Desire, Calling and Destiny

THE DESTINY OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE

There is much emphasis today on the idea that you can do and be whatever you put your mind to.
This ideology of self-realization has even sneaked into the church today. Our destiny is a powerful force in our lives yet we hear little about it today, as it seems almost intangible. Our true ability and achievement is a product of accessing our destiny and our achievements are a product of accessing purpose. To access destiny we need to understand our destination.

  • Your destiny is your ultimate election.
  • Your purpose is your present call.

In 2 Peter 1:5-11, Peter gives us a ladder to climb that leads to maturity demonstrating that he believed in the Law of Process. Spiritual leadership happens daily not in a day. Peter selects choice words to describe the sequence of our process.

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do
these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
(2 Peter 1:5-11)

We are to diligently add…

  1. Faith – the foundation on which we grow spiritually.
  2. Virtue – a life of strong character and discipline.
  3. Knowledge – an understanding of what God thinks and values.
  4. Self–Control – the ability to lead/control oneself before leading others.
  5. Perseverance – the ability to patiently stick to what is right.
  6. Godliness – a Spirit filled, Spirit led lifestyle that reflects the Lord.
  7. Brotherly kindness – a lifestyle that is warm relational and caring.
  8. Love – the highest quality that enables a leader to sacrificially give to others.

1. THE POWER OF DESIRE

Do you know what you desire?

  • We have been told to set goals, go to seminars, and conferences.
  • We have being told to write down your goals and aspirations.
  • We are put all sorts of things on paper and draw up all sorts of action plans.

Friends our desires are far stronger than goals.

  • Goals are external things that you can write on a white board.
  • But desire is that thing that drives you from the inside.

Desire is fuel – I want to show you from God’s word that desire is God founded.

Viktor Frankl said: ‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
(Survivor of a Nazi concentration camp)

What do you want to be?

It is something that comes from the inside our hearts. In Proverbs 29:18 it says: “Without a vision
the people perish”

The word vision has a number of interpretations depending on the translation we read. In the New King James Version, the txt used for “vision” means “revelation” …‘without a revelation, the people perish’. In another Bible translation the English Standard Version the word for “vision” is “prophecy”.

It is interesting to note that the King James Version of Proverbs 29:18, reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Other translations read:

  • NIV – ‘Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.’
  • NLT – ‘When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.’
  • CEV – ‘Without guidance from God, law and order disappear.’
  • NKJV – ‘Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.’
  • HCSB – ‘Without revelation people run wild.’
  • ESV – ‘Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.’
  • AMP – ‘Where there is no vision (no redemptive revelation of God), the people perish.’

The New King James has a footnote in this translation of “revelation,” saying that it can also mean “prophetic vision.” The Amplified works “redemptive revelation of God” into the text. Prophecy is not so much about telling the future, as revealing the present.

In the Book of Jonah the prophet makes a single proclamation about the future: “Forty days, and Nineveh will be overturned,” (Jonah 3:2 RSV). Nineveh was overturned. They sat in sackcloth and ashes their hearts were overturned. If they had not been repented before God – they would have been destroyed. (Heart attitude)

In book of Amos there are very few predictions about the future. Yet again the thrust of his message is that God’s people need to shape up!

The point is – a prophet is one who is given a message by God. The prophet is then told to deliver this message to the people. If that message says something about the future, then it is because God wishes to give a message about consequences.

When Jesus drives the moneychangers out of the Temple, He is simply called a “prophet” for this act. “And He said to them, ‘It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:13)

In other words without spiritual insight we perish

NB – The word “perish” also means: – pass off constraint; we dwell carelessly. In other words without an inward understanding of who we are and who God wants us to be, our life lacks
meaning.

Paul prayed for the Ephesians church, that they would have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. “… Making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
(Ephesians 1:16-18)

  • That Jesus would set us free from meaningless living.
  • That the Lord Jesus wants our life to have purpose.
  • That our ministries would have focus on Jesus.

