Updated on Nov 27, 2010
“Destiny” is a very misunderstood word. To many people today, it means “fate.” They believe that they are destined to do or be something and it is entirely beyond their control to change it. That concept seems to be confirmed by the definition of the word, “an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future.” But I believe that Biblically, the concept of our destiny is that God has a plan for us. It is NOT inevitable but, based upon our choices in life, we either achieve that destiny or not.
It is amazing how many things that are generally not considered “Christian” can have such powerful influence upon our Christianity! Bill Isaacs has recommended a post by Seth Godin about “Who Answers The Phone?” and the need to focus on what is important. Michael Campbell is an Internet Marketing consultant. He posted an article, “What is My Destiny” on his blog, Internet Marketing Secrets. In that article, he provides some very striking thoughts about where we are and how we got here – and how we can define where we go from here.
I particularily like the comment, “Do not reflect on the days of your life, for the past only had one job… to get you where you are now.” Although I believe that reflection has great value, he seems to be saying that we should not DWELL on the past – and I agree. All that has happened in our past has been to get us to this point. Where we go from here is up to us!
In the Bible, Paul wrote,
1 Thessalonians 3:2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow-worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,
3 so that no-one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them.
4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.
5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.
In this case, Paul was “destined” for trials and persecutions. Was that inevitable? I think that he was telling us that it was NOT (cf. v.4, “it turned out that way”). Paul could have ended the persecution of the Jews by renouncing his faith in Christ. But because he recognized that God’s plan (Paul’s real destiny) was for him to be the apostle to the Gentiles (Gal 2:8) and to preach the gospel to them (Acts 20:24), he CHOSE to agree with God’s plan. As a result of that choice, it was also his destiny to be persecuted and eventually killed for his faith.
What is your destiny? What are God’s plans for you? (Compare Jeremiah 29:11) Will you agree with that destiny (and all the associated “costs” involved)?
Don’t be stymied by the past. First, it is set – you cannot change it. Second, it had just one purpose — to bring you to this point in your life. It is now YOUR choice of which way you will go from here. It may be more appropriate to use the word destination rather than destiny.
To read a new article on the Biblical concept of destiny, go here: http://chiefshepherd.com/2010/11/prince-who-limped-pt-5-jacobs-destin/