I love to dream. But I love it even more when the dream begins to leave port and sets sail toward reality. That’s when you get this feeling in your gut that says, “This is really going to happen.” But I’ve noticed any time I’m pursuing a God given vision things don’t go the way I anticipated, they never happen as smoothly as I planned nor do they happen in the timing I imagined. I’ve also learned God frequently “detours” the vision in order to develop the visionary.
I can’t help but wonder what went through Elijah’s mind in 1 Kings 17. It’s clear that God gave him a vision for a spiritual revolution. In 17:1 he takes his first step toward the vision when he boldly confronts King Ahab saying, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” But the very next verse just isn’t what you would expect, “Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.”
God tells Elijah to leave! What? It doesn’t seem to make sense. And to make matters worse he tells him to go to Kerith Ravine, which in Hebrew means “cut off place”. But God took him on this “detour” for a reason. Each and every day Elijah would experience the faithfulness of God as ravens flew in his daily meals. I’m sure this is not where Elijah expected to be after taking his first steps toward his vision, but it was where God wanted him to be. You see God took this visionary on a “detour” to teach him total dependence. Elijah experienced this daily miracle for over 600 consecutive days. While it may not have been a part of Elijah’s master plan, it was a necessary step to help him to the man God needed to do the job. Don’t forget: You have to have a God sized faith to accomplish a God sized vision.
Do you feel like your vision has been detoured? Perhaps right now God’s focus is on developing the visionary.