Living in God’s Destiny
By Gloria Garner
We want to encouragement you to pursue the awesome destiny that God has for your life. We all have big destiny-dreams that God has dropped down into our spirits. These dreams can tend to be pushed aside for many different reasons. Walking through tough times, disappointments, long delays, our own perceived inadequacies, etc. can cause us to throw in the towel on them. But we want to encourage you to stir them up again. Drag them out of that back closet of your mind, dust them off, and meditate on them once again. If you don’t have any idea what God wants for your life yet, then we would like to advise you to seek the Lord. He wants to gently guide you into a wonderful plan He has for you (Jer. 29:11).
There are a lot of things that can be learned from the way the Lord led each detail of the birth of His Son (The Messiah, Jesus), to bring forth His will that had been prophesied for generations. See Matt 1-2; Luke 1-2. An angel was sent to several people, as this historical event unfolded, to deliver important information about big things that were going to change those peoples’ destinies. Gabriel visited Zacharias, Mary, Joseph (in dreams), the wise men (in a dream), and the shepherds. Zacharias responded in doubt and was struck dumb. What if Joseph had not believed his angelic dreams? It had to have been tough for Mary and Joseph to face the critics! What if the wise men had ignored their dream and told Herod where the baby Jesus was? When the Spirit of the Lord whispers in our heart, how do we respond?
God is a loving Father who longs to bless and protect His children (Duet. 28:1-14, Psalm 91)! He wants to be intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. The thing is that He has given us free will, and we have to choose Him and then allow Him to have His way in our lives. When we do our own thing, we live with those consequences. When we seek Him and His will at all times, then we live in the blessings He has promised (Deut. 28-30). When we look at Deuteronomy 30:19-20a (NKJV) 19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days;…” Hmmm… Let me think… life and blessings, or death and cursing….hmmmm….I don’t know??? Have you ever thought about why the Lord over emphasized this point and had to tell us to ‘choose life’ after so eloquently making it such a clear choice? When we go back and read the Duet. 29-30 we see that it must be a conscious decision to follow God. When we choose to do our own thing, we have, by default chosen to miss out on the life, blessing and protection of God, and chosen death and curses! God even describes the person who refuses to listen and says that’s why He is overemphasizing the point, so His word won’t be ignored. Deuteronomy 29:19a (NKJV) 19 “and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart…“
As we read the history of Israel laid out in books like Judges, 1st and 2nd Kings, and 1st and 2nd Chronicles we see the pattern of how incredibly blessed Israel was as long as they followed God; but then they would get themselves into all kinds of trouble when they chose to go their own way. They always ended up slaves to the very ones who hated them. God was always faithful to send a person who was a voice to call them to repent and return to Him. When they finally did choose God again, He would deliver them and restore them to incredible blessings once again. This is what had been clearly laid out in Deut. 28-30! When God gave Solomon wisdom, he understood this when he prayed at the dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 6). If you want to understand the ways of God and how things work this passage describes it perfectly. It’s time for us to make the wise choice and live with blessed results. Proverbs 1:7 7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Joshua 24:14-15 14 “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
When we choose to do our own thing, we end up in all kinds of trouble. In fact, we usually end up in slavery to dreadful sin patterns. But Jesus gave us the answer to being free in John 8:30-36 (NKJV) 30 “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Have you ever heard the term ‘cheap grace’? We can’t just accept Jesus as our Savior, and go our merry way, doing our own thing once we’ve got our ‘fire insurance’; and expect to live in the blessings and protection of the Lord! When we turn and repent, the God Who is Love has promised to forgive, because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Isaiah 53:4-6 4 “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” 1 John 1:7-10 7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 2:1-2 1 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” Once we have been forgiven and cleansed, then as we continue in God’s word by faith we are restored to the blessings of God, and He many times moves mightily to deliver us from our bondages to sin and the negative results thereof. Ephesians 5:25-27 25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Jesus has done everything possible for us to live free from slavery to sin, and free from the resulting curses. Galatians 3:12-14 (NKJV) 12 “Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” This is why we are admonished to lay aside our own agenda and be transformed by renewing our mind with the word of God. Romans 12:1-2 1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” This is the key when we are seeking God’s will for our lives.
We serve an awesome God Who wants to bless our socks off! 2 Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him…” It is an exciting adventure to see what totally cool thing God is going to do next to blow our cotton-pickin’ minds, when we give Him the opportunity to lead us into His destiny for us. I want to join the list of people recorded in Heb. 11 who were history makers and nation shakers by faith as they stepped into God’s destiny for their lives. We live in an awesome generation where there is about to be another mighty clash between the powers of darkness and Light. Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV) 1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” There are much more important things to be focusing our priorities on than worldly/fleshly pursuits that so easily distract us. The choices we make not only bring results in our lives, but also impact the people around us including the future for our children. I hope every one of my readers have had a chance to see the movies “Courageous,” “God’s Not Dead,” and “Do You Believe?” If not, I recommend that you buy the DVDs. They have done a wonderful job of depicting how we need to re-examine our priorities and choose to serve God, not only for our own benefit, but for our kids and those around us. We are supposed to be the light and salt in this world, by letting Jesus be the One people encounter when we walk in the room.
I believe it is going to be extremely important that we be in intimate fellowship with God as we go into the near future. We need to hear Him and have faith to believe and receive all that He leads us to do. The dreams God gives us are always way too huge to be done in our own human strengths or abilities. We have to rely completely on God for them to be accomplished. That’s the whole point! But, just as Gabriel told Mary, “with God nothing will be impossible”, we want to say to you, “You can do it!” We challenge you all to set aside your doubts, fears, hurts, disappointments, seemingly impossible circumstances, etc. and fix your eyes on God again. Like Mary, let’s all tell the Lord, “Be it unto me according to Your word”! Because we believe that God has huge things in store!!!