Jeremiah 29:11-13 (New King James Version)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
I have the privilege and honour of co-leading Windword church in Abbotsford, BC with my good friend and pastor Brent Borthwick, who used this quote in a recent Sunday morning sermon:
Destiny is only as big as you’ll let it be.
We were designed with limitless potential, the only limits we face are the ones we impose on ourselves. How many times in life have you heard or said, “You can’t do that, you’re too weak, young, old, inexperienced…” or, “I can’t do this, I’m too shy, nervous, small, etc…” Whatever the adjective we choose to hide behind, or choose to impose on someone, the result is the same: we either limit our own destiny, someone else’s or both.
Both? How can the limitations I place on myself, based on my own insecurities, affect the destiny of someone else?
Here’s an example to help illustrate how limiting your own destiny can limit the destiny of the people around you. If you are placed in a position of authority, and don’t fully embrace the destiny that God has placed in you, then the people he’s placed around you to help fulfill and empower that destiny can’t fulfill theirs. Likewise, if you’ve been placed in a position to support the vision God has given someone else, and you don’t fully embrace that calling, then you are limiting both the fulfillment of their destiny and the fulfillment of yours.
Another way we can limit destiny is by trying to hold too much for ourselves. Imagine your life as a tower in a city, and destiny as the stairs connecting each floor. You start from the ground up, gaining knowledge, wisdom and life experience. As you move upwards you accumulate various titles, responsibilities and positional authority…these are the things you carry with you, tucked in your briefcase, they define who you are, and what you do. If you become too possessive of your title, or your responsibilities, then the contents of that sleek, professional briefcase will begin to bulge and overflow until the classy gold clasps snap and you are forced to transfer the contents into a bigger, bulkier suitcase.
Burned out? You’ve probably been hanging on to way to many things! There are people behind you with briefcases filled with nothing but potential, ready to carry some of the load for you, to allow you to continue your journey to the top. If you try to push, pull or drag your baggage up to the next floor, you’ll likely just get stuck in the stairwell. You can’t go up if you try to bring everything you do or have ever done or accomplished up the stairs with you! Not to mention, you’ll be blocking the way for anyone else to go to the next level as well.
It’s hard to let go. I know. But it will be okay. You aren’t letting go of who you are, just what you do! The life experience, the knowledge and the wisdom gained goes with you. You don’t always know what awaits you, and even though you’ve gone up a level it may feel like you’re starting from the ground up again, but remember, the floor on this level is the ceiling of the level you came from.
When we release something we’ve birthed or carried for a time, something new can be released to us.
Eight years ago, when we were coming up with a purpose statement for Windword, we came up with this: “Empowering and Equipping People in the Pursuit of their God-given Destiny.” Destiny is to be pursued, to be chased, and we all can equip and empower each other as we seek it.
One more thing. We have the ability to change destiny. A simple attitude change or change in priorities can cause the path of our lives to shift, and this shift can range from a small correction to a complete change of direction.