God wants every one of us no matter what we do in our local churches, no matter what our title is, He wants us to have lives that glorify Him on planet earth to make a difference in our generation. The ministry of the Holy Spirit gives us the possibilities that will give us keys to the wisdom of God and ignite in us His desires.

Jesus was out one day with the twelve and they were having a conversation as you do. He was asking them ‘who do people say I AM?’ Their response was varied: – ‘some say you are one of the prophets, there are all sorts of talk around town some say you are John the Baptist’. Jesus asks the most important question in Matthew 16:15 “But who do you say that I am?”

Verse 16, Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven”.

Simon was the one who spoke up and said, ‘you are the Christ the “Christos” the Son of the living God’. (It seems that Jesus was even taken aback with his answer). ‘Jesus said, “amazing Simon, that’s better than you are capable of, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you. But My Father gave you revelation with your answer.”

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:16)

Then He said, ‘ From this day on you will no longer be called Simon.’ (Simon means, reed, easily influenced by all sorts of pressures, a reed tossed to and fro in the wind). Jesus said to Peter, from this day on, you would know who I am. I’m going to show you who you are, no longer will you be easily influenced.

For you are Peter “petros” a man of substance. (Peter means small Rock) and upon this revelation that “I am that Rock” upon this understanding this revelation, I will build My Church. Jesus affirms Peter’s leadership.

  1. Peters Personality – The first to speak out.
  2. His Purpose – Embraced his mission before any of the twelve, the first to act.
  3. His people Skills – Drawn to people, he attracted or repelled them.
  4. His Passion – A fire inside, he wanted to please God and make a difference.

I want you to stir up your prophetic words…

…That today you challenge the prophetic insight you have, that moment when a verse jumps off the page and your whole future makes sense. Listen with new ears and look with new eyes, God is speaking into your heart. All of a sudden you know what to do with your life.

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Our greatest fear is that God is going to make us do something that we desperately do not want do to. That is to go to a far away country, marry someone that we were not attracted to. Our basic understanding of Christian life is revolved around the idea that true service to God requires a sacrifice, or to expect us do things that were opposite to our heart’s desires.
God is saying delight in Him and enjoy His friendship, and then He will give you the desires of your heart. I believe the desires that God is referring to are not necessarily our momentary impulses. But rather the deep-seated longings in our heart that stand the test of time. As a father, there is no greater joy in my heart than seeing my children receive the desires of their hearts.

Remember God wants the absolute best for you. I believe that is the heart of our Heavenly Father for us. Throughout the years, God has dismantled many misconceptions about His true nature. God does love us and wants to give us the desires of
our hearts. So delight in Him and watch what happens.

Prayer
Father, I want to take the time to delight in You today. You are an amazing Father and I love You with all my heart! Thank You for making me the way I am, and for promising to give me the secret desires of my heart. I trust in Your timing and I commit all my dreams and plans into Your tender care. In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus I pray, AMEN.

2. CALLING
As believers we acknowledge God is calling us to serve Him and mankind.

  • To help people in need where we are and in other nations.
  • To preach the good news and to heal the broken hearted.

We fail to act because we are afraid we won’t be able to handle the task. Whenever God calls us to ministry, He empowers us to do it. God is looking for a people who will help redeem this broken world and will be undaunted by the challenges involved in doing so.

How do we become one of those people?

We need to identify what makes us feel daunted by the prospect of saying “yes” to God.

Is it that lack of training, money, time, energy, confidence, or something else that’s causing us to hesitate? Recognize what are the valid reasons that are causing you to say “no” to God, and stop making excuses for not moving forward when you perceive God is calling you to do something. Pray specifically into each area of fear and doubt and ask God to help you overcome any fear or doubt.

Invite God to fill your heart with His love

God’s perfect love will cast out fear in your life, and you will be motivated to share His love with people in need. Embrace the love that God offers you, knowing that He loves you completely and unconditionally, and open yourself up fully to receive His unconditional love.

