22 Sep Mentoring Men Epistles
Fulfilling Your Prophetic Destiny
“THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favour] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.”
Our Lord Jesus recognised His purpose and matured into the fulfilment of His purposes in the Father God. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil.
“As He passed along, He noticed a man blind from his birth. His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered, It was not that this man or his parents sinned, but he was born blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested (displayed and illustrated) in him. We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight; night is coming on, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the world’s Light. When He had said this, He spat on the ground and made clay (mud) with His saliva, and He spread it [as ointment] on the man’s eyes. And He said to him, Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam—which means Sent. So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
God had a plan for our Lord Jesus Christ. It included the virgin birth and the moulding of His character under the oversight of Joseph and Mary. He was also led by the Holy Spirit to prepare for His assignment of manifesting the life, power and mercy of God to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. The will of God culminated on the cross where He bore all that mankind deserved; every sickness, disease, shame, punishment and eventually death, not to talk of poverty, rejection and all kinds of things which are attracted to the human race through sin! He rose from the dead victorious and is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He lives to make intercession for us. That was the prophetic destiny and purpose God had for His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He took our place in the Divine exchange, He became our Divine pattern, being an example for us to follow and He also came as the Divine revelation of God’s love to human kind. We are admonished to look unto Him in Hebrews 12:1-3.
“Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.”
Our prophetic destiny is that which God ordained for us. God expects us to discover and then participate in the development necessary to fulfil His divine purposes for us. God has plans for everyone He created and we have the power of choice to choose either to cooperate and participate with Him or do otherwise. Our journey to our prophetic destiny starts with our being born again, coming into relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We make progress as we receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with new tongues according to Acts 2:4. We are all born of God at the new birth with certain gift s, potential and dispositions that await our discovery and development. God’s plans for us are good; not evil.
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
It is not up to God alone if we are going to fulfil the destiny He has for us. He told them to seek Him in prayer if His plans for them will come to pass. Our nature, nurture and culture have moulded us into what we are today. Our present lifestyle is a function of our beliefs, thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes. All these affect the results we are getting in every aspect of our lives. We need to know what is at work in us so that we can do what it takes to overcome the things that are detrimental to God’s purposes in our lives. We also need to know the help and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. On one hand, we need to take responsibility for whatever we see operating in our thoughts, emotions or attitudes. On the other hand, we need to know how to yield to the Holy Spirit to help, teach and strengthen us in our journey to fulfil destiny. See John 14:26, 15:26 and 16:13-15. The Holy Spirit is our helper, teacher, standby, advocate, strengthener and comforter! Sometimes, conflicts help us identify what may be at work in us.
There are two stances needed in every area of our lives. The ‘yielded’ stance and the ‘take charge’ stance. We need wisdom to know which stance to take at different seasons in our lives. The yielded stance is when we allow God to show us what is at work in us, what gives the enemy a foothold in us. Sometimes it is ignorance, carelessness or laziness. At other times, it could be pride, fears or self-centredness. He will also help us to overcome them if we let Him.
The ‘take charge’ stance is when we take courage in God to press into His revealed will for our lives! This is where we plan, set goals and dream His dreams and do what His grace enables us to do to accomplish His will for His glory.
“Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out [from the spiritual exile caused by sin and evil into the homeland] with joy and be led forth [by your Leader, the Lord Himself, and His word] with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
We need to lay hold of His ways, thoughts and strategies through fellowship with Him and His Word!
INGREDIENTS FOR FULFILLING DESTINY
Since we have a clear knowledge of who our enemy is and what his strategies are, we need to cultivate the lifestyle that can keep him away from influencing us contrary to God’s will for our lives. He uses the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life to affect our lives, hearts and expectations. See 1 John 2:15. He also uses the world’s systems and his cohorts in every way possible to achieve his aims of stealing, killing and destroying. These can only happen if we allow him. We are told to give him no place. See Ephesians 4:27. As we learn to yield to God as well as take charge, the following issues will enhance our fulfilment of the destiny God has for us.
- Our Prayer Life
Read Ephesians 6:10-18.
“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).”
There are all manner of prayers and they serve all manner of purposes. There are rules that govern the different types of prayers that exist. We need to learn and build a solid life of prayer, engaging in the different types to get all round results in every area of our lives.
