In order for you to be the masterpiece God wants you to be, He must sanctify you and make you more like Jesus Christ. To do this, He often puts detours in your life in order to develop you. He takes you on a path that will give you the grace to grow. God will continue shaping and molding you as His masterpiece over the course of many detours until you are ready to fully realize all He has for you to do.
Not only are you a masterpiece, but God has also prepared good works for you to do. That means the good works God has prepared for you are the biblically authorized activities that bring God glory and benefit others. As you walk in the path of good works He has laid out, you will fulfill your destiny. Sometimes this requires learning, growing, and developing as a person. These seasons are what we can refer to as a detour. They are times when God seeks to mold us into the character He can use for the good works He has prepared. That’s not always fun. Sometimes it hurts. It’s often longer than any of us wish. But God will accomplish His desired result, if you allow Him. It’s only when we fuss, fight, and complain that our detours drag on longer than necessary.
When you iron a shirt that is wrinkled, you have to add steam and heat in order to get the wrinkles out. And why do we iron shirts, pants, and dresses? Because we want to look good when we wear them. In the same way, God has to put us through the fires of refinement to smooth out the rough places and correct our flaws.
Now imagine if that shirt you were ironing wouldn’t sit still. Imagine if it kept hopping up off the ironing board. Or what if it would bundle itself up into a tight ball each time you attempted to iron it. How long would that ironing session take, then, if the shirt simply lay flat and allowed you to press it into perfection?
The same holds true for us on our detours. Far too often, we are the cause of our own delays. We are the cause of our own additional detours. Our lack of compliance with God’s development in our hearts, spirit, and souls will far too often prolong that which we do not enjoy. Surrender is a critical secret to speeding up the process toward your destiny.
We, as God’s masterpieces, bear our Master’s name and image. He wants to make sure that image reflects Him well. When we fulfill our God-ordained destinies, God wants others to see the beauty of Him through us, and that takes refinement in us.
Tony Evans, Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017).