Understanding Your Destiny in Christ
By Rev. C. Solomon’s sermon notes
Introduction to: A nice opening story or application e.g. In Hawaii, the road to Hanna with all of its mile posts, 600 curves, 54 bridges (3 hours to get 53 miles) www.maui-vacation.net. Open with destiny’s road in Christ, and how much it has in common with the 'Road to Hanna trek'. Most of us spend less than 50 years on our road to destiny!
Angels would pre announce the births of key figures & others
in the divine plot, ex: Isaac, Ishmael & Jesus (before conception/or provide their names & destiny
Jacob explained to his 12 sons their character/destinies
Jesus informs his parents that he was aware of his destiny (they didn’t know/recall)
Nascent Peter was rebuked for wanting to prevent the destiny of Jesus
Apostle Paul could have been rescued, but said don’t weep for me- I am ready (acts 20) an Apostle by the will of JC 2Tim 1:1
Elisha got Elijah’s mantel, but Elias spirit was reborn into John the Baptist
Moses to deliver people
Joseph’s sheaf to rise and all would bow
Timothy’s charge via Paul, but from God
Destiny: (n) something that is to happen or has happened to a particular person or thing; lot or fortune. The predetermined, inevitable course of events.
Benchmark: (n) a mark of known or assumed elevation from which other elevations may be established. One event precedes the other. They can be age or event factored…
Point A: Destiny was made totally and independently apparently of Jeremiah
Point B: Of all human beings on earth 7B, you have a unique destiny –yours Point C: Accountability & measurements lest ye miss the mark
Point D: Benchmarks are critical to your achievment of success
Part I Illustration
Jeremiah 1:3-10 … before I formed thee in the belly I knew ye, before you were ever born I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
A. His background – of priestly extraction; son of Hilkiah; appointed prophet 13th
i. 13th year of the King – His first prophecy in Anathoth 11:21
ii. People wanted to kill him – he relocated to Jerusalem
iii. Prophesies against nations
iv. Once belonged to a prophet guild
v. Prophesies also during Jehoiakim & Zedekiah’s reigns
vi. Charged as a deserter- jailed in a pit house (37:11), left to die
vii. The Chaldeans freed him
viii. His career lasted 40 years
B. His destiny
i. The Lord speaks to him
ii. I knew you before I formed you in your mom’s womb
iii. I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman before the world
iv. Don’t say you are a child (possibly 13 years of age)
v. You must go wherever and whenever I send you
vi. Mission/Theme: uproot, tear down destroy, overthrow & rebuild
Part II: The Apostle and his destiny
A. Some background
i. Aramaic name – Saul, Paul his Roman name
ii. ¼ of NT writing attributed to him, 13 letters attributed to him
iii. Born & raised a Jew in tarsus of Cilicia about AD 10
iv. Claimed Roman citizenship Acts. 21:39 via his dad or ancestors
v. His use of Greek, confirmed that he was a Hellenistic Jew
vi. Homeschooled; circumcised on the 8th day
vii. Of the tribe of Benjamin
viii. Secondary and higher education at feet of gamaliel
ix. Member of the Sanhedrin implied Acts 26;10
x. His trade was tentmaking and leatherwork
xi. Northing to say that he was ever aware of Jesus growing up
xii. He was a persecutor of Christians – enraged as a Pharisee at Jews who did not follow the requirements of the Laq
xiii. Described as small, bald-headed, crooked legged with eyebrows meeting & a hook nose 2ND Century Acts of Paul and Thecla
xiv. Paul talked about a course that he completed 2 Timothy 4:7
Note: It was filled with destiny, with mileposts, benchmarks and phases along the courseway. And he finished ‘his course (The charge to Timothy)
B. His Conversion Galatians 1:10-24 if necessary
i. As a Jew he was looking to the future- expecting Messiah ii. I’m not trying to please people – not a crowd pleaser
iii. My message is not based on reason or logic vs 11
vi. Received direct revelation from Jesus
v. God chose me (vs. 15) before I was born
vii. Revealed his son so I could proclaim news to the Gentiles
viii. I did not go up to Jerusalem vs 17, Arabia & Damascus
ix. Acts 9: Getting converted on road to Damascus
planned to arrest followers- bring them back to Jerusalem
-a brilliant light from heaven beamed down –falls to ground
-hears a voice. Enquires - Who are you sir?
Jesus speaks from heaven- I am Jesus (Alive)
x. First instruction, go and be told (God uses human agency- not vs. 17)
xi. Ananias do what I told you; go to Straight Street –ask for him?
xii: He is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles
and to 9:15 to kings as well as to the people of Israel and their
Kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how I must suffer for my name (9:16), includes death, but not before the course is completed!
