The Dangers of Today's Western Church Teaching and Focus on 'Destiny'
What I’m about to say is really going to ruffle some feathers and really challenge some Christian’s theology and perspective. But I’m noticing a really DANGEROUS trend in western churches today in their beliefs about destiny - and watching it lead many Christians astray and even leading to the breakdown of ministries, marriages and relationships. What I write here, comes out of a heart of deep concern and even grief over how God’s heart and word is being misrepresented to our current generation. This is also a very personal revelation for me that has come out of much trial and suffering that has caused me to press deeper into the heart of God and His word.
THE FALSE TEACHING ON DESTINY
For many years now I have watched the church teach our young people about how important our destiny is and how BIG it is and how if we don’t do this or that, or protect it correctly, we’ll miss it. I’ve seen this in-still fear in many people and cause people to be afraid of ‘missing their destiny’. I’ve even seen people walk away from God ordained ministries, marriages and relationships out of fear of ‘missing their destiny’. I’ve heard people say things like: “that ministry is blocking my destiny" [keep reading to know what I mean]… or “my destiny won’t happen there”… or “He or she was blocking my destiny, so I divorced them” or “I felt my destiny wouldn’t happen with that person, so I ended it”. I’ve literally watched this ‘fear of missing my destiny’ destroy lives, divide ministries, end relationships and the list goes on. THIS IS DANGEROUS and is completely unbiblical!!
WHAT IS OUR DESTINY AS CHRISTIANS?
Let me be blunt here: Your destiny IS NOT to become the next revival preacher, healing minister, actor, singer, worship leader, pastor or some leader of a large international ministry! OUR DESTINY is ONE thing: “To Love the Lord, with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind… and to love your neighbour as yourself!”
THAT’S IT! It’s that simple! No platforms, no shining lights, no microphones or worldwide ministries. Our destiny as Christians IS NOT OUR DESTINATION but rather KNOWING THE HEART OF GOD!
>> Now let me just interject here: our destiny and what the Lord has called us to do are two different things! We all have the same destiny: Get to know the heart of the Father and pursue intimacy with Him. But He has called us to different things and gifted us accordingly. BUT those things are not our ‘Destiny’ or final destination. Our giftings are ‘expressions’ of the Fathers heart and those expressions come out of intimacy with God. Our end goal is NOT those giftings: to become a pastor or a singer etc - our end goal is to KNOW the Father and out of knowing the Father, we steward and act on those giftings the Lord has given us. Our giftings aren’t our destination or destiny - God is!
Allow me to give an example…
Moses’s destiny WAS NOT to lead God’s people out of Israel - knowing God intimately was. The word says that God spoke to Moses ‘face to face’, ‘directly and without riddles’ and that Moses knew God so intimately that he ‘ponders the very form of God. (Numbers 12 msg translation). Now that’s intimacy! We can see by scripture, that Moses had fulfilled his destiny with God. BUT it’s Moses intimacy with the Father that led him to fulfil his call to lead Israel out of Egypt! Without that intimacy, Moses would not of been able to hear God for the people and lead them correctly. Leading God’s people was not Moses’s destination, knowing God’s heart was - so he could lead God’s people well.
I’m highly concerned that the current teaching on ‘Destiny’ is actually leading our focus away from what our destiny actually is - sitting at the feet of Jesus.
We get so focused on pursuing a ‘destiny’ that is about ‘doing’ something or becoming ‘something’ - that we miss the very person that enables and empowers us to become something at all! In fear of ‘missing our destiny’ - we actually end up missing our destiny completely - KNOWING JESUS!
I know… I used to be one of those people that was afraid of ‘missing their destiny’. For most of my 20’s, I battled debilitating chronic illness that meant I struggled to keep work and consequently meant that I have been unable to work full-time since about 2016. In the past 3 years, I’ve been made redundant twice and with all these battles with work and illness, has mounted a massive debt - that I’ve often feared I’ll never get out of.