Listen to and for God’s voice

When you discern people trying to limit your potential or undermine your confidence then go to God for encouragement – Choose to listen to His voice. God has made you in His image and chosen you to do what He has uniquely designed you to do. Be diligent in seeking His plan for your life.

God has prepared you for good works that will have eternal significance and He promises to help us succeed in doing that work. Reject the negative labels and limitations that others impose on you, and choose to trust God to help you fulfil His important purpose for your life.

Pursue healing for past hurts and pain

  1. Talk openly and honestly with God about the ways you’ve been hurt in the past.
  2. How that pain can cause you to feel afraid about responding to His call.
  3. Ask God to guide you through the process of healing from your past.
  4. Identify hurts that are preventing you from doing what God wants you to do. Ask God for help to forgive people who have hurt you and every time you remember their hurtful

behaviour and begin to feel angry forgive your enemies and bless them. Keep going to God’s Word and promises and pray and declare His sovereign will over your life. Ask God to give you the faith, to respond to disappointment by continuing to entrust your future to Him. God will often use the suffering you go through to prepare you for ministry to others who have been through similar types of trials and tribulations.

Overcome fear

Don’t allow fear (intimidation) to run rampant through your life, or it will cause you to miss out on the opportunities to serve God’s intentions for you. Ask God to give you the courage to say “yes” to His call, even in the face of fear.

  • Shift your focus away from your circumstances, and onto God, remembering that with God
    all things are possible to those who believe. ‘Jesus said to him, “If you can believe all
    things are possible to him who believes.’”
    (Mark 9:23)

Declare, “Send me!” Lord

As God sent Jesus into the world to rescue you from sin and secure your salvation, God wants to send you into the world to help rescue other people who are lost and in the world. For you to bring the good news in whatever way you are called to do and see God in action helping people with their needs. Let us commit to doing our part. Ask God to awaken in you the love for people and to be able to see their needs and help within a needy world.

Take the first step, and then keep walking wherever God leads you

When God calls you, respond rather than waiting around. Pray immediately for the spiritual strength that you need to take action. Then move forward, trusting God to guide and empower you. Start where you are, with what you have, however small that would seem. Experience the joy of seeing God work through your life powerfully to help others in need and redeem the world.

3. PURPOSE

When you know and understand your purpose in life, you will be able to make the necessary changes in your life to fulfil your purpose. It is up to us to search out God’s direction and path that He has laid out for us, allow the Holy Spirit guide you rather than choosing your own path.

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13)

My experience is that God’s provision is in that specific path and plan for your life.

The enemy will try to stop you from fulfilling your calling. Recognize that your trials are often a sign you are making progress, and promotion can be on the way. In Romans 12:2 we read, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

You have the power to change your life by renewing your mind with God’s Word. The Word of God is the basis for all the change you need in your life.

Change involves addition and subtraction

Change involves adding and removing things. You must know what your purpose is in life so you can make the necessary changes to move towards the intentions God has for your life. There is an established path that God has laid out for your life, and you must discover it to be fruitful.

We read in Jeremiah 1:5,Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.

God knows the plans He has set up for you apart from the difficulties and challenges we face. These challenges can be God’s way of strengthening us to be overcomers. God’s timing for your life is His choice for you. Therefore embrace Him in your day-to-day challenges, and know His plans are for a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

As a Believer, your purpose is to discover your purpose in God’s plan for your life, at all costs.

“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.” (Romans 8:29-30)

We believe these verses mean that before the beginning of the world, God chose His people to receive His gift of salvation.

Paul makes this point in Ephesians 1:11, In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.

We believe that God knew in advance who would respond to Him and those upon whom He has set His mark on and that He keeps calling until they respond, to serve Him. What is clear is that God’s purpose for people was not an afterthought; it was settled before the foundation of the world. If you have believed in Christ, you can rejoice in the fact that God has always known you.

