. And it is that verse, he then a pit no water sold into slavery by his own family. And verse one of chapter 39 says he’s taken to Egypt and Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard buys him from the Ishmael, like he’s been bought and sold like property. He’s in a bad situation. But as we ended last week, it says, the Israelites were taking him to Egypt. And when we fast forwarded to the end of the story, joseph says, God brought me to this place. Mhm So watch this. Now, don’t miss this. When you’re going through a test, I’m not talking about a test you create. I’m talking about one that God put you in. When you’re going through a test. Don’t mistake the hand of man for the hand of God, or don’t mistake the hand of God for the hand of man. See people put him in this situation. His daddy set him up for this situation and give him a coat. His brothers were jealous of him. His brothers put him in the pit. His brothers plan to kill him. His brothers sold him, his brother gave him to the history of life. These are people messing with this man’s life. But if you only see what people are doing and you miss what God is doing, then you missed the divine purpose of the detour. People were allowed to be used by God to move him from where he was, to the next step of where God wanted him to be. So don’t think just because his people is not God. It’s only not God if it’s sin, but if it’s not sin, then look for the hand of God. Even though it’s coming through the hand of man, Joseph has had many reasons to believe God has abandoned him. And you have those feelings when you’re in a deep pit, where is God? Why did God put me here? Why won’t God get me out of here? Or if he got me out of here? Why did you get me out of here like this? So that now I’m nothing but cheap property. Where are you? God? That’s what happens during a test. It seems like God’s phone line is busy. He’s gone silent on you. But remember the purpose of the test is to develop you so many of us iron shirts or had shirts ironed uh before we came today. Or maybe ladies, you iron your blouse. You did that to get the wrinkles out. You did that to get the wrinkles out. The blouse may have been clean, but but it but it had wrinkles in it. You needed to get the wrinkles out. Joseph had some wrinkles. We found out that he was a tattletale on his brothers, that he flaunted the coat in front of his blood brothers. Uh to to show that, you know, he was the he was the most loved son. We we saw that he had some wrinkles. He wasn’t a bad kid, but he was immature. So God had to put him in a situation to iron the wrinkles out. Now, why do you iron wrinkles out of your shirt and out of your blouse? Because you plan to put it on and you want to look good in it. So what God does is he puts us in test and he allows the heat to hit us and steam is rising out of us. It’s not because he’s trying to burn us. He just plans to wear us and wants to look good when he puts us on. So he allows the fire of testing to bring steam out of our lives. He’s not being mean. He’s not being mad. He just wants to iron out the wrinkles so that he looks good when he identifies with you. The first aspect of the detour that God takes us all on, nobody escapes this. Who wants to be in God’s will and experience God. Destiny is a test and adverse circumstances that God created. two allows and now joseph is living a life. He didn’t plan on his daddy didn’t raise him to be a slave, but that’s what he is now, It leads to # two. The second route on the detour to destiny of the pattern that God uses is training. We’re told to learn through testing. So testing is designed to provide training. Look at Verse two. The Lord was with joseph, he became a successful man. He was in the house of his master. His master saw the Lord was with him and God caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. Joseph found favor in his sight, became his personal servant. He put everything he had under joseph’s charge. Okay, let’s deal with training number one spiritual training. The Lord was with joseph women. Now, the Lord was with joseph as a slave. The Lord was with joseph being bought and sold. The Lord was with him. In other words, he did not let his circumstance compromise his spiritual relationship. See it’s easy to get mad at God in a trial. When actually the trial is the occasion to draw near to God. It says the Lord was with him. Watch this while his life was going south because he’s a slave. But it says the Lord was with him. Folks want to run to God in the trial. When they’ve had no God before the trial. Wonder why they can’t see God come out now that I’m in the trial because there was not closeness being accumulated along the way. But it says if joseph, the Lord was with him, he had cultivated a spiritual relationship as his priority and God was with him. Watch this and his life is going south. No, he’s a slave. But he gives you the key here is the key to making it during your season of trial. It says he became a successful man because the Lord was with him, not because of who he knew, Not because of his contacts, not because of his notoriety, not because of his name, not because of his bank account. He said he became a successful man. Because listen, if the Lord is not with you, I don’t care who you know what contacts you have, what power you think you have. He said the reason he was a success as a slave is because the Lord was with him. See a lot of us know God without knowing Jehovah, Jehovah is when God reveals himself to you. So when it says the Lord was with joseph, he’s