Purpose, destiny, whatever you want to call it, we all have one. But what most people don’t realize is that we play a bigger role in that than we realize.
Psalm 119:109 says, “My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law.” Other translations read: “I always take my life into my own hands, but I never forget Your teachings” (GW). “My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions” (NLT). In other words, God wants to guide and lead us through life with His Word, but ultimately, every decision is ours.
We could say it this way: My decisions determine my destiny.
And I’m not necessarily emphasizing decisions like which college should you go to? or who you should or should not marry? Although we will all agree those decisions would definitely shape your future. But think about this: our decision to know, apply, and live by God’s Word determines our God-given, God-designed destiny.
And I don’t know about you, but that’s the purpose, destiny, and future I want! As the old saying goes, “Father knows best.” Daphne does not know best. And if my life is continually in my hand, then I want some help.
God has made promises to us in His Word. Promises like: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11, MSG). “For He delivered us and saved us and called us with a holy calling [a calling that leads to a consecrated life–a life set apart–a life of purpose], not because of our works [or because of any personal merit–we could do nothing to earn this], but because of His own purpose and grace [His amazing, undeserved favor] which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago]” (2 Timothy 1:9, AMP).
It is encouraging to know these truths; that God has a plan for us. BUT let me emphasize again, our decisions determine our destiny. Therefore, our decision (to know God’s Word or ignore God’s Word; to apply God’s Word to our daily life or just keep it as head-knowledge) determines the outcome of our life, good or bad.
Here’s a quick example: my son plays college basketball and he has all the makings of a great coach. He just understands the game. He can read the other team and can quickly determine how to defeat them by adjusting plays and defense. But my son is not the coach. He’s a player. So sometimes he leaves a game very frustrated because he feels like the coach could have used the team differently to win the game. And just recently he was mad and said to me, “I’m going to tell the coach.”
The outcome of this decision would not have been good. For one, he was angry and not just a little…his anger had built up (in the moment and over time). I reminded him that one, the Bible says correction to authority is rebellion. And two, God’s Word teaches us that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). Thankfully, he listened and agreed. As much as he felt justified in his anger and reason to speak out, in this case, a decision to do that would have had a negative impact on him.
God wants us to train our anger. He will use it for good in the right moments, but acting out of emotional anger will never produce the future (or outcome) we want. So God’s Word helped guide, lead, and shape my son’s decision. And next week, he’ll have the same opportunity– because our lives are one continuous decision that takes in one direction or another.
“My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget [to know, apply, and live by] Your [Word].”
May this be a good reminder for us all. If you do this, I promise at the end of your life, you’ll be glad you did.