The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 02-13-00
A Personal Sense of Destiny From the Standpoint of its Future.
Continuing our study on a personal sense of destiny, we noted that a person who recognizes their personal sense of destiny must look forward and not backward. Therefore, the self-orientation of your personal sense of destiny includes the reality of future prophetical events beyond the rapture of the Church PHI 3:13-15. We are to forget those things that are behind and reach forward to those things that are ahead. Dwelling on past failures can only cause guilt, denial, dissociation and self-absorption. So you keep moving, as in PHI 3:14, “I keep advancing toward the objective for the prize of the upward call from God in Christ Jesus.”
Eschatological doctrine, (the doctrine of future things), is a part of the believer’s spiritual life and is related to a personal sense of destiny. In 2PE 3:10-14 we see the believer’s future challenge: looking forward fulfills the principle of living your life in the light of eternity. In 2PE 3:10, there is very important principle taught; what survives the destruction of the universe establishes the only permanent values related to a personal sense of destiny and the highest priorities for us in time.
2PE 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”
A personal sense of destiny has permanent values and all is built around that, you think looking forward. In 2PE 3:11, the future challenge to a personal sense of destiny is based on the destruction of the entire universe at the termination of human history. 2PE 3:11 “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.”
2PE 3:12, relates a personal sense of destiny to permanent spiritual values. 2PE 3:12 “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!”
2PE 3:14, relates our spiritual life to the rapture or resurrection of the Church. 2PE 3:14 “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,”
A personal sense of destiny then is related to God’s gracious motivation and the divine initiative of grace for the future. For example, a personal sense of destiny is always related to dying grace, PSA 23:4, “When I walk through a death-shadowed valley, I cannot fear evil; because You [are] with me;”
God has provided for each one of us our very own death shadowed valley. This accentuates the futility and vanity of living for the things in this life, which will all be destroyed in God’s timing. The Lord said in LUK 9:25 “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” Once we realize our destiny, our scale of values becomes quite different. If we understood this, we would see that our problem is not so much what happens, but it is our perspective of it after it happens. When things occur that we don’t like, we begin to question things, we wonder: “How could God allow this to happen?” If you do not know about things like the angelic conflict, you’ll miss out. If you don’t recognize your personal sense of destiny, you’ll miss out. What we miss out on is God’s timing, the right priorities and values.
When we realize that God is the author of life, EZE 18:4, and that He is the One who has determined our destiny, (1TH 3:3), then we will come a long way in understanding why certain things happen. Understanding why the tiny crib is empty and the baby is gone, why the young widow, why doctrinal homes are broken up, why the cancer patient is dying when God could heal, why the orphan! When we see things through His eyes and recognize divine timing and our personal sense of destiny, we realize that in His time, he makes all things beautiful and meaningful.
So easy to teach, and to say, but so hard to apply!
One of the many conclusions that a believer who recognizes their personal sense of destiny comes to is in ECC 3:11: “That God has made everything meaningful in its time.”
The second conclusion has to do with your life. ECC 3:11 “He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”
Think of this word eternity, but not in terms of something that’s incomprehensible, inscrutable. Look at from the viewpoint of 2PE 3:12, which says in the original language “looking forward with confidence.” This reveals the curiosity we all should have about our future. God has not only put things in perspective by having a time table in which events run their course, He also has put within every human being’s heart a curiosity about the future, the life beyond. We cannot find out about tomorrow or the beginning from the end without God. You are not ready to handle life until you are ready to handle death and eternity. When you have eternity squared away, it’s remarkable what it will do with time.
In ECC 3:11 the phrase “He has also set eternity in their heart” describes the tremendous grace of God reaching down to fallen man! God has placed a deep desire in man for that which is future or eternal. There is a deep desire or a yearning for that which is eternal placed in the hearts of all mankind. It is a very delicate and sensitive desire that can be hindered by arrogance or emotionalism and it can be put out by hardness of the heart, scar tissue of the soul or occupation with the details of life. The more this desire or need is fed, the stronger it becomes. But having a desire for that which is eternal is not enough. The desire still lacks the power in and of itself to advance a person spiritually. As the believer grows, his positive volition grows, and as he is grounded in truth, his doctrinal thinking becomes his outlook on life.
