What is my calling?
Am I living in God’s will?
What is God’s will for (my life, my ministry, my spouse, my job, where I live..) ?
What if I make the wrong choice and mess up God’s plan for my life?
Most of the questions I am asked can be summed up with these words: What is my destiny?
It is a good question. An important one. And it comes up in conversations plenty.
I think the reason that this question bothers us to the extent that it does is because we know, in the deepest parts of our being, that we were made for something glorious. We know that our existence has purpose; a wonderful, magnificent, earth-shaking purpose. We were made to be something. We were made for eternity.
And all questions, if we will be their master instead of letting them dominate us, are escorts into the deeper heart of God.
There is a depth in the heart of God that no man or angel can ever fully fathom. But the awesome, humbling, fact of the matter is that God desires to reveal the secrets of His heart to men. Secrets that even the angels long to look into.
If we would come to Him with our questions, He will answer and show us amazing things.
How do we go about finding out God’s destiny for our lives? I think the very best place to start is from the beginning, which is this: We were created for a purpose. From the genesis of our conception, a destiny was prepared – specifically, uniquely, gloriously laid out.
1. You already know, in your heart of hearts, what your destiny is.
We don’t have to look far to find that purpose. What we don’t realize is that we are usually already acting out of the unique destiny that has been placed in our hearts. We may not know how to express it well, or we may even be doing it wrong, but it is there.
Moses knew that he was destined to be the deliverer of Israel. He made some pretty bad choices of expressing that (murdering an Egyptian slave master – never a wise option), but it is undeniable that he was driven by an innate desire in his heart that was fueled by the destiny planted there. You have a destiny and you are probably already living it out to some measure.
That is why it’s important to quiet our minds. Look. Listen. Dig deep. Find the one passion that is fueling our thoughts, actions, motives.
2. Know that you are not alone in your quest for destiny.
Each one of us has a destiny and God wants us to walk in it. In fact, He will do everything He can to help us do so. Because He is good and we are His.
And I think that is one of the most important revelation we need to have. Who He is and who we are in Him. Identity. Without this foundation, all other works lead to pride, strife, futility, and selfish ambition.
Adam and Eve were created in the very image of God. They knew that they were meant to be the manifestation of God on earth, in all His power and authority. But then Doubt stole his way into that perfect sanctuary, snaking his craven claws over the perfect trust and harmony that existed between God and man. They questioned God’s goodness and love for them, concluding that God was holding out on them. That is why, gripped with fear and insecurity, they decided to take matters in their own hands and work out their destinies for themselves.
That is what we sometimes do too. We inherited Adam’s broken identity, and we pendulum between doubt and faith. Some days, we are full of peace and confidence that God’s got this, it’s all under control. Other days we are thrown into a flurry of frenzied scheming and planning, because we are so utterly afraid.
But you know what? There is some very good news for us: We have also inherited Jesus’ perfect identity. He came to earth to show us everything that the Law and the Prophets have been trying to tell the world for thousands of years – what it looked like to be fully man. He was the perfect man and showed us God’s original intention when He created Adam. Not only was He the model, He was also the Way. He showed us that it was possible for us to reclaim Adam’s destiny, and He made a way for us to do so by breaking the curse of death and sending us the Helper, Holy Spirit.
That is why we need to meditate. Sit quietly, even if it is for just five minutes a day, and think on Truth. Truth about who God is, truth about who He says you are, and truth about who He says you’re going to be.
3. It is not something that happens all at once.
Don’t diss the process. The process is as much your destiny as is the final destination.
I cannot say this enough because it is a major struggle for most, myself included. We wait anxiously, hopping from one foot to another, yearning for our destiny to be revealed and some supernatural blast of power to be released from on high that will somehow miraculously enable us to glide through life on-track to fulfilling our destiny.
God is more interested in our hearts than what we can do for Him. The journey is the means by which we are shaped and molded into His likeness. We may be gifted with the calling and anointing to do great, powerful things; but it will not be consummated until the nature of Jesus is in our hearts. God is in the business of restoring us to the depths of our souls, not producing factory-line superheroes who are valued only for what they can do.
While placing our treasures in eternal things, we also need to keep our feet firmly planted in the present. It is so important to keep our hope in what is beyond our current circumstance, but it is perhaps more important to be fully engaged in the present.
To paraphrase C.S.Lewis in his book The Screwtape Letters, “I believe that God wants them to attend chiefly to two things; to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present — either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure. Biological necessity makes all their passions point (toward the future), so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. It is unknown to them, so that in thinking about it they are thinking of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time — for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”
Dig your feet in, dig deep, for the roots you are building now will be your stability for the future. A tree can only grow as tall (and remain strong) as its roots are deep.
4. Never lose sight of the bigger picture.
We are living in a bigger story than the one we paint and furnish ourselves. There is a Great Story that began before us and will continue beyond us – we get to be a part of that story. In pursuing our destiny, may it never be that we forget that and fall under the illusion that our story is all about us.
Each of us has a uniquely wonderful destiny, full of adventure and greatness. But before anything else, the prime reason for our existence is simply this: To bring God pleasure. We were made for His pleasure. We were made to be loved by Him and to love Him in return.
When we lose sight of the Great Story, we begin to compare. We forget that what we do in our corner of the world is a) just a part in the bigger Story, and b) so important because God delights in us while we’re doing it. It doesn’t matter whether we are called to be a manicurist, or a preacher, or a car salesman, or a martyr – all of it is beautiful and glorious, because in doing them we bring God pleasure. It all begins with Him, and at the end of the day of all our swash-buckling exploits, it is all for Him.
If we quiet ourselves and stay still long enough, we can hear God saying, “I am looking for those who are after My heart, and My Kingdom. Not just after My hand and all I can give them” Will you be found?