Last night I had the privilege of sharing a brief teaching, via conference call, hosted by Women of the Word. WOW is a ministry that I have the utmost confidence in their goals of honoring God and mentoring women.
My subject was “I Know I Have a Destiny but How Do I Get There?” We often labor over the thought of destiny, God’s will or His purpose for us. Yet, I believe it is impossible to miss destiny if we walk closely with God. The bottom line is that destiny is not reached by declaring it, but decisions determine destiny.
Declarations about God’s promise, provision and power are easy to make. Right decisions, when I don’t see Him at work, are not as easy. How will I walk with God on a daily basis? What will I decide in the moments when I am faced with hindrances, inconveniences, tests and trials? Those are defining moments in my walk with God. Decisions determine destiny.
On the conference call, we peeked into the life of Joseph. We only had time to look at the first defining moment for Joseph, where we saw that Joseph had a “pit call” moment in life. He was suddenly jerked from his happy home environment and thrown into a deep dark pit, and it was done by his brothers. Believe or not, it could have been worse, all but one brother wanted to kill him.
I want you to envision the pit. Picture it looking similar to a well. It was deep, dark, bug-infested and uncomfortable. While down there, the Bible tells us that Joseph’s brothers were having lunch. Imagine what it must have been like to hear them laughing over lunch and going on with life, after they just put his life in the pit.
Pit stops. We will all have them. It’s a time when we are thrown into utter darkness in life, and it’s often at the hands of those we thought would never do us that way. It’s easy to get emotionally stuck in the pit. Who wouldn’t feel angry, discouraged, sad or betrayed? Those are normal human emotions, emotions that we can take to God. We don’t have to hide them in His presence.
BUT … pit stops cannot stop our destiny or purpose. Pit stops are not bigger than God, nor are the people or situations that thrust us into those dark moments. Our God is greater, awesome in power! That is without question! The real question is what decisions will I make while in that pit. Will I throw up my hands and quit because it got tough? Will I check out on God because He did not handle it the way I thought He would? Will my anger against those who put me there consume me, slowly turning into bitterness? On the wall of the pit, will I draw a large mural of those who hurt me, so I can stare at it several times a day, and hate those who dropped me in that hole? What decisions will I make in the pit stops of life?
I have decided to follow God. That decision is final. I think on the wall of my pit, I will draw a big picture of the Savior and Lover of my soul, the one who died for me. On another wall, I will paint the words, “He Is Lord.” I have decided that is what will be the decor of my pit.
He has a path for me to walk, and He will get me from one step to another, until I am walking fully in the purpose for my life. Joseph followed God step by step. It was thirteen hard, unfair years before he even stepped into the true destiny God had spoken to him through dreams. He was thirty when he became second in command in Egypt, and lived to be one hundred and ten years old. Eighty wonderful years of destiny, after thirteen years of difficulty and unfairness!
Joseph did not give up in the pit. He did not spend all of his energy plotting the demise of those who put him there. The Bible tells us over and over that God was with Joseph. I believe that was written for us, not for Joseph. He is living it in real time. We have to decide that God is with us, no matter what wind is howling against our lives.
Joseph stepped into destiny at age thirty and stayed there for the final eighty years of his life. He couldn’t control what his brothers did to him, but he could decide to live for God anyway. He could decide to trust God anyway.
I have decided to follow Jesus – no turning back, even when life is “pit”iful. How about you? Decisions determine destiny.
“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:6