I know what it is like to wait on a vision. Having been in ministry for more than four decades, I’ve had my fair share of the Lord giving me a dream I felt was from Him, only to have it derailed for lengths of time.

Even as I write this book, I am in the midst of one of these scenarios. It involves a piece of property God put on my heart to purchase more than a decade ago. It’s a beautiful twenty-two-acre slice of heaven in the heart of south Dallas. An immaculate, colonial style home, built in the 1930s, sits on its pristine grounds. So beautiful is this home, it’s been used as a setting in the film Tender Mercies.

I don’t exactly know why, but when this property came on the market many years ago, my spirit wouldn’t rest until I prayed through pursuing it. I knew it was mine. I knew it had a purpose. I couldn’t see the purpose, but the Spirit wouldn’t let me have peace until I acquired it.

Now purchasing twenty-two acres of tree-filled land, along with a house and pool, is no small decision. Especially when my wife and I still live in the same small, one-level home we have lived in for more than thirty-five years. It didn’t make sense why I would pursue this property with our own personal finances rather than move my wife and me to a beautiful new home for the same price. After all, we weren’t going to live on this property ourselves. But God made it plain to me that I needed to get it while it was available. And so—after praying and talking with Lois about it, and coming to an agreement that the Lord was putting it on our hearts to acquire it—we did.

Over the years, it has done many things. It has served as the location of our Crisis Pregnancy Center for our church. It has been a place for events and family outings. In fact, our granddaughter Kariss married her husband, Joshua, there not too long ago. But it wasn’t until only recently when I realized what I had bought this property for so many years ago. At the time I got it, the vision for our legacy training center hadn’t even been birthed. It wasn’t even an embryo at that point. Because the concept had not yet been conceived, God could not tell me why I needed the property. He could only tell me that I needed it.

Since that original purchase date, I have aged into my legacy-planning years. During this time, our national ministry felt led of the Lord to launch a strategic online training program, along with localized courses, to codify my lifetime of learning. As we went through the planning stages for this training center, the twenty-two acres of land located just a stone’s throw from our own home presented itself as the perfect location for these headquarters. It also gives us a wonderful and beautiful location for smaller retreat-type training events as I grow older and travel less.

God knew way back then what He wanted this land for now; and had I not acted in faith on His Spirit’s prompting, it may not be available to us now. Sometimes God asks us to take the next step without showing us the destination. Living a life of faith involves detours. When we understand that this is a normative reality, we become more willing to take steps in faith while trusting that God will reveal the rationale and reason as time moves on.

Tony Evans, Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017), 1–4.

We have just completed a Bible study to guide your group into meditating on and applying these truths. Detours is our Bible Study based on Dane Ortlund’s book by the same name. It consists of 7 lessons with ready-to-use questions suitable for groups. It can be purchased on Amazon and is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service.