Archives For Destiny

Past Present And Future Signpost Showing Evolution Destiny Or Aging

Let me start with the moral of the story: Your past does not dictate your potential.

In life, we are trained to believe that your accomplishments and your past define your worth. You almost always have to prove yourself before you are taken serious.

I take comfort in the fact that we are in good company.

Even Jesus had to overcome His past and in a viable sense, “prove” Himself.

And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Phillip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46 NKJV)

This statement was made by one who would become a disciple. Instantly, Nathanael judged the book by its cover. Ironic that the book he was judging was the King.

Have you had that happen to you? I know I have experienced this. First impressions are key. It is said that people form their opinions within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Yet, they base if off of so many superficial factors: age, hair, clothes, weight…

Can anything good come from that young person?

Can anything good come from that tattooed person?

Can anything good come from that ______________ person?

Fill in the blank, take your pick. The world is asking the questions.

Of course, the devil would like you to believe the answer is no. The devil desires that you would succumb to a life of “I’m not good enough” or “Everyone has their mission, mine just isn’t that important.”

He would love for you to just resign to a life of mediocrity and passivity. A life where you don’t do anything extraordinary – much less believe that you are capable of extraordinary.

That is simply contrary to the Word:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

Do you believe those words today? Then it is time to rise up and live what God has placed in your heart. We are called to greatness – the only reason it can ever elude you is if you fail to take the first step to walk it out.

Everything prior to today doesn’t matter. Today is the starting point. I stand in agreement with you that when the question is asked of you, “Can anything good come from________? (insert your name) – the answer is emphatically and resoundingly, yes!

Let us show the world what Jesus intended…

Question: How do you stay encouraged to walk out your greatness?

IMG_4956

Spoiler alert, this is one of those posts where I am going to be both transparent and vulnerable. As I am always seeking to grow into the Man of God that I am called to be, I know that being open and honest with my thoughts and emotions are the key to victory.

Father’s Day is one of those days that can open a Pandora’s box of emotions. Some good, some bad. It’s not even the day itself that does this, but rather the very mention of the word “father”.

Whether you like to admit it or not, we all have a father. For some, we were blessed to have a father of integrity and character who loved us unconditionally. For others, the word father represents a gap in our lives. It represents a time of hurt. For some of us our dad’s are simply, in the words of James Taylor, “the same old well-known stranger.”

For me, I have a mix of both. I have my biological father who to this day is the “same old well-known stranger” and I have my Step-Father (who has never been “step” but always loved me like his own). My biological father knows very little about me, nor has he ever expressed interest. My other father took me in as his own son, guided me, directed me and showed me unconditional love.

This dichotomy for me always raised questions during my childhood. Confusion would set in nearly every time I spoke to my biological father. The big question of “why” would take up residence in my mind. Why is he not involved, why does he not call me more often, why does he not ask about my interests, why does he not encourage me, why is he so distant?

And I know full well there are others who have experienced situations with their fathers that are horrific and beyond belief. From abuses to abandonment, the sad reality is, many of us do not have a good basis for what a father is.

So when the moment comes for us to acknowledge God as our father, doubt sets in. What we have experienced previously taints us in our expectations of what it means to call God father.

It’s amazing though how your mindset can shift. When I came to know Jesus, it was God as my loving father that drew me in. It was the concept that He loved me unconditionally. Sinner or saint, I was his beloved child. For me, it took many years as a believer to fully grasp this concept.

Truthfully, I think I was always waiting for God to walk away.

And then, I had my son. My world was forever changed. I remember well crying and praying over him just minutes after he was born. I remember making an oath to him then that I would always be by his side, that I would never leave him nor forsake him. I promised to guide him to the best of my ability to become the man and warrior of God that he is destined to be.

It was that day that I started to fully comprehend it. God loves me the same way. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. He has promised to guide me, direct me, and best of all, love me.

No matter how your earthly father was, good or bad, God intends to be so much more. He desires relationship.

My prayer today is that we not let any preconception of “father” misguide us into what God has promised for us. Today, be honest with God. Tell Him that you need a loving father, and I promise He will fill that spot.

Question: When did you come to the realization of God’s amazing love as our Father?