His love is eternal. His wisdom and power are supreme. He will guide and protect you until you the day you stand in His presence.

Called means: “summoned or invited” – Your right standing is also called (justification)

Crucial concepts in Romans

  1. Election – God’s choice of an individual or group for a specific purpose or destiny. Romans 9:10-13
  2. Justification – God’s act of declaring us “not guilty” for our sins; making us “right” with Him. Romans 4:25; 5:18
  3. Propitiation – The removal of God’s punishment for sin through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:24; 8:23
  4. Redemption – Jesus Christ has paid the price so we can go free. The price of sin is death; Jesus paid the price. Romans 3:24; 8:23
  5. Sanctification – Becoming more and more like Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:2; 15:16
  6. Glorification – The ultimate state of the believer after death when he or she becomes like Christ. 1 John 3:2 and Romans 8:18,19 and 30

It is the will of God for you to be conformed into the image of Christ. Remain grounded in the Word of God, and allow it to affect your thinking more than any worldly influences. Look for opportunity for The Lord to equip you with His power that is necessary to fulfil your specific purpose.

The anointing will be there for your purpose and calling when you are in your place of divine appointment. Do not allow Satan any opportunity for a foothold or to lead you down a wrong path that seems right, but ends in spiritual death. Pride and sin will lead you away from that place of destiny.

4. DESTINY

We read about Elijah calling Elisha into his prophetic ministry in 1 Kings 19:19-20
‘So he departed from there, and found Elisha, the son of Shaphat, who was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”

Elisha left everything, and committed himself to being Elijah’s servant for the next ten years. There are two essential characteristics of a person committed to their call:

  1. They give up everything for the cause.
  2. They are willing to become nothing more than a humble servant until such time God appoints them to the position for which they have been called.

We also read about the condition of the heart for our call in 1 Peter 5:6 (KJV) “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

Timing in God is so important as we see here when the time came for Elijah certain things had to happen first.

  • It was time for Elijah to pass on his anointing to the younger prophet
  • Elisha had a vision of what he needed too fulfil his calling – ‘double portion’
  • We read about a series of very interesting events that took place before Elisha received what he had asked for (2 Kings 2)

How to obtain your double portion

Prophetically each location teaches us something. We see this as we consider Elisha’s motivation for requesting such a noble inheritance from his master. I do not believe Elisha’s request for the “double portion” was from a selfish heart festering with ambition in wishing to become greater than Elijah. Elisha’s aspiration to obtain a double portion was to become a vessel to demonstrate God’s power and glory on the earth in the name of His God.

The double portion speaks of a multiplication of the anointing. Elijah performed eight recorded miracles Elisha performed sixteen. Elijah and Elisha visited locations where schools of prophets were stationed. This symbolizes the importance of the prophetic words over our lives as we set our sights on the double portion!

The prophetic call will confirm each step of your journey.

A. GILGAL – means “Rolling Away”

“And it came to pass, when the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.” 2 Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Bethel.” (2 Kings 2:1-2)

Gilgal was the name of the place when Joshua crossed into the Promised Land. This was the location where the Children of Israel were circumcised, so they named the place Gilgal, which means ‘rolling away’.

This prophetically addresses the importance of cutting away the flesh in our life by having our ‘hearts circumcised’. (Romans 2:29)

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit as your fathers did so do you.” (Acts 7:51)

Ray Stedman describes circumcision of the heart as: ‘The believer’s heart is totally Christ’s, to use
as He wills – all his emotions, mind, intellect, and will are dedicated and available, ready at the
command of Jesus Christ to be used for His purposes.’

To fulfil your destiny you will have to pass through Gilgal.

Tragically many stop here. They do not want to crucify the lusts of the flesh. They do not want to surrender their all. The cost is too high for many who will never know the power of the anointing or the double portion.

