From Discover Your Destiny
Today, tomorrow, eternity: this is the route in time that the speeding track of our life follows in skyward course from humanity to immortality.
Our purposeful God presides above that course with the hope of making it wider and more wonderful for us with every successive moment. It is God’s intention that our experience on earth should bring us through a necessary process of development into a state of Christian maturity.
As mature moral beings, we can step up to the fulfillment of God’s ultimate intention, namely that we should enter the wide reaches of heaven having been made like God in every wonderful way. There we may stand as glorified sons and share the same eternal inheritance as does Jesus Christ himself. It is His eternal purpose that we shall be in a sense “equal partners” in God’s everlasting enterprise. We shall share in the eternal fulfillment of the plan that began in ages past and that shall never end.
Eternal destiny—this is the portion of every child of God. God has brought us salvation so “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). Within the life of every Christian, then, there has begun that progressive godly process that will bring him into the wideness of eternity qualified for the presence of God and sweetly enabled to serve with Him in the infinite reaches of heaven.
A Christian is a person of destiny. All of reality conspires in his favor and the abilities of God move each moment to enable him to be fashioned into the person he will be proud to be when one day he stands before his Creator.
So it is that Paul says,
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:28-32).
Predestined to be like Jesus Christ!
Predestined—don’t be afraid of that word, because it is one of the most wonderful in all the words of the Bible. Predestined means to be given a destiny, to be fixed on an eternal purpose. It is used here to apply to the life and future of a person who is foreknown of God. It is apparent that this word is used not in the sense of fateful inevitability but rather in the sense of eternal opportunity so magnificient as to make other alternatives unthinkable by comparison. This verse comes to us as an unconditional commitment on the part of God that, once we have stepped into Christ, we never will be without the persistent and powerful help of God in our lives, that we may be fashioned into the person we know we must become.
Paul promises us,
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).
It is therefore the privilege of every Christian to have a sense of destiny about the person that he is and the things that he aspires to do for Christ. He can know that the very grain of the universe somehow runs in the direction of his best and noblest desires and that all of reality will work to bring to pass the design of God for his life. The thinking Christian will bear in mind the principles that give him the right to believe that, as God is faithful, he will move from strength to strength in His name. We may be confident that:
1. God will ultimately triumph in His universe. The Scripture clearly says, “All things shall be subdued unto Him” (1 Corinthians 15:28). There is no man, no beast, no devil, and no angel that will not ultimately bow the knee and confess that God is God. Every tribe and every nation, every individual who ever breathed the breath of life, from the highest to the lowest, will one day do obeisance to the God of creation.
2. Because God is God, only truth and righteousness will ultimately prosper. The apostle Paul says, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). In that the basis of life in God’s universe is moral, there will never be a lie that goes undetected and no shade of hypocrisy that will not be ultimately found out. That which is true and pure and holy and virtuous will abide forever. That which is false and fraudulent will be consigned to the flames of the garbage heap of the universe.
3. We are given the privilege of sharing in the triumph of God and of goodness. When Christ comes to judge the world, He will come with His saints. This world will one day be judged, not only by God, but by the saints of God as well. “Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?” (I Corinthians 6:2). Furthermore, we are told that even the angels of God shall be judged by Christians. That promise presumably includes the devil himself. “Know ye not that we shall judge angels” (I Corinthians 6:3). Think of it! Our exalted state in eternity will include standing in judgment upon the world of men, its nations, its people, its devils, and even the angels of God. With the mastery of the things of eternity before us, it follows that we should give ourselves now to master the things of time.
But how? How can I be a man of destiny today?
I dare to hope that this is your question, for eternal purpose begins not at some future transitional date but here and now. This can be the moment in which you discover your destiny.
Be a destiny discoverer! Take a moment to remind yourself that the following facts are true about you. Say again within your heart:
1. I was made in the image of God. Therefore, I will never forget that the Creator of the universe has infused something of Himself in me. Physically, mentally, spiritually, but especially morally, I will live each day in the light of my divine origin. I will never doubt that God has invested fantastic capabilities in my life and that I have by nature the intrinsic qualities that can make me more than I am.
