Have you every wondered about your destiny? Perhaps you’ve asked yourself these questions:
• What is the purpose of my life?
• Why do I exist?
• What is the meaning of life?
• Will my life ever amount to anything worthwhile or important?
Though we have never met, though I don’t know the specific details of your life, though I don’t know your trials or problems or challenges, I do know one thing: I know your destiny. I’m not a TV preacher. I won’t hock you some holy water sprinkled on a rock from calvary and a sliver of the cross. I won’t ask you for a gift to my ministry in exchange for ordering my 3-DVD box set on achieving your dreams.
I want to share your destiny with you, for free. I can do this because the Bible has revealed your destiny, and my destiny, in very specific, detailed, and encouraging terms. So, let me share your destiny with you. And I promise you, if you are serious about wanting God’s will for your life. If you are serious about wanting God’s best for you, no matter what that may be, then you won’t be disappointed about your destiny.
First, let me give you the answer you are looking for, straight up. Then I will tell you what this looks like in a practical way in your life. Here’s the answer you are looking for. It’s in Romans 8:29. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” That’s it. It’s very simple. Your destiny is to become just like Jesus Christ. God has designed you so that in concert with him you can think what God thinks, feel what God feels, and do what God does. Allow me to explain.
Remember in Genesis when God said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). Right after this statement he told man, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
In other words, God was saying to man to do the things that he did. When was God fruitful? When he was creating all things. When did God multiply? When he made man in his image. When did God fill the earth? When he created all manner of plant and animal life to populate the earth. When did he subdue? When he fashioned the earth and molded it into form he wanted it to be. When did he rule? When he commanded Adam and Eve with these very things. God essentially told man to do the things that he did, just in a limited manner according to man’s capacity.
So, what does this destiny of yours look like in a practical way? There are many areas of life in which you will become like Jesus. However, let me share with you five general areas in which you are to look just like Jesus Christ. These are five areas that we should be actively pursuing in our walk with Christ.
(1) Your destiny is to become just like Jesus in your character.
This is the most fundamental way that we fulfill our destiny. God told Israel, “Be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). In other words, act like God. What is God like? First, we have his own description of his character: “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6-7).
But what does that look like in our lives? When we live empowered by the Spirit of God it looks like this: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25).
The Apostle Paul promises that when we do these things in submission to Christ that he will be with us. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
(2) Your destiny is to become just like Jesus in your relationships.
When we become like Jesus in our character God begins to transform our relationships, especially with those with whom we share Christ in common. Jesus described this in the book of John when he said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
How did Jesus love us? “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:13-14).
Such sacrificial love is to be the daily lifestyle of the Christian. Such loving sacrifice is the model for a godly life. Do this and your life will transform, bringing you ever closer to your destiny.
(3) Your destiny is to become just like Jesus in your abilities.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be moving mountains, withering fig trees, or telling stormtroopers these are not the droids you’re looking for. Too many people treat the gifts of the spirit and faith like a magic charm. The Bible never promises such shallow and foolish things. But Jesus did promise that we would do the things that he did. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).
Jesus’ greatest work was his sacrificial love on the cross. Before you squeeze your eyes real tight to pray for that new dishwasher, ask yourself if you have the faith to love the way Jesus loved, to give of yourself the way Jesus did, or to sacrifice all the way he did for us. These are Jesus’ greatest works. What greater works shall you do? This represents your most important and valuable ability.
(4) Your destiny is to become just like Jesus in your activities.
This is that all-important “do” part. What did Jesus do? He told the truth about who he was. He went about doing things to demonstrate proofs for who he was. Notice that in Christ’s final command to us he said something very important. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Did you catch it? It was when Jesus said that we are to “observe all that I commanded you.”
James said it another way: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). The Greek word for “doers” in this passage, in other Greek literature, literally meant to “produce” or “make” something. Think of it this way, “Prove yourselves producers or makers of the word.” In other words, let your actions be a living, regular embodiment of God’s thoughts, feelings, and actions as expressed by his word through your daily life.
(5) Your destiny is to become just like Jesus in your suffering and death.
Now, I can hear what you are thinking. “Hey, wait a minute. You were doing great up until this point. Maybe I should hit the back button!” Oh no, my friends. Let me spell it out clearly so there’s no beating around the bush, or excuse making, or mistaken interpretation. It is God’s will for us to suffer. Yes, you read that right. Let’s say it again. It is God’s will for you to suffer.
Unpleasant, but sometimes required. Are we any better than the Apostle Paul of whom the Holy Spirit said, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16).
Remember Peter’s words directed squarely at our prosperities and ease: “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (I Peter 2:21).
We cannot fulfill our destiny without the willingness to suffer for Jesus. It is part of the process of Christian living and also helps usher in our reward. “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:5).
My friends, there are a lot of questions we have throughout our lives.
We want to know God’s will. We want to be in the place God wants us to be. We want the benefits that a relationship with Jesus promises us. We even want our vocation to be what God wants it to be. How do you get these things?
By pursuing the most important thing in your life: becoming like Jesus. Remember Jesus’ words: “Seek first his kingdom, and his righteousness, and all of these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
When our chief desire is to become like Jesus Christ, God will fulfill that destiny. It is your destiny. It is mine. We share it together in his name, and for his sake, and for his cause. Your destiny is a simple matter. God has made it easy for us to understand but also necessary to pursue.
But if we turn away from imitating Christ in these things then we may never realize our destiny.
Since Jesus paid so much to become like us (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:17-18), why not surrender everything to him that we might become, in every way that is important, just like him, and thus, fulfill our destiny.