Purpose, Calling, Destiny
God has plans and desires for each of our lives. Certain aspects have been revealed to us in Scripture, while others are more personal and received by revelation of some sort.
The prophet Jeremiah brought a word from God to the Israelites. I believe we can apply this truth to our lives as well.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear
Jeremiah 29:11-12 ESV
God desires good for those who come to Him. He does not bring evil things upon His children; that comes from the enemy, Satan, and his minions. God offers hope, and He hears us when we call upon Him.
Whenever we see a promise in the bible, we should also look for the condition. We see the condition in verse 13.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 ESV
We may be quick to go to the God with something, but do we truly seek Him with all our heart? This speaks to an intensity and consistency. Is Jesus really the Lord of our life? Do we really follow the leading of Holy Spirit? Are we consistently developing intimacy with the Father through worship, praise, adoration, or meditation?
I believe God had these plans for us before He created us. He had a reason, or a purpose, for creating each of us.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalms 139:16 ESV
The question is, how closely are we walking to what His plans are for us? Are we seeking Him with all our heart? Are we asking Him what His desires are for us? Are we willing to make His desires for us the desires of our heart?
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalms 37:4 ESV
Long ago I began to pray to God to give to me what ought to be the desires of my heart. In other words, “Lord, you plant in my heart that which you desire for my life.” Then He can give me the desires of my heart. Why? Because if my heart and its desires are lined up with the will of God, He would surely bring them to pass. This is a form of submission to Jesus as Lord and giving my life to follow Him. This is one way of dying to self daily.
Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life
for My sake will find it.”
Matthew 16:24-25 ESV
There is a cost to discipleship, to following Christ and becoming like Him. The cost seems high when looking at it from the perspective of human desires. When the spiritual perspective is applied, however, the picture changes drastically. The trading of a selfishly lived short life span for the glory of the Kingdom of God through eternity is a great reward for those who will do so. Christ Jesus gave his life for us both in the living of it and in the dying. He is calling upon those who follow Him to live their lives for Him, for others, and for the Kingdom of God.
As we have studied previously, we don’t need to look very hard for the good works to do, mostly we need to pay attention to what is around us.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
Let’s break down the pieces of this verse.
- His workmanship: God created us
- In Christ Jesus: we are the body of Christ; created in His image
- For good works: we were created to do good, not evil (like God)
- God prepared: God set things up for the good works to be done
- Beforehand: God set them up before we get to them
- That we should walk: action on our part
- In them: where we are to walk; doing the good works
Remember the days of our lives that were written in His books before they existed? Perhaps these good works which He has prepared for us are written there as well.
Our dilemma is that we don’t have the books, and of our own power we cannot know what is written in them. They are God’s books, in His possession, and He knows what is in them. Have we asked Him? Have we drawn close to Him, seeking Him with our whole heart?
Though commandments are in general for all followers of Christ, the path for each of us is unique. In that path, God has placed opportunities for us to do good works. We have the chance to rise above the selfish desires we each have and look upon others as more important than ourselves. We are put into situations where we can show the compassionate love of God to others. There are times prepared for us to display the light of Christ that is in us.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27 ESV
We are all a part of the body, and we all have something of Christ to share with one another. We need to do so to make the body whole. Paul continues:
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Colossians 1:28 ESV
We grow and mature by engaging in the fellowship of the saints. We are to be discipling and being discipled. We are to be engaging in one another’s lives through loving one another. All of this is to become mature in Christ, being like Him.
You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5 ESV
We are living stones, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Listen to the series, Building the Wall, episodes 3 through 8, specifically episode 5, Believers, The Living Stones.
During this short series on Destiny, we will look at a few things, such as:
- Things for all believers in general
- Things that are for individuals to watch for
- Specific roles in the kingdom for the saints
My part is short today as we begin the series with Paula Shaughnessy and her thoughts on Purpose, Calling, and Destiny. I want to give her as much time as we can to explore these topics.