What Is Your Destiny?
The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NLT)
God has a destiny for everyone. Our destiny starts with having a unique relationship with him. And from that relationship, God leads us to a specific purpose that no one else can do besides us.
So how do you know what God’s destiny is for you?
- It involves you leading and influencing
- It involves making a difference in peoples’ lives
- It freaks you out
Why Not Now?
16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
Mark 1:16-18 (NLT)
God looks for people who want to make a difference, who want to do something special, who want to become leaders. Is that you? How are you responding to God’s call?
Crisis of Leadership
People will be at each other’s throats, stabbing one another in the back: Neighbor against neighbor, young against old, the no-account against the well-respected. One brother will grab another and say, ‘You look like you’ve got a head on your shoulders. Do something! Get us out of this mess.’ And he’ll say, ‘Me? Not me! I don’t have a clue. Don’t put me in charge of anything.’
Isaiah 3:5-7 (MSG)
The world today is undergoing a crisis of leadership. This scripture describes the culture that we are living in—in the world and in church. We have a culture where few want to lead and few want to take responsibility, and most everyone wants to acquire, achieve, or accomplish something great for themselves. This leads to an empty life. We don’t have to live an empty life, although it can feel the most natural. With God, there’s a better way.
Every so often a time arrives where society reaches a crossroads – where the situation and/or circumstance so obviously demands change that a populist mandate – a “movement” takes place….I would submit we find ourselves at a very similar crossroads today. We are still in need of hope and change – we are still in a crisis of leadership… The issue is simply this; we have forgotten what leadership looks like.
How to Know If You’re Called to Lead
1. You’re Overwhelmed
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Sometimes we make bad decisions that lead us to being overwhelmed, but other times, God puts us in overwhelming situations so we can grow. Do you feel overwhelmed right now? Do you feel like you’re having a hard time keeping up with all the responsibilities you have? Then God can use you! You’ve been called to lead!
If you’re overwhelmed, then God is calling you higher. He is trying to get your attention. He wants you to turn to him so you can handle more. God has something special he is preparing you for, so don’t be fooled—only those with no hope of greatness feel no pressure. Pressure is okay. If you feel the pressure, you are alive and God is moving. You just need to learn to turn to Him.
2. You’re Ordinary
13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:13 (NLT)
God can use your ordinary life to amaze the people around you. It is the ordinary person who can influence others the most, because most people can relate. It’s hard to relate to the person who is amazing and seems to have everything together. Do you feel ordinary? Do you feel like everyday you’re facing ordinary circumstances? Well, take heart! Stop trying to fight ordinary, and start asking: how can I become the leader God wants me to be in the ordinary life I have? You’ll be surprised at the impact you have.
3. You’re Ambitious
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We can,” they answered.
Mark 10:35-39 (NIV)
These guys had no idea what they were asking, but God put ambition on their heart. Ambitious people are bold. They have goals and they are determined to succeed with their goals. They make plans and they get ahead…sometimes regardless of whether it hurts others.
With James and John, their ambition needed to be pointed in the right direction. Jesus taught them that true greatness isn’t about being the best or being first, but actually greatness starts with serving.
If you are ambitious, its for a reason…but the reason isn’t for yourself. Will you allow God to shape your ambition into something that can impact and help other people?
How Can You Decide to Lead?
1. Stand Out
In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.
Jesus stood out from everyone else! He rebelled against status quo. It’s only when you stand out that you can you have real impact and change the norm. In those days, the religious norm was to live by rules regardless of what God actually cared about…and Jesus fought to change that.
We need more college students who will decide to stand out.
Did you know that…
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students
- 70% of college students have unplanned sex because they were drunk
- 1 in 4 college students binge drink regularly
- 10-20% college women have an eating disorder
- 4-10% college men have eating disorder
How can you be the voice and conviction for change in the lives of the people around you?
2. Reach Out
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
Mark 1:40-42 (NLT)
Making a difference starts with having compassion and deciding to reach out. We have a lot of desires bouncing around inside us, but what we really want is to have impact on someone else’s life. There are some great careers out there, but if that is what you are living for, your life will be empty.
Who’s life is God calling you to make a difference in?
3. Answer the Call
“So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” 37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:36-38 (NLT)
Everyone is searching for their “calling in life’, yet often times we don’t realize that we’ve been ignoring it the whole time! Remember — your destiny starts with a relationship with God. If you’ve been avoiding God, then make a decision today to change.
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT)
Make a decision to answer the call from God and become the leader he is calling you to be.