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
So we have thanksgiving, praise and worship, as a form or aspect of prayer. Then, petition, supplication, intercession and the prayer of agreement as other types of prayers. (I recommend my wife’s messages on ‘Being Effective in Prayer’ which are available from our website www.fowm.org or from your nearest FOWM office). We need to know and apply the principles that govern each type of prayer so we can receive definite answers to our prayers. Heaven usually acts after earth has taken the initiative to act by asking, declaring or demanding! When we stir ourselves up to lay hold on God, we get a response from Him. He knows our needs, yet He wants us to ask of Him before He does it! He has given authority to mankind as far as this earth is concerned. See other scriptures like Matt hew 16:16-19 and 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
- The condition of our Heart
“Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub or a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]? I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
The state of our hearts plays a major role regarding whether we will fulfil our destiny or not. When our hearts are no longer focussed on The Lord as our source and we no longer trust Him, we tend to cultivate heart conditions that are not conducive for the destiny of God to be unfolded in our lives. We see this in many Bible characters. For example, Joseph did not allow bitterness against his brothers to affect his service as a slave in Potiphar’s house, not to talk of his wife’s offer! The condition of our hearts usually plays a part in whether we fail or pass our tests in life. We are encouraged to guard our hearts with all diligence. Joseph must have guarded his heart and hence passed his tests while in Potiphar’s house!
“Then after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph, and she said, Lie with me. But he refused and said to his master’s wife, See here, with me in the house my master has concern about nothing; he has put all that he has in my care. He is not greater in this house than I am; nor has he kept anything from me except you, for you are his wife. How then can I do this great evil and sin against God?”
Joseph passed the test of boundaries in that he knew what was not under his care. He also passed the authority test in that he knew that delegated authority is meant to be used for the benefit of the delegator!
“My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the centre of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and wilful and contrary talk put far from you. Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil.”
We guard our hearts by keeping a watch over what we allow into them and by watching our words and ways! If we get God’s Word richly into our hearts we cannot go wrong. Our heart is the core of our being and whatever we allow in there will affect our entire life!
- Hunger for God and a hunger for souls!
What are our passions? Whatever we sense to be God’s purposes for our life, we should allow our desire for God to grow stronger than the desire to fulfil those purposes! We are told to glory in knowing God! Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled! Where we direct our passion is also our choice. The decisions we make can direct our hunger! The psalmist said “as the deer longs for water so my soul longs for God”. We play a part in what our soul longs for! It all starts with a decision. We need to decide today to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength and then begin to fellowship with Him by His Word and in prayer. If we dedicate times for these activities and allow every opportunity to deepen our love for Him, our hunger for Him will increase! With this comes a hunger for souls. When we love God, what He loves affects us! He loved the people of this world so much that He sent His Son to die for them, so we also begin to have a hunger to see more people come to the awareness of what Jesus was sent to do!
We will be willing to endure hardness, like a good soldier, and persevere in what we do, to see the results we desire. We must pay attention to developing the necessary skills to carry out our work in life, as well as God’s will for our lives. We all need to develop our leadership, communication and time management skills as we press into God’s destiny for our lives.
- Our Word-life
A working understanding of God’s Word is a vital part of our fulfilling destiny. The Word needs to be rightly divided and applied as we meditate on it, confess it and let it govern our thinking processes! We even judge prophecies by our knowledge of the Word. We need to give the Word final authority in our lives. When God’s Word carries authority in our lives, it will be able to change things in us that we may not be able to change ourselves. The Word should dwell in us richly.
“Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts. And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.”
The Word will grow in us as we lay aside everything contrary to the Word and replace the things in us with the Word of God!
“So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].
For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).”
“So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”
We walk in the truth only to the extent that the truth is in us. The truth gets into us as we digest it, through meditation, act on it and share it with others.
3 John 1:1-4
“The elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the beloved (esteemed) Gaius, whom I truly love.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. In fact, I greatly rejoiced when [some of] the brethren from time to time arrived and spoke [so highly] of the sincerity and fidelity of your life, as indeed you do live in the Truth [the whole Gospel presents]. I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living their lives in the Truth.”
Our soul is the depository of all our experiences in life. We need to let God replace some of the bad deposits that have been made in our soul by walking in the truth of God’s Word!