On God’s detours

This may seem like a clear stating the obvious statement, but I have to admit – again – that God and I often disagree about the proper timing of various events in my life. He has his ideas, I have mine, and in the end, since I’m a child of his who desires to follow him, I go with his. I may kick and scream some. But I go with his ideas. He is always right, but I seldom recognize that when it seems I’m on yet another detour instead of the wonderful and bright shortcut that I had found!

I know with all my heart and all my being that God has put a calling in my heart to serve him as a leader and a teacher in the area of discipleship training. That calling has been clear in me these past almost six years. I know that’s what I’m called to do. And I have had my ideas of how to get to a place where I can flow the best in what God has given me to give to other people. God has not agreed with any of my plans so far. His plans to prune me are different. They take a lot longer. They involve more detours. They hurt more than my versions do. I understand that I can only learn humility through humbling experiences and circumstances, and yet it’s been a hard struggle for me – and it still is – to accept when God takes me through these experiences with people and with him where I feel humbled. I know that much pride in me still has to die and that more of my self-sufficiency and flesh have to be replaced by abiding in him and trusting in him as my only resource to draw everything from. I want him to be glorified through what I do, not myself. 

So he has had to send me on different detours. Out in the wilderness. Out in the deserts where water is sparse and life is not easy. It hurts to be out there, and Satan comes to you and starts questioning you and your calling: “did God really say what you thought he said? Is this really what he has called you to do? Certainly you’ll never be a leader and a teacher if you keep going out here in the desert where nobody is here to listen to you“. Maybe he’ll go on to tempt you and say things like: “I know a shortcut to success. I know you want to be a humble leader, but you also need opportunities to prove that you’re good at what you do. You need people to notice you. Come with me, I’ll find you a place where you can get to spread your wings

Don’t listen to Satan. I’ve heard those voices these past 13 months where I haven’t been leading and teaching. I miss leading and teaching. I love doing it. It makes me feel great about myself when I do it! Both from a mere human understanding of doing something I enjoy and find easy and fun, but also because I see God flowing through me the most when I lead and teach.

I am looking forward to this weekend where I will finally get to teach again. Just a couple of hours. Just a little group of less than 15 people. But I am excited about it. I love to teach and lead. It looks like God is about to bring me slowly out from the desert that I feel I’ve been in ministry wise. It looks like he is opening up some doors for me to do more of what I love to do.

I know he’ll do it in his timing and the way he sees it’s best for me. I know he has long term plans with me, and I know he knows how to build my character and make sure I’m ready for the challenges he has for me in the future. 

I am glad that I don’t have to make things happen. I don’t have to promote myself or force anything through. I want to follow Christ’s leading and be a broken cup type of leader that Christ’s life giving and life changing water can flow freely through to impact the people I teach and lead!

So I embrace the fact that it looks like I’m moving very slowly towards some of what I know he has called me to do some day. 


I embrace that I’m on a journey with him, and that for right now he wants me to focus on growing in areas of counseling, listening to people and walking alongside people without teaching them that are not my usual areas of strength. He wants to work through my weaknesses. And in the process of working through my weaknesses, he is also teaching me much that he is gonna use in my teaching and leadership.

I thank God that he is the gardener, his son Jesus Christ is the true vine (John 15), and I’m just a branch where God can bear fruit. I don’t have to make anything happen in my life, calling and ministry. He will do that. In his way. In his timing. He will keep me as broken as he sees I need to be in order for him to do his work through me.

Blessings, Torben

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