Episode 5: Identity: Can I create my own destiny?

Episode 5: Identity: Can I create my own destiny?

July 22, 2020 | Susie Rock

Today we’re going to continue the conversation on identity and answer the question, “Can I create my own destiny?” Many women are asking this question about destiny. They want to know, “Can I be a self-made woman?” Ultimately, they’re asking, “How much control do I have over who I become and what I do?” I googled this question, wondering what it really meant, and this is what I found: It says, “The future you desire for yourself, the love you crave, or that lifestyle you’ve always fancied, can be all yours if you want it. The secret is that you have to want it.” So essentially what they’re saying is, “If you want it, you can have it.” Once again, this is indicative of the world that we live in, the worldview that says, “You are your own god. You can do whatever you want, you can be whoever you want, and you’re accountable to nobody but yourself.” But the Bible teaches that there is only one God and He is sovereign. Proverbs 19:21 says this: Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Most Christians would say that they believe this. They believe that there is only one God and they believe that He’s sovereign, that He’s in control. They would even say that they trust Him. But how they live is actually very different from what they say they believe.

To help us to understand what we actually believe, I think it’s valuable to ask this question: how would you respond to the following statements? Would you respond with caution, or would you feel empowered by these words?

“You are the architect of your life. It is your duty to design your destiny.”

“You can be whoever you want to be.”

“You’ve got it.”

These might be similar words to things that you have said to your friends or even your children to try to encourage them, to motivate them, to empower them. And yet, comments like these should raise some red flags. If they did raise red flags for you, that’s probably a good indication that you are rooted and grounded in God’s Word. There is some truth to these statements, but they’re void of anything to do with God. They’re incomplete. As they stand, the power is in you alone. These statements can be very dangerous because they eliminate our need for God or our accountability to God. As Christians, we can easily deceive ourselves and give ourselves the wrong message, give our children or friends the wrong message, by speaking about things as if it’s all in our control and we can do whatever we want to do without mentioning God. We can send our children to a Christian school, we can homeschool them, we can go to church and youth group. But if our daily conversations are more about who you are and what you can do rather than about glorifying God and doing what He’s called you to do, you are very vulnerable to becoming a godless person. And if you are vulnerable to that, think about our children, or the next generation, if we don’t talk about God. If we don’t instill a godly worldview in our children, they certainly won’t have it apart from the grace of God. We need to be careful here.

First and foremost, we want to continue to uphold the sovereignty of God. He is sovereign and we are His stewards. As Christians, our worldview enables us to acknowledge both of these things. We can acknowledge and uphold the sovereignty and rule of God, while at the same time accepting our responsibility to be His stewards. Listen to what God says to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ In short, He’s asking Adam and Eve to be stewards of His creation. We are responsible to protect, to nourish, to sustain, and to reproduce. Having said that, we are part of creation. We are responsible also to care for ourselves and to be stewards of our own lives. What does this mean? We don’t reject the sovereignty of God; as stewards, we uphold it. We acknowledge and continue to firmly hold to the truth that God’s plans and His purposes cannot be thwarted. There is nothing that a person could do to change God’s ordained plans. Isaiah 14:24 says, The LORD of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand. Furthermore, in Isaiah 46:10, God says, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose. God is sovereign. We can never lose sight of that. But at the same time, we are stewards. We will give an account for how we have lived. In everything we do, we are called to live to please Him and not ourselves. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 say this: So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. This means that it does make a difference whether we choose to forgive or choose to hold on to bitterness. It means that we do prayerfully plan for our futures. We steward our finances, we steward our relationships, our time, and our health. We are responsible to be wise and thoughtful in all these areas. It does mean that we do repent of our sins and we are held accountable to live a life that is honouring to Him. We have a mission not to just let go and let God in all these things, but our mission is to submit to the mission of God. We worship Him and continue to acknowledge that He alone is God, and in that, we must surrender our lives and our being, all of ourselves, to Him and for His glory. We don’t become who we want to become, rather, we become who the Spirit of God is transforming us to become. We become the person He’s designed us to be, and that is to be an image bearer of God. We are not self-made women; rather, we are women transformed into the image of the Living God, living on mission for Him and for His glory. This means that our desires are also surrendered for His desires. We adopt His desires as we let go of our own desires. Galatians 5:24 says this: And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. We don’t just shove them under the carpet, but we crucify our own desires so that we can have God’s desires. We can be confident that His desire is always for His glory and for our good. Romans 8:28 says this: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

So what are Christians destined for? We are destined for persecution on earth. 1 Thessalonians 3:3 says, That no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. Secondly, we are destined to escape eternal wrath and receive salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. For some, this might not be very comforting. You want comfort now, but we are not actually called to a life of ease. We are called into the kingdom to bear the image of the King and as He suffered, we too will suffer. We can also know that in our suffering now, we have hope that one day we will be saved and we will be glorified. Just as He was glorified, we too will be glorified. We don’t need to create our own destiny. In fact, if we try, we’re just going put ourselves into a lot more suffering. Rather, we can be confident that God has already called us to a destiny. He’s already created it for us. He’s called us to the best destiny that we could ever imagine. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 tells us about this. It says, God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this He called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is sovereign and He has already declared your destiny. So stop trying to change it and just start living for Him. Start being a steward of the life that God has called you to, empowered by Him and living for His glory.

Reflection Questions:

1.  How could you reword the following statements to be rooted in the sovereignty of God, rather than in the power of self?

“You are the architect of your life; it is your duty to design your own destiny”

“You can be whoever you want to be.”  

“You’ve got this”. 

2.  What has God destined you for?  Does this comfort you? Why or why not?

3.  What is the difference between creating your own destiny and stewarding your life?

4.  Are there desires in your life, that are hindering you from living as a steward and surrendering your life to the sovereignty of God?

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