“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (Gr: ‘the part of a person that is prone to sin’) with its passions and desires.” (Affections and lusts)(Galatians 5:24)

This is something we need to regularly assess. We see this secret, to the power of God, flowing through the Apostle Paul here. ‘I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord “I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:31)

Visiting Gilgal is very uncomfortable, but it’s worth the glory that will be revealed afterwards!

When Joshua arrived at Gilgal, the captain of Hosts the Lord Jesus commanded Joshua toremove the shoe from off his foot for the place whereon you stand is holy.” (Joshua 5:15)

When you get to Gigal you will have found ‘holy ground.’ Robert Murray M’Cheyne, who was
so greatly used by God in Dundee in 1839, had prayed from his heart: ‘Lord, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be.’ His sincerity in prayer is seen in the fact that people would be moved to tears just by seeing him in the pulpit or walking down the corridor of the church. Oh for a band of holy believers, who having passed through Gilgal have moved forward into their destiny.

B. BETHEL – means “The House of God”

To receive the double portion we become God’s tabernacle, the very dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Our relationship is in union with God, a consecration to the same end – one mind, purpose and life.

C. JERICHO – means “Fragrant or city of the moon god”

The first major city the Israelites conquered (in a rather unconventional way) as they took possession of the Promised Land. The city’s walls were reduced to rubble; Jericho became a symbol of supernatural conquest over the powers of darkness.

   − Satan hates to see a man or woman anointed of Holy Spirit.
   − Satan will set up as many roadblocks to try and stop and hinder your progress.

He will place your name on his hit list. Sadly this is where many, who are called, end their journey. The Enemy’s effective strategies – Discouragement! Often delays can adversely affect a Christian, particularly when he or she knows they are anointed but the doors for ministry appear closed. We need to be reminded there is a season for everything, and there may be delays while God is preparing our hearts. Remember, God’s delays are not His denials. Being out of God’s time is as bad as being out of God’s will, so it is vital we walk in His timing.

The waiting period is a time of humbling

Again we die to our vision that God had placed upon our hearts. This is not easy; in fact it really hurts when we see others validated by those in authority while we continue to wait. As the war, against a called and anointed person, intensifies the journey could seem too difficult and discouragement has the potential to take precedence over the desire to fulfil their calling. Instead of rising up with determination like Elisha, we stop at the roadblock of discouragement. Put the past behind and move forward!

D. JORDAN means ‘to descend’

Elijah discouraged Elisha again from accompanying him. However Elisha remained with him, he was perusing something he desperately longed for. Elijah places his mantle in the water – a path was made so they could cross over the Jordon. This speaks of stepping out in faith and seeing supernatural signs, wonders and miracles. We need to understand what Jordan represents. Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit (or anointing). Elijah replied, “You have asked a
hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” (2 Kings 2:10)

Elisha’s eyes were firmly fixed on Elijah

  • He was fully focused nothing whatsoever would distract him.
  • He desperately wanted that double portion nothing else mattered.
  • Are you that desperate? Interestingly the word ‘Jordan’ means ‘to descend.’
  • To gain your destiny and double anointing, you have to keep your eyes on Jesus.
  • As Elijah went to heaven, he threw the mantle down, and Elisha stooped down and picked it up.

Within you lies His calling, His purpose: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Like Elijah Jesus left us His mantle – The Holy Spirit: “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued (Gr: clothed) with power from on high” (Luke 24:49)

The power from on high is in reference to being anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit. Elisha inherited Elijah’s mantle in order to acquire the ‘double portion’. The Hebrew word for ‘mantle’ speaks of being: ‘Glorious, Magnificent, Large, and Honourable.’

The anointing that dwells in you by the person of the Holy Spirit is so you can fulfil your destiny and becomes activated (multiplied) by our obedience to God and by our desire to follow him no matter what, the question is are you desperate enough to go after His promises and prophetic words over your life?

To repeat what John the Baptist’s said in John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Len and Linda Buttner
Eagle Ascend Ministries
www.eagleascend.com
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