“Destiny is usually just around the corner. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it.”
-Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Destiny is often seen by people as some sort of spooky, mystical experience designed for just a few of God’s chosen people. We view it as something most of us common people don’t have to worry about ever experiencing. It’s as if only the elite get chosen for destiny.
But is that really a biblical view? I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, every person living and breathing can expect a brush with destiny at some point in his life.
A study of Scripture reveals this as a relatively common experience for all who choose to follow God’s path. Sooner or later, everyone runs face first into his destiny. The key is for individuals to learn to recognize destiny when it smacks them in the face, or to see what I call signposts along the way.
What are the road signs we tend to overlook? I like how Dr. Bobby Clinton discloses the path of destiny in his book, Strategic Concepts That Clarify a Focused Life. He aptly describes destiny’s voice, or the signposts, by using several terms to which we can relate: (1) a sense of destiny; (2) a destiny insight; (3) a destiny experience; and (4) destiny fulfilled.
1. A Sense of Destiny. God uses many different methods to impart a sense of destiny in a person. At times it is revelatory in nature. At other times, it can be a bit more speculative. Generally speaking, God will simply pull back the curtain of your life and show you something about your future. It can be a mystical moment, but it doesn’t have to be. Regardless of the emotion felt, that spiritual experience becomes your sense of destiny. On the other side of the coin, some people have merely a growing sense of urgency or “knowing” that begins to permeate their lives and affect their view of the future.
2. Destiny-evoking experience. Although closely related to a sense of destiny, a destiny-evoking experience is a step beyond the previous occurrence. God will often give people experiences that are a strong indication of a future destiny.
On Your Way to Destiny. It could be something like a brush with death in which your client was preserved or anything that speaks to him in a powerful way that God’s blessing and calling is working in his life. These become strong indicators that show the person that God is involved in his life and a destiny lies ahead.
For Joseph, a series of explicit dreams instilled in him an indelible imprint of destiny. For John Wesley, it was a childhood fire. Against unbelievable odds, he was snatched from the firebrand and preserved in a life-threatening situation. It became his destiny experience. For Joshua, it was an encounter with an angel on the eve of the Jericho invasion.
What can you think of that might have been a destiny-evoking experience in your life?
3. Destiny Insight. Dr. Clinton categorizes this step as understanding or insight that is usually more supernatural in nature. A destiny insight is more than a hunch or a good idea (sense of destiny). It’s beyond an aspiration or daydream. It’s revelatory in nature, which puts it into a category of its own.
Joshua’s famous twilight stroll on the eve of the Jericho invasion is a good example of gaining destiny insight. He encountered a heavenly visitor sent to fight as the captain of the Lord of Hosts. Do you think Joshua received helpful insight about the outcome of the battle slated for the next day? I think so.
4. Destiny Fulfilled. In coaching, our goal is to arouse that sense of destiny in the person and help him explore it. This sense of destiny is often buried beneath a mound of disappointment and heartache. It could have been put on the back burner due to prolonged delay or deferment. Whatever the case, it’s your job to direct your spiritual son or daughter back on the trail again.
A key exercise in which to engage the next generation would be the simple art of reflection. This is often where a good coach will help his client revisit many of life’s back roads?things that may have been overlooked, clues that have been hidden and forgotten. Have those you are coaching keep a journal as they perform these exercises. You may be surprised at what surfaces and becomes associated with their destiny.
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