2. I have inherited a world infected by sin and death. Therefore, I will remember that to say I have no sin is to deceive myself and to make God a liar. I will always bear in mind that there is something crooked and perverse about my world and about my own ability to cope with that world. I will remember that the world already has been declared guilty by God and that it exists today under His deferred judgment.
3. I am the object of divine initiative. God has demonstrated His love for me, even when I was dead in sin. He has taken every step possible to come to me where I am, in order that I may ultimately go to be with Him where He is. I will never doubt the love of God, now or ever. The staggering truth that God has taken the first step in my direction will be held by me as evidence of my obligation to respond to Him.
4. God became a man for me. Being crippled with sin, I could not step up to where God is, so He stepped down to where I am. Jesus Christ became a man, not for thirty-three years but forever, in order that He might share my humanity with me. I shall always know, therefore, that God is a person, touched with the feelings of my infirmities and able to understand every need of my life. I will never cease to wonder at the fact that Jesus Christ has condescended to my low estate and I will constantly remember that His life serves as an eternal illustration of the kind of life that I can know by the grace of God. He will continue to illustrate to me the total meaning of seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
5. Christ died for my sins. The greatest sacrifice in all of history was expended by Jesus Christ in giving His own life on the cross in order that I might be saved. I know, therefore, that salvation comes to me not because of my own works but because of the gift of God. I will place my confidence alone in the fact that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses me from all sins. I will live my life in the shadow of His cross; and, though that instrument of sacrifice may appear as foolishness to the world, it will always be the emblem of the love of God for me. The cross always will be final proof for me that no one has ever loved me more than has Jesus Christ. I will glory in nothing else whatsoever in all of life save the cross of Jesus Christ, for by Him the world has been crucified unto me and I have been crucified unto the world.
6. Jesus Christ rose again for me. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I realize that He indeed conquered on the cross. I know that, because He lives, I too shall live; and I believe He therefore can fulfill His promise that in Him I may have life and life more abundant. Therefore I will live life on no lesser level than that which will show the very life of God in my life. In the resurrection I also have the power of God, able to be applied in every circumstance of life. Because of the resurrection I will always remember that Jesus Christ is a living, real person today. I know then that He can fulfill His promise to never leave me and never forsake me.
7. I am heir to the surprising results of Calvary. Because Jesus Christ died for me, I can leave the old life behind and be a new creature by faith in Him. I am saved by the grace of God and made a member of His living body in this world. Therefore, I will function as a person who receives life from another source than the source of this world’s life. The life of this world is mere existence, whereas life by connection with Jesus Christ is eternal and immortal.
Stop a moment! Recite the following in your heart of hearts only as you can speak it with the strictest truth to your innermost being. The preceding is theology; but that which follows, if it can be stated sincerely and truly by you to your heart of hearts, is saving faith.
8. I do personally desire to become involved with God. In my heart I believe in Jesus Christ, and I do sincerely accept Him as my personal Saviour from sin. I confess that He is the Lord, and I believe that God has raised Him from the dead. I do receive Him as the only Saviour from sin, and I depend upon Him alone as the author of everlasting life for me. I trust not in my own works but in His grace, and I do personally invite Him to live within my heart.
If you have said this from the honesty of your innermost being, welcome into the family of the living God! Though you may have received Christ with the smallest flicker of faith, you have begun a life that shall be vindicated in the flaming reality of eternity. Having begun with Christ, now take the next step.
9. I will reign in life with the help of Jesus Christ. I will put away all bitterness and wrath and anger and evil speaking. I will put off the old man with his affections and lusts. I will put on the new man and let my life be characterized by love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. I will control my emotions and master the use of every bodily desire. I will be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. I will keep my body in subjection and will run with patience the race that is set before me.
I will not be conformed to this world but will be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I will prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. I will force every sinew of life to serve a spiritual purpose and will prove that they are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. I will be master of myself, knowing that this is a prelude to wider mastery in time and then eternity.
