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By Byron Bohnert
Guest Columnist -- God will sometimes position roadblocks in front of you that call for your immediate decision to stop or go in another direction.

Some of the paths God will clearly mark out for you to follow, and others you'll have to choose direction according to what the Holy Spirit says.

I’ve heard of people at railroad crossings who saw the red lights flashing, bells ringing, the train approaching, and still they attempted to race across the tracks. Those fortunate enough to survive being slammed into and pushed hundreds of feet thought they could outrun the train.

The same is true of people who drive around roadblocks set up during flooding. These people see the water running over the bridge, but the water appears low enough to go across safely. Regrettably, halfway across, the vehicle they’re in stalls and they have to be pulled out by a rescue team. Or worse, the driver gets washed away.

How many times have you and I been so headstrong and plowed ahead ignoring all the visible signs to stop? If you disobey the Spirit’s leading, the odds of ending in failure are greater than the odds of ending in success. When things aren’t working according to your plans, you must believe God has put the roadblock up for your own protection.

My pastor, Rick Godwin, says, “When you come to a roadblock take the detour. A detour could be an interstate highway to your dream. It’s not the end of the road; it’s a bend in the road.”

God desired for the children of Israel to leave Egypt and return home to the Promise Land. After four hundred years of captivity, the time came when Pharaoh let God’s people leave Egypt. Instead of God taking Israel the shortest way possible, He took them through the wilderness before reaching the Promised Land (See Exodus 13:17-18).

Maybe the road of life you’re traveling seems off track from your desired destination. It may even look like you are going in the wrong direction. But, do not be concerned when God takes you on His detours because you will always arrive at the correct location.

In another Biblical example, Paul and Silas were two men in the New Testament who traveled around preaching the gospel. Both of these men held true to the path of righteousness and went wherever the Lord guided them. On two occasions in Acts 16, the Holy Spirit blocked them from going where they had planned.

Acts 16:6-10 tells us,

“They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas. That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us!’ The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans." (MSG)

If Paul would have gone the way he and Silas were planning, God knows what could’ve happened. Wisely, they chose to heed the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit and because of their obedience, God revealed to Paul the correct path for them to follow. Paul knew the importance of making time to seek God in prayer. I’m certain that he called out to the Lord and asked Him for confirmation on the next move to make.

Proverbs 16:9 says,

“The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord shows him what to do." (NLV)

It’s easy to become irritated with God when you hit a roadblock. But, that isn’t fair because God only wants to keep you on the right path. He is not there to hinder you; He is there to assist you in knowing what avenue to take. So, the next time you’re faced with a roadblock, turn to your personal tour guide, God, and He will direct you on the rest of your journey.

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Byron Clay Bohnert’s writings inspire people to look at life through the eyes of Faith, a perspective that oftentimes helps us focus on what’s really important and forego those that are not. On January 16, 2009, Byron took up new residence with our Lord in heaven. During his 29 years on this earth, he enjoyed sharing and encouraging people through Devotions he wrote for and other publications and his personal witness just loving Christ, his family, his church and people he never met.

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