From Higher: And yet why is it that so many Christians still fail to follow the road to their God-given destiny? How come people who are called to be greater cannot obey and surrender?
The one thing that prevents Christians from fully walking into their destinies is fear. Fear in form of intimidation, fear in form of insecurities, fear in form of doubt, fear in form of pride. That’s why one of the most repeated phrases all through out the Bible is “do not fear.” Fear keeps us from fully accomplishing the great things God wants for us, from fully chasing after the big visions He has placed in our hearts. And as I wrote in Face Your Fears, we have to stop waiting for the fear to leave and instead, we attack it head on.
Paul said in Ephesians 2:10 that God has predestined paths for us so we should walk in them. Note the word should. It didn’t say that we would. Big difference. It shows that we must be the ones to decide to fulfill God’s plans for us. As John Bevere once wrote, God has set the goals but it’s up to us to discover and accomplish these goals. One version of the Bible frankly stated Ephesians 5:17 this way:
“Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.”
It’s up to us to find out what God’s specific purpose is in our lives. We can’t be complacent and apathetic waiting for a lightbulb to flash in our minds. We need to find it, seek it.
With that said, God usually communicates through our desires. As I’ve discussed in Unearthing Desire series, we just have to identify which ones are from God and which ones are not. So let’s say you have a vision right now, a dream you have nurtured in your heart. If it’s founded biblically, affirmed by godly and important people in your life, is focused on bringing God’s kingdom in some way here on earth, and is aligned to your skills and passions, we can say that there’s a huge possibility that dream is from God. And more often than not, the dreams we have terrify us because they are usually too big for us to imagine and they seemingly cannot be grasped. And so they remain just that – hopes and dreams.
See, beyond understanding the concept and scope of grace, we have to understand another thing: grace works together with faith. All this we get to receive by grace through faith. But faith and fear are like oil and water, so if we want to utilize grace and abolish fear, we have got to constantly exercise faith. We have got to place “God said” higher than our “what ifs.”
We have got to understand that God’s faithfulness never changes, but we only get to fully experience it if we get to a place where He can show it.
To emphasize this point, I want to talk about Peter when he walked on water. So many people focus on the fact that he didn’t have enough faith because he started sinking, but the truth is, he was the only who had faith enough to get out of the boat and to experience walking on water. The great thing about it is, he had enough faith to step out and to walk on water, so Jesus held him up and walked him through the entire thing.
Like James said, faith without actions is dead because faith is made perfect through actions.
Ponder with me for a moment here. What made Jesus grieved most? What made Jesus pleased most? We will come to see through the Scriptures that He was most delighted when people simply believed and was deeply grieved when people refused to believe. The level of our faith moves Him most. The evidence of our faith moves Him most. Like Jesus wanted blind Bartimaeus to state what he wanted Jesus to do for him in faith, so He wants our faith to speak in our lives as well.
We also need to realize that it’s possible to have a sincere heart and yet not have sincere faith. As we look at Bartimaeus’ story on Mark 10:46-52, we will see that a great crowd was following Jesus. They were following Him because they wanted more of Him. So how come Jesus only addressed Bartimaeus, when so many other sincere hearts surrounded Him? This is because this physically blind man wasn’t blind in faith, and he knew what he was in faith for so he spoke out and expressed this faith request specifically.
James once again spoke about this in James 4:2, where he said that the reason why so many people don’t have is because they don’t ask. And so like Bartimaeus, we need to start asking – specifically, in faith. Faith knows what it asks and who it asks of. And we need to understand that without this kind of faith, it is impossible to please God. Without this kind of faith, it is impossible to fully embrace our God-given destinies.
Amazingly, 2 Peter 1:3 states:
“We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power.”
God’s power, meaning God’s grace. We can have faith because we are empowered by God’s grace. We can please God through our faith because we know how to access His grace. No longer just followers of the world, we are now influencers. We can step into the big destinies God has prepared for us because by grace, we can obey. And through faith, we can excel in our obedience. We now understand that like Peter, even when we falter in our faith at times, He is there to lift us up again.
Because what matters is we take that first step of faith. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail. Just take that first step and allow God to guide you through it. Commit it to the Lord, and let Him establish your steps (Proverbs 16:3).
I do have to state at this point that we usually have to do a lot of things we don’t want to obtain what we ultimately want. For example, to get that managerial position means you have to work longer hours and you do extra tasks. Or like Jacob, in order to get Rachel, he waited fourteen years and worked at a menial position under her father.
Sometimes, the career God wants us to enter into is not what we ultimately planned to get into. Sometimes, the task He asks us to do isn’t something we are comfortable doing. And so almost all the time in obeying God’s will, there will be sacrifices and there will be things asked of us that we’d rather not do. However, we have to decide that our faith isn’t based on how we want things to go, but how He wants things to go; that beyond our specific hopes and dreams, our ultimate destiny is following His hopes and dreams for us.
True faith acknowledges that He knows our hearts better than us – that His plans are better than our dreams and how we expect them to unfold. True faith knows that God’s grace empowers us and His divine nature is in us and so nothing is too out of reach for us. True faith understands that if we are so aligned to God’s heart, we can step out and act on our God-given desires trusting that He will catch us if we fall. True faith believes that no matter what happens, no matter how God answers, He is still faithful. To it’s very core, true faith is submitted to God’s will and so it obeys – unconditionally and relentlessly.
Even when the dream seems too big. Even when the circumstances seem to great. Even when the road seems unsure. Even when the sacrifices are too painful. Even when things aren’t going the way you want.
Because truth of the matter is, we need to have a character founded in God and faith fueled by His grace to completely accomplish His will.
The deeper we go, the higher we can be built. The higher we are built, the greater we can be used.
This our birthright. This is our destiny.
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. It’s time to go all in. It’s time to go all out.
–The All In Manifesto