saying there was a relationship book up here. This wasn’t religion. This is relationship the Lord, they had, they had a relationship and the Lord was with him and the Lord made him a success. So there must be the spiritual relationship that drives you, particularly when life has gone left on, like I did on joseph and the Lord blessed him as a slave so that he climbed the ranks to become his personal assistant and everything underneath part of his house was under joseph. Now watch this, watch this. The purpose of trials. One of the purpose is to develop us and to train us. Don’t miss this, Joseph is now 2nd in command in Patricia’s house. Okay. But what joseph didn’t know is that down the line, he’s going to become second in command in all Egypt, that’s the whole nation. He doesn’t know that yet because he doesn’t know the details of his destiny. So what God does is he gives him a job as a slave, makes him second in command in Patricia’s house. So Homeboy could get some experience in leadership management, handling staff, dealing with problems, he lets him as a slave, develop a skill set because he knows in his destiny he’s gonna be over all of this. I see a lot of folks want to be all of this where they don’t know how to be over all of this and if you can’t handle this, God’s not ready to give you that. So if you want that, you better take care of this so that when you wind up with that, you’ve got enough experience from this to handle that the right way. Watch this. He’s working, watch this for a non christian. Patricia is a pagan. He’s not a believer, he’s working in a non christian company. But look what it says about joseph verse five, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of joseph. Thus the Lord’s blessing was upon all that he owned in the house and in the field. That means everything of all of his prop. In other words, the christian was the best employee he had. You see where I’m going Because of seven verse 3. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him. But this is a pagan man. How pagan man gonna see the Lord is with you. There’s only two ways. Word indeed that is, he was a witness with his mouth, but he backed it up with his feet. He didn’t talk about jesus and turn in sloppy work, nor did he do good work. And skip the fact that his faith was the basis of how he worked. It was word and deed. He didn’t talk about jesus all day and get nothing done. But he didn’t get stuff done and leave jesus out. It was word and deed because he wasn’t just working for a paycheck. He was working for a person and the Lord was with him is the Lord with you and your career. Now watch this, watch this, watch this. Don’t miss this. His job was not his destiny because see a lot of us have made our jobs our destiny. You see his job, this job, he gets ready to leave this job. In fact, in a few minutes he getting ready. Get fired. Don’t get ready. Get fired from his job. If he put all of his marbles, Oh, I’m second in command in Patricia’s house. If he put all of his marbles in his job, he’s gonna be severely disappointed because he’s getting ready to lose his job. The man is getting ready to get a pink slip. So your job is not your destiny. Your job may just be preparation for your destiny because he’s gonna learn skills in his job that God is gonna use for his kingdom. But God cares more about the development of the dreamer than the experience with the dream. Why? Because when he gives you whatever dream he has for you, he wants to know that your shoulders can bear the weight of the opportunity because if you get to a place that fulfills the dream, but you can’t bear the weight of your character to handle the dream that you hold you and the dream collapse. So he wants to develop the person before he gives you the purpose and the detour is designed to develop that training spiritual depth skill development and he still hasn’t hit his death in it yet. It’s gonna take 22 years for him to hit chapter 50. Okay, it’s gonna get a major break after 13 years. And the total thing is 22 years so chill. The third part of the pattern of detours temptation, there was a test that was training. And now there’s temptation, temptation is solicitation to do evil, It is solicitation to disobey God is being solicited to disobey God. Okay, let’s get this straight. Temptation is not sin. The bible says that the spirit of God Matthew four led jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Yet the bible says jesus was without sin. So being tempted is not equal to sinning. Sinning is yielding to the temptation, not having the temptation. Okay, every we all face temptations. Okay, that’s not a sin. It’s the yielding. That makes a sense. So the Lord is with joseph. The Lord sent into pharaoh’s house and he runs into mrs potiphar. We’re told in the end of verse six. Now, Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at joseph verse seven says, and said, lie with me, this is not a subtle system. Sister is getting to the point. Come on, joe, let’s knock some boots. But verse eight says he refused and said to his master’s wife. Behold with me here. My master does not concern himself with anything in the house. And he has put all things that he owns in my charge. And now he gives the singer. There is no one greater in this house than I. And he has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God? He has now been solicited by mrs Patel for he’s been solicited for sexual relationship. She’s come right out and said it verse 10 says and she came to him day after day. So she’s not gonna leave