Note: It was apparently not something that he asked for, or that Jeremiah asked for…
Note: Given our choices in life, we choose to be fat, happy, rich and, no problems
Note: It was not what he been doing before, persecuting Christ & The Way, albeit he was a religious man at time, who had to of been waiting for
C. Phase two: Acts 13:2 (Appointment phase) separate Paul for the work, missionary/evangelist to 14:26 completed a phase
1. Holy spirit separation -revealed after prayer & fasting
2. Mission, evangelical work
3. Acts 14:26 completion of that phase.
Note: You don’t simply get to go and do what you want to (Come over Macedonia)
D. The persecution phase (the irony of it)
1. Council delegate at Jerusalem regarding the Jews Acts. 15
2. Oppositions: beatings, whipped, stoned, hunger, perils, shipwrecked, fastings, in the sea, abandoned (all men forsook him like Jesus)
3. His physical state 2 Cor. Weak and speech poor, also possibly malaria
chronic opthamalia, migraine headaches, (couldn’t heal himself while
healing others & raising the dead – My Grace is sufficient 2 Cor 12:9
C. Imprisonments & death phase 2 Tim 4:7 ‘finished my course, Phil 1:12 All
happened in order to further the Gospel, imprisoned Acts 21:33, Executed AD 62
Summary of Apostle Paul's life according to Harper’s Bible Dictionary
& Reared in Tarsus
Spends 3 years in Arabia i.e nabatea
First visit to Jerusalem aft conversion 37
Writes 1st Thessalonians 49-50
Encounters Gallio in Corinth 50-51
(Gal 2:1-10) 53-55
In Ephesus 52-54
Writes Galatians, 1 Corinthians
Philemon & Philippians 53-55
In Corinth 55-56
Writes Romans 55-58
Executed at Rome AD 62
Part III: Expound, Review & Apply:
1. The road to destiny is divinely predetermined (hard to kick against it) Paul;
vs. the way that seems right to a man (even a Christian or godly one like Balaam)
2. There is the predestination and foreordination of Jesus Christ, before the foundation of the world...
3. Each of us is required to seek both our individual, and corporate destiny in Christ includes secular & spiritual – know your charge Timothy
4. Because it is your destiny from God, do not expect that there will not be challenges, beatings….
5. Failure to reach a benchmark will either prevent or hinder from success at the next phase, or from going on
6. We are not always pleased at the outset with our destiny; preacher’s wives, preachers….Jesus, example of destiny: he overcame
7. Once you announce your destiny, many won’t understand -- Isn’t this the carpenter’s son --Ananias remembered Paul as the persecutor (took faith to accept God’s will) rejected him; Apostle Paul skeptical of John Mark
8. Paul kicked against the pricks – many of us resist; Jonah, me, you
9. Obedience required: Acts 16:6 forbidden by the HS to preach in Asia, vs 7 Spirit prevented him Bithynia after he left Mysia; Headed down to Troas in a night vision, come over into Macedonia and help us he went to the city of Phillip in Macedonia…19:21 purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem
10. When following your destiny it can appear that you are going in the wrong direction; nothing appears to be happening. Gideon, ‘how come all of this stuff is happening to us?
11. You must endure hardness & blessings and learn to be content
12. It is a journey and not a sprint -Children of Israel seemed to be going in circles; Moses
Appeared to be lost… and clueless
13. You must be willing to let go of former benchmarks that you enjoyed, & go to the next station that God has set
14. God and the angels are there every step of the way to guide you; if you lack wisdom, ask?
15. Stop and celebrate your accomplishments/completed benchmarks, they give you impetus to take on the next challenge
16. You will not die before completing your destiny, if you are obedient; however, death (Stephen the Martyr, Jesus, Paul & others) can be a part of your destiny.
17. This is not secular determinism, which says that if it is my destiny it will be done, nor is it fatalism, in a mundane sense it is more like quantum physics. This is ultimately about life – instead you were called from among everyone else, you were chosen, you were appointed; honor your call, or you will live an unfulfilled life and make it more difficult for others from reaching their potential!
Sermonize Jesus Christ,
(The man with the destiny of the world on his shoulders- predicted from Adam).
Born of a woman
The silent years
Major appearance at 12 at Temple
His baptism and public ministry (even the social dimensions) must approve all things Mt. 3:15 fulfill all righteousness
The suffering servant
His trial - if it were possible that this cup be removed; Thy will
In order for the church to be effective, God’s people, the members of Christ’s body must find and fulfill their destinies in Christ, even when it means ‘choosing to suffer afflictions with people of God, as Moses did’. The hand cannot take the foots place, et al. To please God and be effective….we must all be ….in the place that God designated for us.
Conclusion: It is a journey and not a sprint, it may take years or it might be like the martyr Stephen, a short journey. And, God intends for each of us to discover and to fulfill our destiny and to reach our benchmarks, he is not jerking us around! On the other hand Satan, throws roadblocks and curves in our paths in order to prevent us from completing all that God has for us to do, receive and provide for others.
1. How are you doing on your road to destiny?
2. Are you tired, weary, confused?
3. Have you lost faith?
Whatever the case may be we must each make it our business to identify what Christ has destined for us, so that we as members of his body should do (hand not foot) et al), and to make sure our calling (Eph. 4:7-11) God led captivity captive & gave gifts, 1 Cor 12:15-18. God set members in the body for a purpose; the hand cannot be the foot. This is your divinely appointed career search and appointment, which will even include the social dimensions of what you are supposed to be doing during your hiatus here on earth. So fight a good fight, keep the faith and finish your course!
Love, peace & grace
Rev. C. Solomon