10. I will overcome every obstacle to doing the will of God. I will not let the world have its way with me, nor will I be conformed to its perverse dictates. I will work to convert the world to faith in Christ, but I will never let the world subvert my confidence in God. With God’s help I will overcome the world!
I will use this body of flesh as a physical instrument for spiritual conquest. I will never let the flesh use me. At all times I will stay ahead of the dictates of the body. Not fatigue, hunger, thirst, lust, or binding habit will ever get the best of me. With God’s help I will overcome the flesh!
I will hold the devil to be my enemy at all times and in all places. I will not be ignorant of his devices nor beguiled by his temptations. I will resist him and never give place to him. I will not converse with him nor trust him; and, though he appear to be an angel of light, I will remember that he is a roaring lion who is attempting to devour me. With God’s help I will overcome the devil!
11. I will pay the price of personal development. I will study the Word of God and make it my daily source of light and instruction. I will constantly take advantage of the lines of prayer that are opened for me to God. I will pray when I am in trouble, but better still I will pray before trouble comes. I will develop my physical strength, remembering that this body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I will expand my intellectual capabilities by constantly thinking on those things which are good, fine, true, lovely, and of a good report.
I will obey the instruction of the Holy Spirit, remembering that He lives in my heart as my guide. I will be creative and consecrated. I will count any moment wasted that is not lived to the glory of God. I will despise any activity, however good, if it interferes with my ability to do the best thing, to count for Christ, I will never forget that the price of personal development is very small when compared to the immense rewards of spiritual maturity.
12. I will be a person of destiny. I will remember that it is God’s intention to make out of me a person more capable than I know. By faith I will believe that His way is the best way. I will relinquish my right to failure and will assume my obligation to succeed for His glory.
Don’t stop! Continue to say yes, yes, and yes again to the ever more fully revealed will of God for you. From this point God will lead you upward and outward and onward into a level of spiritual apprehension where the best human counsel will be left behind. The first principles of Christ under which your Christian life began will give way to a higher order of the knowledge of God. Wisdom will be increasingly superseded by revelation as you climb to the pure heights where the pursuit of God will be your sole desire.
Don’t stop! One day it will happen. One day the pursuit of God will bring a quick step upward from this time and tempo world into the golden light of heaven’s fadeless day. One last footfall in the darkness and earth will be no more. The shadow will become the substance, and anticipation turn to glad fulfillment. Surely then from within the aura of His dazzling presence you will say, “This is reality.”
Speaking of the reality of heaven, Christ with a sense of finality said,
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still (Revelation 22:11).
Christ was in fact saying, “He that is unjust, let him be more unjust. He which is filthy, let him be more filthy. Let the righteous be more righteous, and the holy more holy.” So it is that the moral course of your life in this world is extended in the same direction out into the wideness of eternity. Beyond this vale of opportunity and tears, the good become more virtuous and the bad more evil. So ad infinitum. The soul sets its moral direction in this world for good or evil. It then pursues that same course, only more so, but an infinitely accelerated velocity when it passes out beyond earth’s narrow skies.
So you see, you have no time to lose. The earlier you fix your determination to do the will of God and set your affection on things above, the more oblique will be the upward angle of your eternal progress.
So it has been that some, seeing that eternity is to be esteemed above time, endured untold afflictions: “Not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35). Eternal principles are implied in every temporal decision, and immortality is enhanced or inhibited by each moral choice.
It is your destiny to live in a moral universe forever and ever into the ages. Nothing can change this. Nothing! It is only within your power to decide for or against the inevitable ascendancy of goodness in the world to come. The present use of your will to do or not to do the will of God fixes both the quality and the direction of your eternal soul.
All this Christ had in mind when He made you in His image, redeemed you by His death on the cross, and won you to Himself, giving you life abundant and eternal.
Now the moment of graduation approaches. That’s it, reach out and take the diploma. Shake hands with the President, the first Chancellor and, yes, your Senior Counselor.
Now step outside into the sunshine. Switch the tassel to the other side of your cap. The relatives are waiting. Don’t cry. This is not the end, only the beginning.
Listen! They’re singing our song: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen”
And you are His heir!
This is your destiny!
Discover Your Destiny