him alone. And there’s no place he can go because he works there. But joseph says no. And there are two reasons. We say no to temptation when we do one is fear of consequences. That’s the negative reason. We don’t want the Reprisal that could take place. And so the negative reason is even if I want to do it, I won’t do it because I don’t want the consequences of having done it. So the fear of consequences, joseph knew that everything had been placed under his hand and he knew that is being that could be jeopardized here. But then he gives the positive reason and the dominant reason. He gives it at the end of verse nine, he says, how then could I do this great evil and sin against God mm hmm. Here it is. We all need to learn this principle. The reason we send more is because we love God bless people who love God hates sin and hurt when they do it, people don’t love God. Get over the hump joseph didn’t sin because he valued his relationship. He did not want to displease God. He did not want to unravel the God who had brought him to this place of blessing even as a slave. And one of the reasons God allows detours to become extended is development has not occurred enough for us to choose him over the most enticing things in our lives. It is when we choose him over the most enticing things in our lives. And I’m talking about simple things when we choose him, it shows that we have grown in our love for him. Even the thing that calls our name the most abraham, give me your son Isaac the one you love the most. That’s not easy. That’s not hard. He’s got to say no every single day. And so if you’re in this situation of a temptation, the thing is to cultivate this relationship with God so that you love him more. So that you hate that more. Even if it’s something that is appealing. Well, she accuses him of rape. It happened verse 11 and he went into the house. None of the men were there. She caught him by the garment verse 12. She caught him by the garment saying lie with me and he left his garment in her hand and fled and went outside. And when she saw he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, she called to the men of the household and said, See he brought this hebrew to make sport of me. He came in, I screamed. And he left his garment. Now, here’s the situation. He’s in a no win deal. He can’t win this one. He’s been accused of rape. Nobody saw it. And she got the material in her hand to prove it. And she’s the boss’s wife. He can’t win this one. Anybody in here ever had anybody lie on you and they win the light winds, because nothing you can say can get you out of this one. No appeal you can make because she’s got the evidence, even though she’s the liar, she can prove that you tried to rape me. I can prove it. Her husband comes home. And when her husband comes home, she speaks to him Verse 17. Then she spoke to him with these words, the hebrew slaves who you brought to us came into me and made sport of me, and I raised my voice and screamed. He left his garment beside me and fled outside. Now, when her master, his master heard these words from his wife, which he spoke to him saying, this is what your slave did to me. His anger burned so Joseph Master took him and put him in jail. That’s called a pink slip. He’s fired. And he’s been the best thing going. But remember joe is on a detour. He’s on a detour to destiny and detours involve negative experiences that God either creates or let somebody else create. Therefore don’t mistake the hand of God for the hand of man because God was letting the lie of a woman move joseph to the next layer of his destiny. And that’s why you’re gonna learn. I think in the fourth message leading up to the Destiny series, why forgiveness is critical to you realizing your destiny because God will use evil to get you there. So you’re on a roll, you’re on a turn or you will be. That’s because God loves you enough to take you somewhere and develop you until you get there. You can prolong the you can prolong the detour, but you don’t have to prolong it. If you will draw near to him in the midst of it, say no to that. Which breaks his heart. And yes to that, which brings his heart joy. Confess any failure you had yesterday, you can’t change yesterday. But if you start today, you can move toward a better tomorrow because you’re still here. When God brings us to detours, he’s bringing us into a place of development, he’s creating or allowing a trial in order to train us to trust him because of the uncertainty and the unexpected nature of detours do we trust him when we can’t see him or feel him simply because we’re operating on his word. That training includes even temptations. He even will allow the devil to try to draw us from him to see how serious we are about our commitment to him. So when you’re on a detour knowing that you’re taking a test and now it’s time to pass it so you can go to the next spiritual level of growth. Yeah, mm hmm. I’m standing here in Alaska, one of the most glorious places in God’s great creation. And I want to invite you to join me in our urban alternative family for the Alaskan Cruise. We’re going to have a magnificent time in God’s word and in God’s creation, we’re going to enjoy great fellowship, great fun, great food. And I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting you on R T U. A Alaskan Cruise Register to be there. Can’t wait to be with you.

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Tony Evans Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and...

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