Welcome back Lisa Mikitarian, with the belated (but well worth waiting for) third installment of her "Destiny" series.
You can catch up here if you missed the first two chapters:
Part One: When Destiny Calls
Part Two: The Truth About Destiny
It's a Relationship Thing
We left off by looking forward to the destiny Christ laid out for mankind in the New Testament. Through His ministry we learn he is a Triune God—God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Distinct yet one. In communion with one another. From this we see that God is the author of relationships. Relationship is in His very nature.
In Genesis, God says that it is not good for man to be alone. When He sent his Son for the Salvation of man, He was inviting eternal relationship.
Our Destiny in Christ
That invitation for all mankind comes through Jesus Christ. We must choose it. For those of us who answer His calling, destiny becomes simple: we will be in relationship with our Father in heaven for eternity.
The apostle Paul reveals this destiny to us in the book of Ephesians 1: 5-10 (ESV)
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
We are to be taken into the fold, adopted by the Father. When we are His, Satan has no claim on us. The possibility of sin exists, but we are no longer a slave to it. In the future we will have glorified bodies and sin will no longer be an option. The choice we make here is ratified in eternity.
A collective destiny?
Ephesians 4:1-7 (ESV) I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
These verses changed my perspective in life completely. I was no longer wrapped up in what I became, but instead, it was all about who I am in Christ with you, my fellow Christian. Out of the window tumbled aspirations to become a gymnast, or tennis pro. These goals were for my own glory. Even when we are working within the gifts God has given us, those gifts are simply “vehicles” for His purpose. There lies not our destiny. Instead, it lies in Christ, with Christ, alongside others who dwell in Christ, pointing the way for as many non-believers as possible.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind...John Donne
This is selflessness, loving our neighbors as ourselves, laying our lives down for our brothers. This is love. This is God.
Augustine wrote that when Christians are in relationship with other Christians, they are directly involved with Christ, as Christ indwells the believer. So during my day, I’m in communion with Christ during my morning devotion. Yet, I’m also in communion with Christ when I go for a jog with my running buddy, Holly. She may not be perfected, but Christ resides in her. When we discuss problems, we are doing it in the Spirit of our Lord between us. That’s powerful. It makes me feel more responsibility in what I say and what I do.
Am I allowing Christ in me to be heard? Or does my sin nature take over everything in my world, adulterating my relationships?
Our world can be so cut-throat, each looking out for herself. I don’t want to envy you for what you have. I don’t want to think only one of us can “succeed,” and if you find success and get it there won’t be any left for me. I don’t want to try and snatch it up first and then withhold it from you. That is not part of my destiny.
But in a fallen world, it takes a close walk with God to remember.
In the last section, we’ll explore how being in relationship with others can actually help us determine our individual destinies.
Thanks for stopping in today! I'll be back soon with the conclusion. I'm looking forward to words of wisdom on relationships.
Until then, I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus, and getting ready for the FaithWriters conference August 7 & 8!!! Click here for the scoop. It's not too late to register. :-D
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)
You can read more inspired articles by Lisa Mikitarian at The Blog Squad, where she s a regular contributor.