I think every one of us has a sense of passion and destiny living inside, a deep belief that we can make a difference in the world around us and that our lives matter. How many of us as kids dreamed of being firefighters, teachers, writers, veterinarians, scientists, and athletes? I think these dreams reflect a passion and internal belief that our lives are meant to make a difference.
Often times, that sense of purpose fades away as we grow up, as we face life’s challenges, disappointments or our personal weaknesses. When life gets hard, one of the biggest temptations I face is to let go of my dreams and just coast through life, burying that desire to make a difference. Can you relate? This article will address how we can reignite the fire that God has put in each one of our hearts by changing the way we view three simple things: God, ourselves and the world.
The Bible is an incredible book of comebacks, where many average men and women faced different challenges, learned how to build a strong relationship with God and changed the world around them. Looking at the story of Gideon will teach us how we can reignite our sense of destiny.
1. Change Our View of God
 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.  When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. ”  “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
Judges 6:11-13 NIV
Gideon was living in a time where the Israelites were being oppressed by the Midianites. When God appeared to Gideon to reveal the purpose he had for him, Gideon was unable to listen because of the misconceptions he had about God. Because of what he had experienced, Gideon gave up believing in the miracles that God had done in the past for his ancestors and thought that God had abandoned them. He couldn’t make sense of “why has all this happened to us?”
This passage teaches us that life challenges will affect both our view of and relationship with God if left undealt with. Going through a hard breakup, losing a close family member or friend, health challenges, feelings of failure, and many other obstacles can influence the way we view God.
Having experienced many deaths in my life has led me to think that God is unreal, unfair and distant. I didn’t have the answers for why my mother lost her battle to cancer before I hit my teenage years, why relationships with other family members seemed difficult, and why I had to experience losing other close friends and family members throughout my life.
Are there any hardships that have affected your view of God? Is there anything the Bible says about God that you have stopped believing?
One way we can fight to overcome unbelief is by clinging to Scriptures:
 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT
Going back to the Scriptures during hard times has helped me tremendously. The Bible is meant to be used in our lives to teach us what is true about God, and to correct us when we view him in a wrong way.
Do a Bible study about who God is to start to change your view of God. When we change the way we view God, we can change the way we view ourselves.
2. Change The Way We View Ourselves
 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family. ”  The Lord answered, “I will be with you , and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
Judges 6:14-16 NIV
Gideon saw his weaknesses but missed out on who he could become if he built a strong relationship with God. He saw himself as weak and the least important in his family. God’s promise is that when we build a strong relationship with him, he can turn our weaknesses into strengths (Hebrews 11:34).
What are some weaknesses you have, and how do you think God could turn those into strengths?
One of the things that often affects the way we see ourselves is guilt. When we have hidden darkness in our lives, we can’t understand the way God sees us or his vision for us:
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.
Dealing with the darkness, hiddenness and deceit in our lives will help us to understand who God is, how he views us and the purpose he has for our lives. It wasn’t until I was willing to reveal the depth of my bitterness, unfaithfulness and fear that I was able to see God for who he truly was. Darkness – areas of your life and heart that no one knows about – will stop us from understanding God.
How do you think guilt affects the way you view yourself? Are there any areas of your life that are in the dark? How can you decide today to be in the light?
When we change the way we view God and ourselves, we can change the way we view the world and the impact we can have on it.
3. Change Our View Of The World
 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV
I think the world around us is in need of inspiration. What this scripture teaches us is that the days are evil, the world can be a dark place. If you don’t believe it, watch the news; you’ll inevitably see stories of people in need of hope.
When he changed the way he viewed God and himself, Gideon was able to see how valuable he was to making a difference in the lives of the people around him and how he was destined to be the light in a dark place. He went from seeing himself as the weakest in the country to leading it, from seeing himself as the least of his family to the one who was going to save it.
Are you aware of the needs of the people around you? Do you believe you can make a difference in their lives?
 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:16 NIV
The only way to change someone’s life is to make sure that our life is up to par with what the Bible teaches. When we make the Bible our standard, we are able to inspire others by the changes that we’ve made and can allow God to use us in ways we never thought possible.
Whose life are you supposed to change? So many things in the world around us feed our misconceptions about God and the destiny he has for our lives. When we use the Bible to change the way we view God, ourselves and the world, he will reignite the deep desire we have to change the lives of people around us and live out our destiny.