Divine Detours

The road of life is full of unexpected twists and turns. How we respond to those unforeseen detours says a lot about our faith. The Apostle Paul’s journey was certainly full of a lot of unanticipated diversions. Beginning with the Road to Damascus, Paul was constantly changing course, but rather than growing discouraged, Paul’s faith seemed to deepen with each change. What did Paul know that we need to understand as we face the unimaginable bends in the road ahead? Join us for part six of Journey to the Ends of the Earth, as Pastor Gary tries to answer the question, “What do you do when the circumstances of life take an unexpected turn?”

And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Acts 15:36-16:10 (ESV)

Three divine detours:

  • Unimagined Divergence (Acts 15:36-16:5)
  • Unforeseen Obstacles (Acts 16:6-8)
  • Unexpected Opportunities (Acts 16:9-10)

Three things to do when facing divine detours:

  • Trust that God is in control.
  • Do the next right thing.
  • Pay attention!

Daily Readings:

Day 1: Acts 15:36-16:10
Day 2: Genesis 37 & 39
Day 3: Genesis 40-41 & 50
Day 4: Job 1-2
Day 5: Psalm 16 & Habakkuk 3:17-19
Day 6: Romans 8