I’m 31 now, still recovering from chronic illness, still battling debt and struggling to find enough work… in the past, this used to make me afraid that I will miss out on my destiny. That this constant battle with illness and finance would prevent me to become what the Lord has called me to be and that I would ‘miss out’ completely, if a miracle didn’t happen ‘now’. BUT I now realise all this trial and suffering, has in fact, been my greatest gift because it changed my focus - it taught me what my destiny ACTUALLY is! My destiny isn’t my final destination, it isn’t about what I become or do, it isn’t about becoming a debt free designer and recording artist or even a missionary. My ‘destiny’ and final ‘destination’ is simply sitting at the feet of Jesus and getting to know the heart of My Father! And it’s out of THIS place that I can design, become debt free, healed and create music. And even if none of those things happen - it doesn’t matter because knowing God’s heart is the most important thing and if that’s all I do - then I’ve fulfilled my destiny on this earth and I look forward to hearing God say at the gates of heaven “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.
The moment my focus on destiny became about ‘knowing the Fathers heart’ rather than about ‘what I become’ - it took a huge weight off my shoulders and removed all fear! You know why? Because “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither fears or worries - not even the powers of hell can separate us from the love of God” (Rom 8:38-39). When you focus on God - THAT’S a destiny you can’t miss!
My deep concern and grief is how many people will get to heaven and hear the Father say, “leave Me for I never knew you” and hear them reply - “but we cast out demons in Your name and we healed the sick in Your name”… All because their focus was on how their ‘destiny’ was to become an international preacher or worldwide healing minister etc… and so they became those things BUT totally missed the heart of the Father in the process - all in the name of ‘fulfilling their destiny’! What’s even sadder - those people may even reach the end of their life feeling content that they have fulfilled ‘God’s destiny’ and be completely oblivious to the fact that they actually don’t know God’s heart at all! And then find out when it’s too late, that in ‘pursuing their destiny’, they actually missed it all together! They missed the heart of God!
If you are afraid of ‘missing your destiny’ - and have therefore, left church or walked away from a ministry, walked away from a marriage or ended a relationship out of fear of missing your destiny… then to be honest… You’ve already missed it! Because our destiny is ‘the heart of God’ and if you focus is on His heart, you can’t miss it! An NO ministry, NO relationship and NO person can get between you and your destiny with God!
Don’t get me wrong - if you ended a relationship because you were unequally yoked, then that’s wisdom, as scripture specifically talks about being unequally yoked. (And that’s another message.) And also - if God asks you to leave somewhere, then be obedient - I’m not stating otherwise, we are to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. BUT… just know - the Lord won’t ask you to leave somewhere or someone because they are ‘supposedly’ blocking your destiny. That’s simply unbiblical - because God’s definition of destiny is not a ‘place’, a ‘relationship’ or a ‘ministry’ - it’s intimacy with Him!
God’s definition of destiny is not a ‘place’, a ‘relationship’ or a ‘ministry’ - it’s intimacy with Him!
I think, for too long, western churches today have often ‘misunderstood’ the concept of ‘destiny’.
God laid out mans destiny on earth through 2 simple commands:
1.) Intimacy with the Father
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
2.) Serve mankind out of our intimacy with God
“Love your neighbour as yourself”
That’s it. That’s our destiny: to be intimate with the Lord and out of that intimacy we serve others! And it’s in our service to others that we all serve according to our giftings! Notice that the bible’s definition of destiny is not about becoming ‘something’ or ‘someone’ but rather about loving God and others and anything that we become is simply a by-product of our intimacy with Jesus.
For too long our focus on destiny has been about ‘US’, becoming ‘this or that’, rather than on ‘GOD’… because without God, we can’t become those things anyway - at least not ‘in spirit and in truth’. Our destiny is to lay ourselves down, lay down our agendas, our plans, our ideas and ultimately our flesh - to know God - so that He can shape us into what HE has called us to be NOT what we think God has called us to be!
MY BOTTOM LINE
In summary, what I’m saying is:
Don’t be so focused on pursuing your destiny that you actually miss it! You can’t miss anything at the feet of Jesus. So at the end of the day, make sure that’s where God finds you!