 

It is Finished!

April 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

It Is Finished

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30 NKJV)

Those are three of the most powerful words ever spoken in the history of the World. “It is finished”.

At the time, the disciples watched in horror as their teacher took His final breath on that fateful Friday. Everything they had been taught over the previous years was now being put to the test. Little did they know that this was just the beginning. Some followers fled, and some even denied ever knowing Jesus. To many of them, those final words meant exactly that – “it is finished”. What we had hoped for, dreamed of and desired are gone. Everything was shattered.

But Jesus meant something completely different. Those three words were not a statement, but a proclamation. A deceleration of Freedom, Forgiveness, Grace and Love. “It is finished” meant that we are now the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, that we are heirs of an amazing inheritance, that sickness and disease must flee. Those three words bring forgiveness, healing, joy, strength and provision to all who simply believe and accept.

The cross was gruesome. The cross certainly appeared to be an unfortunate and disastrous finale. We have to go through the cross to arrive at Redemption.

It’s not over. It’s never over. No matter what you may feel, think or see – the joy of Sunday’s resurrection is coming fast. When Jesus uttered those three words from atop of that cross sitting on the hill, He was thinking of you. All the pain or sorrow that you may have, He was speaking to you – He was paying the price on your behalf and stating that all of the sadness and pain is over – you have an option for joy beyond description, for forgiveness that is unexplainable and peace that is insurmountable.

I am sure for the disciples, this was the darkest hour they ever experienced. It was in this darkness that all things came to pass and the plan of God was finished.

Don’t let the dark hours deceive you. The deceleration has been made. The work has been done. The sacrifice has been paid.

It is finished.

Question: How do you stay focused on the fact that we are the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus?

Who I Am

November 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

Who I Am

I am one of those people who is motivated by simple words of encouragement. Even in my employment, it is not the financial opportunities that drive me nearly as much as a simple acknowledgment of a job well done.

The reality is, I think we are all in that same boat. Each and every day we seek acknowledgment and approval from those around us; strangers, co-workers, family and friends. We seek validation of our accomplishments, hopes and dreams. Some days, we receive it and some days not so much.

The problem arrises when we rely only on what people say about us and we forget what God says – after all, it is His opinion that truly matters.

So what does God say about you?  He says you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), He says you “are the apple of His eye” (Psalm 17:8), He says you are His Treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6), He says you are His Workmanship – a piece of art (Ephesians 2:10), He says you are an overcomer (1 John 4:4), He says you are seated in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and best of all, He says you are loved (John 3:16).

Today, don’t let any discouragement get in the way of your true identity in Him. Trust the opinion of the one who created you.

Question: How else does God describe you?

 

Photo by Eric Fisher (Flicker)

Photo by Eric Fisher (Flicker)

Before we jump in, it is important to note there have been 2 parts to our topic already posted last week. I encourage you to read them first if you have not done so: Part 1 and Part 2.

Numbers 14 starts off in a very interesting way:

1So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

Wow. They took a turn down a horrible track. This is the track of “What If”. What if things don’t turn out like we want. What if things get worse.

They were desiring to go back to what they knew as “safe”. Slavery, although horrible, was predictable to them.  They knew what tomorrow brought. They felt safe in that bubble. And this new adventure was unpredictable and scary.

Everyday, we seem to want to live our lives in a “safe” way as well. Jump back a few months and watch this clip I posted about “Fighting the Safe Life”.

I am not sure what in our human nature it is, but we always seem to live on the side of over-preparedness.  Even if it is something we think God is leading us to, we try to get all of our ducks in a row, and then proceed…Isn’t that then doing things according to our own will and not His will?

I personally believe that everything God is calling you to is insurmountable without Him!

Just think for a moment if the spies would have entered the land of Canaan and instead of giants they found an a group of men that were puny, tiny and could not even muster the strength to lift a sword. If that were the reality – the 10 spies that came back with a negative report would have been singing a different song. Yet, there would have been no demonstration of God’s power in that!

God desires to be the one who battles for you. You don’t have to fight the giants. And besides, if you were to look through the lens and view them as God does – He sees you as bigger and more powerful than anything that stands in your path.

