Grace is not a detour. It is an exit. If you are riding down a road and see a detour sign. Following the detour is a way of staying on your present route while appearing to take a different one. Eventually, you plan to end up on the road on which you are already traveling. This is why grace is not a detour.
Grace is not meant as a temporary measure against sin, keeping you from the roughest part of sin’s road, loop you around that section, and then let you turn back after the posted danger is past. Grace is an exit that takes you off the road of sin and turns you onto the pathway of grace.
There is also another way grace is not a detour. When God calls you to live according to His purpose, God is inviting you to live with Him. Wherever God is, that’s where you go and that’s where you stay. Sometimes when work is being done on a road a detour sign is posted. No through traffic is allowed. Only those whose home is on the road ahead (before you get to the construction) are allowed to go forward.
Oh, you can drive forward stubbornly and keep to your original route and ignore the detour sign. But, if your plans were to keep on going your way, you’re going to be frustrated in a few minutes. You will have wasted your time and have to backtrack. You will be following the detour sign eventually anyway.
Or, you can pay no attention to the sign because your home or the house of a friend is just beyond the redirection of the detour sign. Your plans are not to go your own way. You received a call to come over and be with them.
It was a gracious invitation. One you do not want to miss. One where you do not want to keep your friend waiting.
Yes, to a stranger the detour sign is very helpful. But, to those who have been given grace we will not be deterred from the presence of our Friend. We, receiving directions, should have been given an exit off the way we were going but grace is not a detour. Grace is an invitation to come over and come home.