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Where Do You Look For Destiny

Jun 9th, 2014 | By | Category: Featured Content, Transformational Coaching, [None]

Road 1How does God reveal our destiny to us? Most life purpose models have us look inside, at our passion, design and life experience, and say, “What am I passionate about doing? What fits me? What would give me a sense of purpose and fulfillment?” These questions begin to reveal our deepest desires, which is a valuable exercise. In many ways these desires align with our life purpose, since we are created by God for our destiny (the good works which he planned for us beforehand.)

However, as fallen humans, our desires are also shot through with selfishness, fear, hurt, pride, and everything about us that still needs to come under the Lordship of Christ. If our inner world contains both the glory of God and the cravenness of human nature, looking inward will offer the same mixture—a flawed picture of what we are made to be and do. Life purpose discovery models which only look inward will always leave us wanting, because we sense deep down that our corrupt side is always lurking beneath even our highest aspirations.

If our true destiny can’t be accurately discerned by looking within, where do we find it? We have to go back to the original architect and take a look at the blueprints. It’s when we see the designer’s intention that the half-finished building in our heart begins to make sense. This is why a truly biblical life purpose model must include the additional component of Calling: an external commission from God for others. Using only one’s inner dreams and desires as the road to life purpose works as easily for a Hitler as it does for a Mother Teresa.

People can get hung up on the other side of this issue as well. Why don’t I just pray and wait for God to reveal my life purpose? Why all this navel-gazing and looking inside at my personality and passions? Isn’t trying to find my destiny just being self-focused? No—because God in his foresight has also created you for your role. The way you are designed, your best dreams, and even your life history (which prepares you in God-directed ways) reveal the creator’s intention. Or, we might say that a portion of the revelation of your call lies within you, in how you are made. Joseph was a dreamer from a young age. Paul had a radical, all-in personality from the first day we meet him as Saul. Who these men were partially revealed God’s purpose for their lives. So the call of God on your life and the best desires in a believer’s heart are complementary.

And once you hear a call, following it still requires knowing yourself. Have you ever worked with someone who was following God’s call but didn’t seem able to enjoy it? It is possible to work within your area of call but outside of your design. For instance, a person who is Called by God to lead a visionary organization but has never learned to delegate well (Preparation is lacking), ends up doing a lot of administrative details that she isn’t good at (the role doesn’t align with her Design) and starts wishing she was in another job (her Passion is quenched.) So even though she is following her call, this lack of alignment with who she is means there is little joy or effectiveness in it.

The God who knit us together in our mother’s womb in a fearful and wonderful way knew from the beginning what we would do well at, and he assigns his calls accordingly. Design, Preparation and Passion must align with calling for a person to maximize her impact, longevity and joy in her life mission. We must look both inward and outward to find our destiny.

Tony Stoltzfus is an author, leadership coach, master coach trainer and director of the Leadership Metaformation Institute. Additional information on this topic can be found in Tony’s book, The Christian Life Coaching Handbook.

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