Thursday, November 17, 2011

Destiny: Blessing or Curse?

“Destiny is for losers.  It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.” – Blair Waldorf

2Timothy 2:15-16  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Marcelo Almeida shared that quote recently.  It may not seem to go with the Bible passage quoted.  But, thanks to an online conversation shortly after I saw the quote, I got to see how the two are intertwined.  And we’re going to look at that today.
A friend of mine posted a rant that talked about warring denominations and pastors as greedy, lazy sinners.  Along with listening to God instead of men and their pet doctrines.  The wording and the emotion were a lot stronger than I described it.  Enough to get me to respond.  There were several points I think we need to consider.
First, I suggested that to say “they” were greedy, lazy sinners sounded like there was some difference in me from them.  If I say that, I take on the pride of the Pharisees and ignore what Isaiah 64:6 has to say about our own righteousness.  All of us.  So, those greedy, lazy, sinner pastors are no different in that respect than I am.  God’s just given them more and different responsibilities.
The second item in the rant was how pastors taught their pet doctrines and recommended the books that supported them.  What’s so surprising about that?  Certainly, if I believe I have a correct understanding of Truth, I’m going to want to share that, along with the sources that helped me come to those conclusions.  If I care about the people I share spiritual things with, I’m going to want them to be able to see the truths I understand in the same way I do.  Which makes my heart right, whether my doctrine is or not.
In my response, I mentioned God using Balaam’s ass to communicate.  If you look at enough pulpits, it’s easy to think that there’s more braying than praying and saying.  Some are just downright strange, others perhaps not sufficiently spiritual and some who get it right.  It’s very likely that who I consider to be in each of those categories will depend on my particular Biblical understanding.  Because our flesh has to be right, doesn’t it?  In truth, while I have a particular angle on Biblical Truth, I suspect we’re all going to get to heaven and be embarrassed to discover we’ve gotten something big totally wrong.
That Biblical understanding is where the quote and verses we started with come together.  Think about the final judgements.  Pastors are going to be accountable for what they studied and taught.  And the rest of us are going to be accountable for what we took in and how.  It’s my responsibility to find a good church, with a good pastor, and with good teaching.  I’m also responsible for what I take in on my own. 
I need to live in those verses in 2 Timothy.  Because I need to study out what’s being said.  Partly to test what’s being said in the pulpit.  Partly to give me a deeper understanding and closer relationship with God.  For myself and so I can share that with others. 
Whether we call it destiny, fate or the will of God, we can’t be passive about anything in life or our relationship with God.  If you look at some of the things we’ve shared recently, there are several things that become obvious.
  1. Since God is omniscient and omnipotent, He really doesn’t need our help,
  2. God’s plan is intended to bless us because He loves us,
  3. Part of God’s plan is to allow us free will,
  4. He won’t violate that free will, even if it sometimes takes us in wrong directions, and
  5. Because He gave us free will, God wants us to be active participants in our own blessing and in our spiritual growth.

We need to study God’s Word like never before.  It’s importance to our thinking, both now and eternally, is beyond price.  We need to stop waiting for blessings to drop in our laps and actively pursue them.  We can’t wait for destiny to give is things.  We need to be active participants in God’s plan for our lives.

So, what are you going to do, today, to kick destiny out the door?


A couple of prayer updates.

I've taken Pastor Tom Schaller off the list.  The prayer was for a sudden heart attack.  The implant of multiple stints has dealt with that.  And he's been doing well for some time, now.  But, from today's subject matter, we certainly ought to pray for every pastor, counselor and spiritual leader we can think of.

Three month old Olivia is still on the list.  But there's great news! Her one bout of chemotherapy has vastly reduced the tumor pressing on her liver.  So, for now, the doctors are going to wait on any further chemo and observe how she does.  Huge progress!  But there's still farther to go.


  1. I like your statement: "If you look at enough pulpits, it’s easy to think that there’s more braying than praying and saying." I have not heard that before; is it original to you?

  2. That came to mind from the Balaam's ass comment. The rest was the Lord leading me into rhyming to make it more memorable.