There is an abundance of talk in our day from Christians about us “fulfilling our destiny.” That is a buzz phrase used by certain groups, and its use tends to frustrate me.
My destiny is already sealed. If you are a Christian, so is yours. God had us in mind and knew our end before we were born. Before there was a heaven and an earth.
Consider Romans 8:28-29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
It is not my intention to get into a Calvinistic debate over the above 2 verses, but at the same time, it is challenging to explain what they mean other than God is omniscient, and He knows our “destiny.” And has known it since before there was an earth.
This is not the point of this. Rather, the point is that it is so easy to get distracted, to chase spiritual rabbits through briars and down rabbit holes, to focus on something other than what is actually important. If you are out chasing your “destiny,” you are like the characters in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, who desperately wanted to obtain something they already possessed, but did not understand it.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 12-19, we see Paul reasoning with the Corinthians about the resurrection. Remember the determining factors for salvation? We must believe that Jesus is God’s son, and that God raised Him from the dead.
In verse 17, Paul wrote, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”
Jesus dying on the cross for us, and then being raised from the dead settled the matter. That is our destiny. But if you do not understand that, you will find yourself on a program of works to obtain it.
No one wants a faith that is vain. No one wants a life lived in vain. People find themselves searching for something. “It is just out there a little farther,” they reason. But they never get that little farther, for something else comes along, and it is just a little farther more. As in the movie National Treasure, the solving of one clue, or one key, simply leads to another.
Are our lives something that needs to be worked out, being led by the Holy Spirit to sanctify us, to make us more like Christ? Certainly. However, that is a much different thing than “destiny.”
Someone associated with a well-known church on the west coast has come up with the idea of marketing “destiny pants.” Apparently, wearing this clothing helps you reach your destiny. They are will designs, tightly-worn, and rather expensive. Still someone else gives readings using “destiny cards”, or tarot readings with a Christian spin.
These are pop psychology at best, but really nothing more than new age/occultism.
Paul’s reasoning was directed to some people who were believing there was no resurrection. They believed that what people did while alive on earth was all there was, so they preached being good people for the sake of enjoying life now, to obtain all they could.
He concluded this section with, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
It is a necessity as a Christian to believe in the resurrection. We cannot be saved unless we believe it is true. Because of this, our lives should be spent in service to God, with the Holy Spirit’s help. Or as Paul called it, our calling.
Perhaps that is what those who preach and teach on “destiny” refer, although the word “destiny” is not used in the Bible. If so, I believe it is an attempt to repackage, to re-sell, to re-design something, perhaps to make it more palpable.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our service to God and our going to heaven has always been the focal point of Christianity. Remember when the disciples returned to Jesus, rejoicing that they had authority even over the demons? Jesus told them not to rejoice in that, but to rejoice that their names were written in the book of life.
Paul said that he preached Christ, and Him crucified. That is the gospel.
There are certainly plenty of important ancillary subjects and topics to teach about from the Bible, but that is what they are. They support the teaching and preaching of the cross and the resurrection.
Jesus died and took our place, and He was raised from the dead likewise so that we can be as well. These are the focal points of a Christian’s life if the life is not to be lived in vain.