The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from THE WEEK ENDING:
December 12, 1999
The Doctrine of A Personal Sense of Destiny
Purpose Versus Destiny and Selection Versus Election.
We are now studying our fourth point in the doctrine of a personal sense of destiny which begins with the fact that at physical birth, you come under the concept of selection rather than election. God "selected" you to be a member of the human race.
JOB 33:4 "And the breath from God has created me [a human being], and the breath [soul life] of the Almighty gives me [human] life."
As we have seen many times, the "breath of God" is the source of life. This human life comes from God and He alone has the power to create it.
ISA 44:2. "This is what the LORD says-- He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen."
Every member of the human race has been selected by God to be alive and therefore God has a purpose for their life. We looked at the tremendous difference between purpose and destiny and the difference between selection and election. Because of His character and nature and the imputation of sin at birth, God must provide the opportunity for salvation. In order to do this, He gives soul life to everyone at birth, (the doctrine of the unlimited atonement). When we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ we received eternal life, which was a matter of common and efficacious grace. At that point selection becomes election and purpose becomes a personal sense of destiny. This opens the door for great opportunity, for us as a royal priest sustained by logistical grace. We are now in union with Christ and can function under the two power options and the ten problem solving devices. Therefore, the dynamics of the ordinary life in the church age can become extraordinary.
A Double Destiny
Every church age believer has a double destiny. First, under the predesigned plan of God and secondly in the eternal state. As a believer you have a destiny for both time and eternity and the only way to learn about your destiny is through Bible doctrine. We must distinguish between purpose and destiny. When God gives what the Hebrew calls neshamah, the spark of life or the breath of life, He has a purpose for your life. However, the purpose is meaningless without regeneration. For it is God's will that no one perish but that all come to a change of attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ 2PE 3:9. Therefore, through physical birth, God has a purpose for your life and through regeneration or spiritual birth; God has a destiny for your life. That destiny is designed to go with the purpose, the purpose comes from physical birth, and the destiny comes from spiritual birth. However, you will never ever be able to fulfill your destiny if you do not overcome the distractions of life.
Those distractions are related to the Christian way of life and are something every believer will face:
1. Negative volition to Bible doctrine.
2. Lack of spiritual self-esteem.
3. Ignorance of or failure to use the problem solving devices.
5. Failure to execute the predesigned plan of God.
6. The distraction of Christian service.
7. The distraction of Christian fellowship.
8. Distractions related to carnality.
9. Emotional revolt of the soul.
10. Distractions related to priorities.
11. Mental distractions.
12. Time distractions, the problem of the disorganized life.
A personal sense of destiny resides in the soul not in achievements. What and how you think determines your motivation, your scale of values and whether you will ever be happy or not. For happiness is not something you want but something you have related to your relationship with God. Every time you succeed in any acquisition of any lust in the soul related to any success standard or form of stimulation, it is going to increase your unhappiness.
We have seen in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon was looking for his destiny and tried everything he could to find it outside of a relationship with his creator. Solomon had the resources to try them all. He tried anthropocentric academic speculation, to help mankind. He tried to seek happiness in pleasure, in family, in time orientation, in money and prosperity. He sought it in reputation, in sex, in hero image, and in them all, Solomon came to the same conclusion; Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
Without discovering our personal sense of destiny, we will say the same thing. In LUK 9:24-25, our Lord puts it this way; "For whoever wishes to save his soul life shall lose it, but whoever loses his soul life for My sake, he is the one who will save it." In Verse 24 the word "life" is "psuche" which literally means soul, and therefore soul-life. The context refers to the individual who thinks that he has found his life but has kept his soul from the word of God, thus he will lose it. On the other hand, the one who is characterized as having lost his soul-life on account of his relationship with God through the word of God, will save his soul-life and gain a personal sense of destiny. The word save is not talking about salvation; it is talking about being delivered, protecting, or preserving rescuing from danger or destruction. The soul is saved at the moment of salvation through faith in Christ and is delivered after salvation through the word of God. However, if we are ever going to go from purpose to a personal sense of destiny, we must learn this principle of delivering and protecting and preserving our soul life by being willing to lose it.
The individual who thinks that he has saved or found his soul-life, but his life only consists of approval of his peers, such as family, friends, colleagues, at the expense of rapport with God, he has really lost his soul life, from those things there can be no sense of destiny. Their self-confidence and self-esteem, which is at the expense of rapport with God, is not a true self-esteem but pseudo self-esteem and self-confidence that is really arrogance. They lose their soul-life; they will not preserve their soul. On the other hand, those who have lost their life through their own volition and are willing to lose a life that is dependent upon rapport and approval of peers, for the sake of Christ, will actually find a life that is based upon rapport with God, they have found their personal sense of destiny and the reason why they were created and why they are here.
Take those principles with these three passages and you have the real meaning of life and what your personal sense of destiny is all about.
REV 4:11 "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created."
ISA 43:7 "Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."
1CO 6:19-20; "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"
Bible doctrine knits the soul together and holds the soul together in integrity. The loss of the soul means the shattering of the soul into many separate parts and the control of the soul by unwanted agencies, like the sin nature, the cosmic system, the domineering personalities and the details of life.
The believer who prioritizes his personal sense of destiny with the ultimate goal of occupation with Christ as his objective and as a result loses a life in which he was once respected or honored, flattered or coddled by the cosmos, is the believer who gains in the losing. Meanwhile, the other believer loses in the gaining, their facade of happiness will eventually be their display of unhappiness. If the soul is resting content in that which is merely temporal then eventually that person will experience the loss of the soul or the soul shattering experience because they do not possess their personal sense of destiny. The losing of the soul means that you don't really have control over your own life and therefore no personal sense of destiny from God. The gaining of your soul comes from rejection of human viewpoint and the acceptance of your personal sense of destiny. The rejection of our own goals, plans and ambitions is vital in the fulfillment of our personal sense of destiny, LUK 14:26.
To miss occupation with Christ is to miss the greatest blessing this life has to offer. So, having a personal sense of destiny and pursuing it vigorously is the beginning of spiritual adulthood. From your personal sense of destiny comes the greatest problem solving devices: Personal love for God the Father, impersonal love for all mankind, sharing the happiness of God, and occupation with Christ.
So you have a far greater power and spiritual life than ever existed before or will ever exist after the Church-age. You have something far greater than miracles. However, realizing this power is available to you and acting upon it in your thinking is part of your personal sense of destiny.
In EPH 3:19-20, Paul mentions the life beyond gnosis or knowledge, "and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask for or think on the basis of the power that keeps on working for us,"
The life beyond knowledge is a life beyond anticipation, beyond anything that we could ask for, or anticipate in our thinking or imagination. Our ultimate objective is to glorify God, and God is glorified by means of the church-age believer in the life beyond gnosis and the life beyond expectation. The awareness of this objective reaches its peak at the point of having a personal sense of destiny. Unfortunately, most believers do not realize this objective. They do not realize that when they are in a crisis they have the opportunity to be a spiritual champion. The majority of believers panic and live in that great sin of "withdrawal". Withdrawal is a very serious thing. In those times of crises and difficult situations we must remember we have a personal destiny. The writer of Hebrews puts it like this: HEB 12:3 "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose [psuche soul-life] heart."
A complete study of this weeks teaching are available from our series in the book of Philippians, series 0190-710 through 0190-713.