What Is Your Destiny?
February 8, 2020
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They say hindsight is 20/20, but what if you were able to look into the future? What would you see for your life? Perhaps you’d like to see yourself with a better job or finishing school. You might be hoping to be married or to know your children are living blessed lives. Maybe you’d like to lose weight, get stronger, or build up your endurance so that you’ll be able to run five miles or even a marathon. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write a book or start your own business. Many of us set goals or resolutions for the New Year, but what about 10 years from now? We’ve entered into a new decade with so much possibility. How are you going to reach your goals or attain that which you hope for in the future?
According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is approximately 80 percent, with most people abandoning their resolve by mid-February. How can you be a part of that rare 20 percent who sets goals and goes after them with commitment and tenacity? I’m not just talking goals for 2020, but for the entire next decade! Your future, your destiny, is in God’s sovereign hand. At the same time, the choices you make, your faithfulness and intentionality, are also an important component. So, I’d like to offer four steps you can take each and every day to ensure that this decade is different—and better—than the last.
Trust in God
In order to finish each day one step closer to your goals, you must start the day by determining that you are going to fully trust God…that you will entrust Him with everything you will encounter—the good and the bad, all your cares and worries. Psalm 33 is a beautiful passage of Scripture that tells of God’s might and trustworthiness. It declares that His “Word is right and true, and that He is faithful in all he does” (verse 4). He alone is full of unfailing love (verse 5). The Lord made everything, and everything is under His command (verses 6-9). He alone can bless our nation (verses 10-12). He alone can save (verses 16-19). Each morning, declare, “God, you are so worthy of my trust. Come what may today, I’m going to trust and not get thwarted by something I don’t understand or that which may frustrate me. I’m not going to give up today because you never give up on me.”
Set Spiritual Goals
Most people focus on the physical when setting goals for the future—their weight, their fitness, their career or money, or some habit they want to break such as smoking or spending less time on social media. But how many of us set spiritual goals? Our spiritual health sets the foundation for everything else we do. Second Corinthians 4:16 says, “Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day,” and in verse 18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” What good is it if you obtain your dream career, but your spirit is starved of time spent with God, your Heavenly Father? What good is it if you’ve lost 20 pounds, or can bench press twice as much as you could last year, or complete a triathlon, if inside you are losing a battle with anger, fear, selfishness, lust, greed, or impatience? Spiritual disciplines, like spending time every day in prayer and reading the Bible, are far more important than physical goals. Let spiritual goals be your number-one priority, and the rest will follow.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” We must seek God’s will for our lives by praying and asking Him what He would have us do each day. Are you asking God to show you His plan for your life? Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Are you praying to God throughout the day? When you are frustrated at work or school, I want to encourage you to pray. When you don’t feel like forgiving someone, pray. When you are feeling lonely or in need of an accountability partner, pray. When you need help staying the course, pray. When you don’t know the next right step or what to do, pray.
Write it Down
Lastly, write down your God-directed goals and put them somewhere you will see every day. Keep the plan in front of you. Read your plan, goals, or resolutions out loud each day. With every goal, ask yourself, “What small step am I going to take today to reach my goal?” Ask God to help you. I have no doubt that the Lord will encourage you and strengthen you to reach your goals that are in accordance with His will. He will meet you with abundant love and grace if you mess up, and He is honored and glorified when you succeed. So, if you fall short, dust yourself off and rejoice because each day carries with it 86,400 seconds—that’s 86,400 chances—to begin again.
Your destiny is dependent on a loving God and right choices each day. It’s a divine partnership that will lead to a decade you can be proud to look back on and clearly see God’s grace and provision every step of the way. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Pastor Dudley Rutherford is the author of “Compelled: The Irresistible Call to Share Your Faith” and the senior pastor of Shepherd Church, which has three campuses in the Greater Los Angeles area—Porter Ranch, Woodland Hills, and Agua Dulce. You can connect with Dudley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @pastordudley and @dudleyrutherford