It is rare when a book can find its place nestled right into our spirit, like a missing puzzle piece.
Lately, I have been in a dry season of book reading. I find myself shifting from genre to genre. Getting on board the books of the month hype, I often feel like I am missing something or coming up short, especially with Christian books. It seems with each passing year publishers are rolling out massive amounts of books with lots of marketing fanfare. My social media is inundated with the same people, writing the same endorsements, within the same circles, & the “next big thing” tagline. Rarely do I find the unicorn that truly is an effective, lasting, spirit filled message that not only sticks, but turns the lens of applicability directly back to the Word.
We live in such a diagnosed place in time. Everyone has something that is off, broken, unglued, oppressed, depressed, fatigued, etc. in their lives. The problem I have seen in the past few years is much admittance of said issues, but a lack of how to rise from them. It seems a majority of books, blogs, & podcasts are soaring due to the transparency of those speaking of their stumbling blocks, but the minority seems to be spirit led teachers & instructors that lead others in a way that assists with long-term healing. Often appearing there’s no hope or direction for alleviating the problems, only the false message that your pain is who you are & you should just remain in it by surrounding yourself with other sufferers.
I find much danger in these messages. Being someone with an extremely lengthy, deep, & continuing to grow testimony, I look for those like myself, who preach the message of identification & admittance, but also the message of the restoration that occurs when you decide how you will live with or free from your thorns. I have found my own healing & strength through a personal relationship with God, Christ, & the Holy Spirit while applying the spiritual balm of His Word to every situation. It hasn’t been easy or quick & definitely came with clinched fists more times than not. What I’ve needed on my journey was also the guidance of those who had come out refined on the other side of what I was being held to the flame experiencing.
That leadership & wholesome teaching is what I have found with Dr. Evans writings over the years & definitely so in the book, Detours.
This was not a book introduced with a big fuss. It wasn’t mentioned everywhere I turned. I blog voluntary book reviews for B&H Publishing Company, an imprint of LifeWay Christian Resources, so I had awareness the book was up for release in January. Plus, you would have to live in a cave to be unaware of Dr. Evans ministry- his impact, advice, fantastic story telling & life assistance throughout the duration of the decades is something that is prime example of God’s handiwork. His work sells itself.
He is one of my favorite preachers of the Word & over the past 40 years has written more than a hundred books, booklets, & Bible studies. He lives out kingdom purpose well & if you follow his family, that Christlike legacy has poured into his children, who also happen to lead some of my favorite ministries. He is a class act & walks out the talk.
When I started Detours, I had no background on its content. B&H sent the book per my request & due to some life circumstances, I had to sit on it for a few weeks. That’s where God was doing His work. You see, at the very moment He nudged me to pick it up, I was in a detour. Many things had driven me off the road of my own destiny, & I had allowed it. I had no idea how He’d use Dr. Evans book to drive me back onto the narrow path.
On the 2nd page of the introduction I’d already started to highlight points & words that were piercing me left & right. As I live & breathe I am here to admit, I used up an ENTIRE pink highlighter on this book. Dried it up! And if I didn’t have a family it wouldn’t have taken me 2 days to do it. I absolutely could not put it down or part with it for long periods of time.
Joseph is one of my favorite biblical stories. The messages woven into his life are rich in God’s goodness & Joseph’s faithfulness. The ending is so moving, I was left in tears the first time I ever studied it in deep detail through Genesis, years ago. Imagine my joy when I started to read Joseph’s story laid out as the foundation for Detours.
In this book, Dr. Evans skillfully walks you through the layout & intention of the destiny God has for you. He shows us how to move the barriers we have placed in our own way: fear, un-forgiveness, disbelief, sin- they all keep us in a place of holding. At the same time, he is extremely honest & revealing in the ways & whys the Lord may not answer when we want, how we want, & sometimes not at all re: the path ahead. He shows us many characteristics of God & how often we blame Him in anger for the difficult detours that are intentional for our development. Dr. Evans gives us a bit of a blueprint that assures we are trusting in God’s will, especially when we find ourselves in the valley. His message doesn’t just tell you to do something, he also shows you how to do it & why God wants you to do it.
I don’t want to spoil the meat of the book for you, but I do want to include a few passages below, directly from the book itself that will give some insight in to what you may expect:
God is not going to bring your destiny to fruition until He knows you are able to handle it spiritually, emotionally, & physically. If you cannot handle it, you will lose it rather than use it, for His glory. That is why He focuses so intently on our development as he takes us to our destiny.
God can place a dream or vision in our heart that may seem too big to those around us. Not every vision God gives you is intended for those around you to know. Wisdom is the ability to know when & what to share. Just because the Lord lays something on your heart doesn’t mean you should tell everyone.
Sometimes God allows things to be out of control so we will learn that we never had control in the first place. Detours are divine interventions- usually even divine disappointments. The greater the destiny, the deeper the detour- the pit.
God will use a detour to first reveal what is in our hearts. Trials call your faith to the witness stand to testify to the condition of your spiritual health. God already knows what is in your heart. But oftentimes, you & I don’t. We can talk a good game, throw down spiritual platitudes, & even believe our own lies about ourselves. But the truth is the truth, & a test will always bring the truth to the surface.
When you fill a sponge full of water & then you add pressure to the sponge, water is going to flow out because it is full of water. When you are going through a trial & you feel the pressure of life caving in around you, how much of God comes out when you are squeezed? Or is it cussing, fussing, complaining, & blaming that comes out instead? Why are those things coming out? Because that is what you are full of.
I cannot urge you enough to pick up a copy of this book. Wisdom & discernment flows through every page. You can purchase a copy for yourself & your loved ones here: http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/detours or at one of your favorite retailers, also listed within the link.
You’ll find out more about Tony Evans & his ministry at his website: http://tonyevans.org/
I pray this book bless you & others in the way it has me. Get your highlighters & hearts ready!
*My opinion & comments are my own. I am not paid or encouraged for either by the author or B&H Publishing Company. I was provided a book copy by the publisher & author for an honest review. Any books received or given away may not be used for personal profit now or in the future.