I am privileged to be a part of a church culture that believes everyone has a calling, destiny and purpose in Christ. Believing this, we find it our responsibility to partner with Him to see our destiny and the destiny of others realized.
The belief underlying the idea of personal destiny is that all of us have a purpose for living that was written on our heart by God even before we were born….that God created us with unique gifts, abilities and strengths for partnering with him in various tasks and roles that extend the reach of his Kingdom. Our part is to discover and steward the things given to us by God. Stewarding involves investing those gifts and abilities in ways that brings increase of the kingdom of heaven in the spheres of influence granted us.
Our Dual Destiny in Christ
It is clear from scripture that our personal destiny has two distinct yet interrelated aspects. As Christ-followers we are called to become like him – to reflect his image through the unique person we are. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect (or contemplate) the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29) We are all called to carry something of Christ in our person-hood that leaves its mark in the lives of those we have the privilege of influencing.
This is the “being” part of our destiny and it is foundational to our purpose in Christ. Every follower of Jesus is destined to reflect more and more of Christ through a process of progressive transformation – from glory to glory, as Paul puts it. This process of transformation is designed to fundamentally impact us at the very core of our being – in the realms the Bible most often refers to as our heart.
The second aspect of personal destiny has to do with what we are called to do – our unique task or assignment, or the roles we are called to function in, which act as a channel through which who we are and what we carry finds expression. Obviously, in everything we do Christ is to be seen and reflected. However, there are is also a unique task or assignment God has equipped us with the capacity to function well in which releases a fuller expression of his life in and through us.
We see both of these aspects of calling in the life of Christ. In his prayer recorded in John 17 Jesus made these two remarkable statements; He said, “I have brought you (the Father) glory by completing the work you gave me to do.” And then he says, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.” Jesus’ calling or assignment from heaven was to reveal the Father (being) and to complete the work the Father had given him to do (doing). Paul later speaks of this same dual destiny as applied to all of God’s people. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Our purpose and destiny in Christ is really important to God and should be important to us. God has not laid hold of our lives just so we can create another box called the “God” box or the “religion” box, add it to the other boxes that make up our life, give homage to it in measured and self-prescribed ways, and then move on with the rest of our life as we so determine. Moving toward our destiny in Christ begins with the simple yet profound realization we have been bought and paid for and our lives are no longer our own. God redeemed us because of his great love. And he purchased us back to restore his eternal purposes in and through us.
Discovering our unique destiny and walking in it is something God wants for us. Finding it really is easier, and not as mysterious as many Christians think. The reality is, God makes it very apparent. We just have to be looking for it and attentive to all the ways God unfolds it for us. Part of what I get to do as a coach is help others get clearer as to their calling and purpose. As those who have been apprehended by Christ we have an obligation to fully lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of us.