Living with a sense of Destiny

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Years ago when our children were young, we did a lot of camping with friends. It’s a sweet memory to reflect on those times, when we tucked the kids into their sleeping bags and then gathered around the camp-fire to talk into the night hours. This is a setting in which some great conversations about life can happen with friends – but  then, if you’re a camper, you already know that!

One night, as we put yet another log on the fire, my good friend started to share. He said “Carolyn, do you know what one of my greatest fears is? It’s that  I will get to the end of my life ….  and I will have only lived a life of mediocrity … it haunts me.” And he stared into the coals…  Now this friend of mine, in every way you could imagine, was living what many would see as an extremely “successful life”. Highly qualified in his field, a loving wife, four beautiful children and a house in an affluent area of Melbourne – and “pillars” of the church!!  And yet, he still lived with that fear of reaching the end of his life and being disappointed. It was one of those conversations which has stayed with me. It’s stirred and motivated me to this day to live with intentionality and not missing why God put me on the earth. I’m not talking about being driven by a performance mindset, but living with the sort of passion expressed by Henry David Thoreau in his famous poem:

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life, and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.”

I read recently an article by a psychologist who claimed that the three of the most pressing questions we will ask ourselves at the end of our life are these:

1. Have I really lived?  (not just existed)

2. Have I really loved? (not superficially, but sacrificially)

3. Have I really mattered? (what difference did my life make?)

Reading this article caused me to reflect deeply on the subject of “destiny” in our lives.

What is destiny?

Does it make a difference to live with a sense of destiny?

If so, how?

The bible talks a lot about the subject of destiny.

Destiny is basically those things which God has pre-determined would be.

And yes – God has certainly destined certain things for us.  A look at the book of Ephesians alone (especially the first few chapters) is a compelling example to this.

So if I was to ask you “What difference does having a sense of destiny make to your life?” What would you say …? 

I’ve asked myself this very question recently.

And it seems to me that people with a sense of destiny live vastly different lives to those who don’t.

Without a sense of destiny, it’s much easier to “drift” in life.  Life seems more random without a compelling vision or sense of eternal purpose upon which we can focus.

It’s heart-wrenching to see people living like this, because they were designed for so much more.

We frequently need reminding that should not to live like Alice in C.S. Carroll’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” …

“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?“ said Alice.

“That depends a great deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. 

“I don’t much care where” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. 

“Well, as long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation. 

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.“

(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

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You were not born to drift through life.

Neither were you created for a boring, mediocre existence.

But to avoid living like this, we need to know who we are and what we were born for.

Ignorance is not bliss!

Not only does God want you to know WHO you are, but He wants you to live in the FULLNESS  of all He has destined for you. (John 10:10)

People who know and embrace their destiny live with purpose, intentionality and focus.

They have the joy of waking up every day with a great hope for the future because they know God has great plans for their future (Jeremiah 29:11).

They are positive about tomorrow. They are “givers”. They prosper and bear fruit because they take hold of the promises of God and determine to live in the fullness of all Christ died to give them.

I like this quote of James Champey “People who reach exceptional heights in life all share one thing in common – they have a clear sense of destiny which CALLS THEM FORTH, GIVES THEM COURAGE, AND KEEPS THEM ON COURSE.”

Yes –  Understanding and embracing our destiny really does change the way we live.

If you need to be reminded of your destiny (Who you are what God has empowered you to do)- then look up Ephesians Chapter 1 and underline every passage which speaks about your destiny.

Those who take their destiny seriously, will not be drifters like Alice in Wonderland.

Those who embrace their destiny will discover the dreams God has placed in their heart (Psalm 37:4). They know their dreams are like an internal road-map directing them toward their God-given destiny. They know that God wants to bless the world through the dreams He has put within them.

This week,  set aside some precious time to speak to God afresh about your dreams.  Trust His promptings in greater ways. Don’t allow your dreams to remain just dreams!

People who step into their dreams and destiny, will be able to answer a resounding “Yes” to those three questions I mentioned earlier: Have I really lived? Have I really loved? Have I really mattered?

They will also not have to fear that they’ve only lived a mediocre life (like my friend shared around the camp-fire). 

I want to cheer you on and encourage you to keep stepping out with faith and boldness, and as you do, you will start to see how your dreams are divinely connected to the extraordinary destiny God has ordained for you.      

Have an amazing week.

Love and blessings

Carolyn

I would love to receive your comments.

What difference do you think it makes to your life to live with a sense of destiny?  You can share your thoughts below.

 

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You can subscribe regularly to my blog at www.almondtreeministries.com.au. 

Kick of 2015 by attending a Dream workshop! Grab a friend and register online. Check our website for locations, or arrange to have your own workshop at your church or for your ministry group. Call 9874 5359 for more details.

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    • Carolyn Conway

      Great to know it was encouraging to you Ann. I see many doors opening for you in 2015 and I see you walking through them with confidence!

  1. michele sterkenburg

    Hi Carolyn,
    You have inspired me and given me hope today. Bless you each and every day. My destiny should be my focus and will help me to rise! Michele

  2. Karen Wilson

    Hi Carolyn,
    What an impacting conversation took place in Wonderland between the Cat and Alice. “It all depends on where you want to get to”! What a powerful message from a wise Cat.
    Thanks.
    xx

  3. Leigh

    Today was particularly hard remembering dad feeling sad and missing his presence.
    Was soaking in god completely spent after a big week but feeling so revived strengthened and touched as I read your blog Carolyn you truelly are an inspired encourager gods purpose is alive vibrant and bursting forth thur your words I felt Holy Spirit say carpe diem seize the day for the days we have don’t last forever. What dreams are awakened what risk can be taken as I keep pressing in against the flow and cause rivers of life to open up in my field god has called me into. I awake to my potential and say use me god I am available and I can do it! With you

    • Carolyn Conway

      Appreciate your comments Leigh, so glad you found it encouraging, and yes you are amazing, surely can do it

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