We all know that how we respond to adversity determines our destiny. So press on and let God turn every past setback into a setup for a comeback!
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew16:23 (NIV)
Recently I found myself battling a mixture of worry, fear and discouragement over a direction I felt God leading me to take. It was like I had come to a roadblock warning me to stop and redirecting me to consider another way to go. You know how roadblocks appearing out of no where have a way of threatening your plans and upsetting your equilibrium? Especially when you are on a tight schedule and are already feeling pressed to reach your destination on time. That is how I felt.
First off, worry, fear and/or discouragement are often tip offs that a person is under spiritual attack. Our enemy the devil and his evil spirits work mightily using tactics like that to hinder us from pressing ahead into God’s will for our lives. In so doing they seek to not only thwart our plans but also to rob us of our peace and joy by undermining our faith. (Romans 15:13)
As I began to pray about what I was feeling I found the Spirit of God rising up within me to speak to the devil with the same words Jesus used – “Get behind me, Satan!” The more I prayed this, the greater the force and conviction of my words became and the more directive! I found myself moving from repeating “get behind me, Satan” to repeating phrases like “get out of my way, get out of my way” and “you are not going to block or hinder my future!” In the process I began to see with such clarity that the fear, worry and discouragement I was feeling were direct roadblocks thrown up by the enemy to try to stop me from pressing ahead into the plans and future God had for me.
There is both a mystery and majesty about the word destiny. In a very real sense it holds transformative power because there are moments in time in which circumstances and decisions can alter it irrevocably.
I still laugh when I think about George McFly’s attempt to impress Lorraine in the movie Back to the Future. “I’m your density. I mean…your destiny.” George’s dense introduction did not get him very far. But with some major help from Marty, his future son, George’s wish became a reality and the destiny of the McFly family, hanging so delicately in the balance, was restored.
When Simeon held the eight day old Jesus in his arms he was holding the child in whom the destiny of the world would one day be determined. He was forecasting that what people choose to do with this child will determine their eternal destiny. Destiny is a powerful word. A person’s destiny speaks of his or her ultimate destination. That is a sobering thought. Especially when you realize that there are only two destinies from which to choose – a falling destination or a rising destination.