As we finish out Numbers 14, you see God’s wrath against these 10 men and the Israelites were forced into the wilderness for 40 years. What we take away from this is simple, yet profound (and we find it in Hebrews 11 as well):

It is impossible to please God without faith.

Faith is an action. It requires you to step forward into something that you cannot accomplish without Him.

Today, let’s put into action the passion and zeal that we saw in Caleb. Our God is for us, fighting in front of us, leading the path saying “Come, join me, the victory is already accomplished.”

Question: What are you doing to demonstrate your faith today?

By Charles Cook [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There always seems to be a million things going on in our lives. We are always being pulled in so many directions with so many distractions. It simply becomes hard to maintain focus. And worse yet, when we feel the call to take a step of action or step of faith, it seems that all logic and reason comes against our plan. Take a look at Ecclesiastes 11:4:

He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

The Bible spends a lot of time discussing the idea of sowing and reaping. You definitely do not need to be a farmer to understand the analogy and the foundational truth that if you never plant anything, you will never receive anything.

With that in mind, I think this verse speaks to the idea that there will always be an excuse of “why not” to do something – they are countless. If God is calling you to action, I guarantee you will suddenly be flooded with a dozen reasons why you should not proceed. Even to the point of doubting God’s call itself!

Sure, you can accept Jesus as your savior and go on to live the “safe life” but I would encourage you to fight the safe life and chose instead to make a stand for Him!

If you look to the surrounding circumstances, you will always have at least one reason not to proceed. Yes, we are to use wisdom and take all things into account – but, if God has called you and placed the burden in you, then today is the day.

Stop letting the wind and clouds get in the way of your harvest! Take charge over the circumstance and speak to the giant that is getting in the way!

Question: How do you quiet the many distractions coming against your calling?

 

I Will Find You

September 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

I heard this song recently by Kari Jobe, and just had to find the video to post here.  Such a great word in this song.  Essentially, I will find you, God, in all things.  In my last post, I discussed the “Even If mentality“, and this song seems to just sum it up so nicely.  No matter what, I will find God when I surrender and listen to Him.

Instead of writing, I am going to let the song speak for itself today:

 

Question: What do you take from this song?

 

The “Even If” Mentality

September 16, 2012 — 1 Comment

Even If Mentality

There are so many people in the Bible that take on what I call the “Even If” mentality.  And it is those people that I want to model my life after.  But there is one story in particular that really seems to sum it all up and it is the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel Chapter 3.

These three young men took a stand against King Nebuchadnezzar who had recently decided to build an image of gold that he commanded everyone to worship.  Just to put things in perspective a bit, that image was said to be 90 feet wide and 90 feet tall of gold (that is roughly a 9 story building).  I would imagine this would be quite the impressive sight to see.  It also says in Daniel 3 that when the music would play, everyone in the land would bow down to worship this idol – except these three young men.

As we jump ahead, King Nebuchadnezzar confronts them and it is their reply that we should focus on:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.18 But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV)

Here they are, looking into this blazing furnace, standing firm in their faith.

They truly understood that this was not their story, but rather, His story.  Even if God does not deliver us – we will not bow down.  Even if God does not come through like we think He should – He is still God Almighty.  They acknowledged that God was powerful enough to deliver them, but also Sovereign to the point, that even if they were not delivered, it would serve a bigger purpose for God’s ultimate plan.

We know the end of that story – God does deliver them (without even a smell of smoke on them) and a new decree from Nebuchadnezzar is issued to serve the God of these 3 men.

Their faith changed a nation.  Their submission to ultimate story of God allowed for a miracle to occur.

The “Even If” mentality is not easy.  We are told to pray constantly and believe.  We are told that whatever we ask of our Father in Heaven we will receive.  But…even if He does not provide the answer the way we desire, He is still Alpha and Omega and He promises to make ALL things good.

Stop and think about that for a moment.  If what you are standing for does not occur in your timing, are you going to throw it all away because of it…or will you surrender to the fact that God’s timing is perfect?  His story for you works out so much better then any story you can create on your own.