The motivation of getting to know God and the real meaning and purpose of life becomes a driving force and a source of great blessing in the person’s life. However, this desire is never automatic, any person in any stage of spiritual growth can become dull and destroy the need for that which is eternal within. The person who does not have this desire for a relationship with God fulfilled will end up desiring things from the world. These things can never fill the void or emptiness, and therefore, motivated to choose things to fulfill this desire, he only finds out that nothing can. The idea that mankind can find happiness apart from God is vain and futile. Man needs a relationship with God presently or else he finds himself occupied with the past or the future. In His grace, God gives us passions and desires which can only be fulfilled in the present by Him. God has placed the desire for that which is eternal within every member of the human race. Some follow through, many do not, ROM 1:18-19.
We have several things going for us in fulfilling this destiny: The availability of doctrine every day, God the Holy Spirit as our Mentor or Teacher, a local assembly where you can gather on a continual basis to learn things that most Bible colleges don’t even know exists. Living in time as a Christian is all about discovering and fulfilling your personal sense of destiny. However, you will never do that unless you look at life from the standpoint of future things. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2CO 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”
God has given us the two power options (filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine), the three spiritual skills and the ten problem solving devices, with the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit who in 1CO 2:10 searches the deep things of God, “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”
The fact is: many of the things we hold so dear in our lives will one day pass away. What survives the destruction of the universe at the end of human history establishes the highest and permanent values of life at the present time. Thinking like this helps us to identify what is real, true, important, and has permanent value right now. At the end of human history the universe in which we live we be completely destroyed by our Lord Jesus Christ in a moment of time. 2PE 3:10-11. When this happens, five things survive:
1. Eternal salvation through faith alone in Christ alone.
2. The resurrection body survives the destruction of the universe to enter into the eternal state. The resurrection body is impervious to the destruction of the universe.
3. Escrow blessings for the eternal state.
4. The historical records of the invisible hero survive the destruction of the universe. His name, his title, and his deeds are a part of the permanent historical record of the Church Age in the hall of records in heaven.
These five things are of the utmost value and should have priorities in your life. A personal sense of destiny anticipates the fulfillment of better things in the eternal state and lives on the basis of divine promises. It anticipates the fulfillment of the promise of better things in the eternal state. The new universe of the eternal state is prophesied in ISA 65:17; ISA 66:22. REV 21:1.
A personal sense of destiny functioning under both the power options and the spiritual skills lives with focus on the eternal state, and therefore lives in the light of eternity. It is developed from the self-motivation produced through the metabolized doctrine circulating in your soul. When you reach a personal sense of destiny, you have reached the point of the self-motivation necessary to execute the Pre-designed Plan Of God. Once you reach the point of a personal sense of destiny all of your motivation will come from yourself. Spiritual capacity plus a personal sense of destiny understands the highest objective in time and becomes the ultimate objective of the eternal state. History is a very short time compared to all eternity, time on earth is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. If you place other things in life above doctrine, you are losing all the equal privilege and opportunity God has provided for you in time to advance spiritually. All those “other things” will become so very meaningless to you in eternity. Although, once you are born again you can never lose your salvation, you will be a loser for all of eternity. A part of the agony of the sin unto death is to realize that you had an opportunity to make your life count in a fantastic way, instead, you chose to follow the plan of Satan for human life on this earth.
What a tragedy to come to the reality of dying and to look back and to realize that everything you have attained that mankind calls success has no meaning in the eternal state.
A personal sense of destiny cannot lack anything in living grace and cannot fear anything in dying grace. Therefore, a personal sense of destiny anticipates with confidence; PHI 1:21 “For me, living is Christ, likewise dying is profit.”