It was the first day of class of the spring semester at the local University that Greg attends. He has been a student there for a few years and is excited to start taking classes he actually likes! Greg arrived at school, found the room of his class and sat down at the desk.
As he was organizing his books, tablet, and note paper, he noticed something strange from his peripheral vision. On his right side was an older man, he guessed to be in his 80’s. Was he a student? Was he a relative of the professor? Was he a past professor of that subject? Who is this man?
Greg politely introduced himself. “Hi. I’m Greg.” As he put his hand out for a shake.
“Oh. Hey Greg. I’m George.”
“Good to meet you. So, are you excited about this class?” Greg asked, hoping to discover what this man, George, was doing here.
“Yeah. Sure. You know, I’ve been a student here since I was out of high school.” George replied.
“Really? Have you graduated yet?” Greg asked.
“Sure. I have multiple degrees. But, I just don’t feel quite ready to step out into my career.”
“Not ready?” Asked Greg.
“Yeah. I have to plan and prepare better. Can’t be too ready, you know?”
Of course this is an imaginary story, but it does tell us a very important principle. Planning and the pursuit of your destiny go hand in hand. You have to prepare and plan, but you also have to pursue what God has called you to do.
Planning for your destiny and pursuing your destiny is like peanut butter and jelly. You need both to make a delicious sandwich.
George was only doing half of this principle. He was definitely planning well, but his pursuits were passive and lacking.
We need to plan well and also pursue well to fulfill our destiny in this lifetime.
Planning Destiny (Hab. 2:2–3, Pr. 21:5)
One of the most important steps in the fulfillment of your destiny is coming up with a plan. Why? Because none of us can achieve our destiny without doing it on purpose! You need a clear plan to reach the growth goals you’re shooting for. Destiny Finder has an entire phase dedicated to assessing the inner life, recognizing the need for growth, and then tackling it with a clear plan for advancement.
Obviously, God is bigger than our plans. He could choose to circumvent or rearrange our plans in any way He sees fit—but He does recommend we plan. In Habakkuk 2:2–3, He says (this is my paraphrase): “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he who reads it may run with it. For the fulfillment of the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to be fulfilled—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come to pass…”
Then in Proverbs 21:5, God says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” In other words, good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Many of us have a vision for our lives, but until we write it down and really turn it into a plan, we could have trouble accomplishing what the Lord has for us. Planning is a process of answering a set of simple questions: Who, what, when, where, why and how? As you prayerfully answer these questions in relationship to the destiny vision God has given you, your plans will start to take shape.
Planning is essential for a destiny to be fulfilled, but any plans we make need to be held loosely. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
After you have a clear destiny plan laid out, share that plan with friends. Tell them where you intend to go in life, and reveal what you believe God has called you to do. Your friends can help you stay on track and fulfill your vision.
Pursuing Destiny (Phil. 3:12–14)
Ultimately, all the preparation for your destiny journey culminates in a lifelong commitment to becoming the person God has called you to be. In Philippians 3, Paul describes his pursuit of destiny toward the end of his life:
“12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
What does it mean to “press on?” What does it mean to “lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of me?”
Simply put, God saved you to fulfill certain promises that may or may not happen quickly. Your destiny is not a sprint but a marathon. A life of destiny unfolds over the course of many years. All we have to do is remember Abraham, Moses, or David to see that the promises of God are not instantaneously achieved—they are achieved only over a period of time.
Mary received a promise of destiny. She waited nine difficult months for the Christ-child to be born, and then she waited thirty years for Jesus to reveal Himself to humanity. Don’t be impatient with the process, but be a follower of those who are inheriting the promises of God through faith and patience (Heb. 6:12).
As you sustain your motivation and momentum over the long haul, God will fulfill His purpose and destiny in you. In the end, you will be rewarded with these wonderful words: “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matt. 25:23)