Even if God does not deliver me from _________(you fill in the blank for your life), I know that He reigns and that just as it says in Jeremiah 29:11, He has a plan for me:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Question: How do you walk out the “Even If” mentality?

Every Piece is Required

September 9, 2012 — Leave a comment

Romans 8:28 All things work toward the good!

There is something impressive about big buildings.  The great feat of architecture and the amazing end result.  It is fun to watch from the beginning when it is just bare dirt and then bit by bit, piece by piece, a great structure is formed.

And then, to think about all the various jobs that are involved in making it all happen.  Each person has their own task.  Their craft or talent.  Each one is needed to make the final product.  There are some jobs in the process of constructing a building that I personally would rather not participate in.  Some of those jobs are just downright hard.  Only through sweat, blood and pain are some tasks completed.  And then there are others that can’t be fun.  Like plumbing for example – I am SO thankful for plumbers…but personally, I don’t know that I can stomach the smell.  But each one of these jobs is required to make the whole.

Now what does this have to do with God’s plan you ask…well, I was reading Romans 8:28 and this whole image of the building came to me.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Follow me here.  Just as there are many different jobs involved in constructing a building, there are many different parts involved in constructing our overall identity in Christ.  For the sake of semantics, let’s call those parts “seasons”.

We experience things in seasons.  There might be a season of pruning, a season of abundance, a season of growth and the list goes on and on.  Each season helps to create the bigger picture – the bigger testimony.

Standing in the belief that God’s word is true – that every word is meant for us, then Romans 8:28 should help us to better understand that each season is meant to be a building block toward the greater purpose He has called us to.  Just as there are jobs involved with constructing that skyscraper that are far from exciting and fun, there are also seasons in our lives that we would also consider far from fun.

Yet – they are necessary.

Can you imagine a 100 story office building with no plumbing?  It would be useless!  That simple miss would result in a building that lacks its full potential.

The same holds true for whatever season you might be going through.  When you stop to reflect on your past, you should see that each season helped to define who you are in Christ.  Each season is a building block toward a fully functional You!  A you that is a total reflection of Jesus.  A you that is fearfully and wonderfully made!

We have to simply keep things in perspective.  I know that I have been called, just as Romans 8:28 says, and that means no matter what season I am in, I have a promise to fall back on that He will turn it to good.  When I stop to look back on everything, I will see the foundational building blocks that are forming me as the Righteousness of Christ!

Question: What promises do you hold to during the “not-so-fun” seasons?

 

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

This weekend, I caught a new insight into this whole “outward man is perishing” part…I saw my gray hair coming in…I know, silly, but you can ask my wife, this was a big deal for me!  Just when I am finally coming to terms with whole hair-loss part of getting older, it is than topped off with new additions of gray.  It was a tough moment in the Anderson house.

In all seriousness though, it is verse 17 that really starts to stick out to me in my season.  Read it again. I know I have to. Over and over again.

My stubborn nature (which seeing that I was fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, it is somewhat His fault) just can’t get over the simple fact that my issues of today might just actually be leading to a bigger tomorrow.

The sliver you experience today results in a lumber-mill of harvest tomorrow.  The slight speed-bump you experience today is there on purpose as it will bring a bigger testimony tomorrow.

I have said it before – you cannot let your circumstance define you; it is how you behave in the middle of the circumstance that defines you.

Think about this for a second; 5 years ago, what were you worried about?  What was it that caused you stress?  What about last year?  What about last week?  I bet there are things that you thought were huge than, that now, you cannot even remember.

Granted, it is easy to say that about the smaller things, but it is even the bigger afflictions we go through that we need to put into perspective.  My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for many years now – and without going into all the details, it has been one of the hardest seasons I could imagine.  But – despite it all, no matter the outcome, no matter the length of time it takes, I know that this season is working itself out for something that far outweighs the pain and sadness we have experienced thus far; all for an eternal glory and an even better testimony that is for Him in the end.  It is so easy for me to get caught up in my temporary circumstance – but we do not operate in a world of the “seen” but rather of the “unseen”.

We must keep our focus on Him. I choose to let Him work it all out for His glory.

Question: What is your tip for successfully staying focused on the eternal versus the temporary?