You were created with a destiny
Let’s start with one of the key destiny verses from the New Testament:
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)
“We have been designed specifically and uniquely by God for a purpose, and He created us as followers of Messiah Jesus to accomplish specific tasks to bless others, and He destined us to accomplish those tasks even before we were born.” Ephesians 2:10 (paraphrase)
And now this awesome verse from the book of Psalms:
“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.” Psalm 138:8 (NASB)
“The Lord will bring me into my destiny—that is, He will accomplish in and through me the things I was created for.” Psalm 138:8 (paraphrase)
Destiny is impacting people for God and loving it!
When we talk about destiny, we mean your ministry calling, your God-dream, your purpose in the Lord; they are all words for the same thing: the “good works which God prepared beforehand.” (Ephesians 2:10). And part of that calling includes a people group – the people in a specific region or sphere of society.
Since God created you with a purpose, a calling to accomplish, He has designed you with certain gifts, traits, strengths, passions, and more (His workmanship) so that you can accomplish it. And you’re wired in such a way that doing that thing fulfills you. It’s like when you’re working on something you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all. It’s partnering with your Father in accomplishing His purposes in the lives of others.
Destiny is based on God's unique design for individuals
This destiny, this personal destiny—what you will accomplish for Jesus—is based on who you are, your unique design. That design is expressed in our passions (what we love to do and our dreams and aspirations) and our gifting (what we’re good at and how we function, both natural and spiritual). It is shaped by our history, character, personality, skills and knowledge.
Your destiny “arena” is the mission field in which you will walk out your destiny. You may work in several of these in your lifetime. It is usually made up of a specific group of people (accountants, Peruvian Indian tribe, skaters, single moms and their kids, etc.) and a location (San Francisco, internet community, Philippines, local neighborhood). Or it may be a more diverse group, such as a doctor treating a wide variety of patients in various areas.
You were never meant to just go through life interacting randomly… rather you were designed to live intentionally, serving among your destiny people group, with a purpose – to fulfill what God wants to do in you and with those people you are called to impact. Whether it’s teaching third graders in Detroit, singing in a rock band at clubs in LA, raising awesome kids and leading soccer moms and their kids to Jesus, starting an internet business for attorneys, mentoring teens through basketball, or planting a church in the Philippines, it’s your “mission field.”
If it's destiny, what's our part?
As you understand how you’ve been designed, and as you make choices that are aligned with that design, God’s specific purposes for you will become clearer. As you partner with the Lord in His purposes, you’ll be the most fruitful and fulfilled, doing the things you’ve been created for. That is “walking” in the works God has prepared for you (Eph. 2:10); in other words, your destiny.
Delight and duty
We believe God motivates primarily through positive means such as love and delight rather than rules or duty. (“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 “…for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” Heb. 12:2).
Bruce Wilkinson of Walk Through the Bible fame did a study of God’s promises and found that in both the Old and New Testaments, the majority of promises were reward-based (do it because you will be rewarded), a much smaller percentage were duty-based (do it because I tell you to), and a few were love-based (do it because you love me).The greatest motivation is the delight and fulfillment you experience from operating according to your design and destiny.
“And when I run I feel His pleasure”
A great example of personal destiny is Eric Liddell of Scotland. He was preparing to join his sister on the mission field but he was also a gifted runner. His success on the track drew crowds to whom he preached the message of Christ. He became known as “The Flying Scotsman” and was one of Scotland’s best hopes for a medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics.
His sister felt that his running was interfering with his service to God. His response to her said a great deal about how he pursued his destiny: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” He was gifted to run; he knew that God made him that way and that God delighted in Eric’s use of the gift.
Eric created a controversy at the Olympics when he would not violate his personal belief to run on a Sunday and he forfeit his place in the 100 meters. Later in the games, a team mate, inspired by his commitment to his values, bowed out to let him run the 400 meters. In a stunning upset, Eric beat the favored American runners, set a world record and won the gold medal.
He used his gifts to glorify God and spread the gospel. Eric went on to be a missionary to China, dying in Japanese-occupied China in 1945. His Ministry Gift/Destiny Orientation was probably Recruiter/Evangelistic. That was his basic orientation and core trait and his life is a testimony to a destiny fulfilled.
"I don't feel called to be in full-time ministry"
We believe every Christian is in “full-time” ministry – it’s just a matter of what arena or mission field in which you’re working. You may fulfill your destiny informally by impacting people through your job or business. (For example, you work as an accountant and you lead a Bible study at work that reaches accountants.)
You may be a volunteer with an organization during your free time. (For example, you tutor kids through a community service program.) Or you may even do it as your actual job or business. (For example, you are a nurse, or you work for a church or mission agency.)
Your destiny will be achieved when you combine your gifts with your passion…in other words, doing what you’re good at, and what you enjoy. You were meant to do more than earn a paycheck.
You were meant to impact the people in your life for God. As you discover and fulfill your destiny, you will experience maximum fruitfulness, fulfillment and faithfulness. It doesn’t get any better than that here on Earth.