By Whitney Hopler, Crosswalk.com
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Tony Evans's new book, Destiny: Let God Use You Like He Made You, (Harvest House, 2013).
What does God want you to do with your life? Are you doing it?
If you’re not yet sure about what destiny God has for you, the answer doesn’t have to remain a mystery any longer. By seeking a closer relationship with your Creator, you can discover and fulfill what He has created you to do. Here’s how:
Consider why it’s important to start living according to your destiny. Living out your destiny will give you greater fulfillment, direction, stability, significance, identity, and provision in your life. Don’t settle for less than the best God has for you, which is to find and fulfill your destiny every day that you live.
Don’t confuse busyness with purpose. While it’s noble to be busy working for God, make sure that you’re seeking God’s will for your work rather than just jumping into activities that seem to be worthwhile. Too often, people spend their time and energy on activities that are good but don’t reflect God’s purposes for their lives. Decide to seek God’s guidance for your life every day.
Measure what you do according to what God has created you to do. Consider whether or not to pursue certain activities on the basis of how they will or won’t help you fulfill your destiny. Keep in mind that your destiny is “the customized life calling God has ordained and equipped you to accomplish in order to bring Him the greatest glory and achieve the maximum expansion of His kingdom.”
View yourself as God sees you. God has created you to be a masterpiece, and that’s how He sees you. As a masterpiece, you are: rare, special, valuable, named, and known. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of that every day, to help you live with confidence.
Seek God’s kingdom first in your life. Place your relationship with God at the center of your life and revolve everyone and everything else around it. Once you start making it your top priority to pursue God, you won’t have to struggle to find your destiny, because God will reveal it to you in the context of your growing relationship with Him. So make God the central focus of your thoughts, actions, desires, time, talents, and treasures, and expect Him to make miracles out of even the messes in your life.
Don’t distinguish between sacred and secular work. Realize that God has called all believers in all professions to advance His kingdom on Earth through their work. God can use your work in any field to accomplish powerful goals that have eternal value. Make a commitment to God that you will do all of your work – whatever it is – with excellence to serve Him every day. View yourself in the workplace as one of God’s ambassadors.
Trust in God’s sovereignty. Since nothing happens to you without God allowing it to happen and God is all-powerful and completely loving, God has a good purpose for allowing every difficult circumstance into your life. Whenever you experience something confusing or hurtful, choose to trust God in the midst of the situation, and ask Him to show you how to respond to it in ways that best fulfill His purposes.
Ask God to reveal your passion and help you connect it with eternity. God has created with you with specific desires and motivations; paying attention to those will help you discover what you’re passionate about. Ask yourself questions such as: “What captures my attention the most?” “What makes me feel alive?” “What would I choose to do if I could do any kind of work?” Once you’ve identified what you’re passionate about, consider how your passion connects to eternal values, such as those that the Bible describes. Pray about your passion, asking God to show you how you can pursue it in ways that will expand His kingdom on Earth.
Move forward one step at a time. Don’t wait to act on the guidance that God gives you about how to fulfill your destiny. God’s guidance will often come gradually, rather than in a dramatic vision that shows you everything you should do far into the future. Rather than letting your partial understanding limit you, respond to God on the basis of what you do know, trusting that God will continue to guide you step by step to encourage you to stay closely connected to Him.
Develop and use your natural talents and spiritual gifts. Ask God to help you identify the talents He has given you to use in the world and the gifts He has given you to use in the church. Once you know what these are, aim to use them as fully as you can every day, and as you serve you will be fulfilling your destiny in the process.
Make the most of your time. Every day that God gives you on Earth contains valuable opportunities for you to fulfill your destiny as much as you can. So maximize your time by presenting yourself as a living sacrifice for God every day, ready to say “yes” to whatever He may call you to do.
Commit yourself fully to God. Rather than pursuing your own plans, seek God’s will and do your best to follow it in every part of your life, without holding anything back. You can best do this by inviting the Holy Spirit to renew your mind daily, empowering you to replace thoughts that don’t reflect God’s truth with ones that do.
Cooperate with God as He trains you to depend on Him. Don’t fight God’s efforts to strip you of self-sufficient habits that negate the healthy dependency God wants you to develop on Him. Keep in mind that you can do much more while depending on God than you can ever do on your own. Recognize that your destiny will always be bigger than you, so you must learn how to rely on God to help you fulfill it.
Develop a lifestyle of worship. When you approach every situation in your life with an attitude of worship (honoring God), you will start to recognize God at work in your life and position yourself to hear from the Holy Spirit regularly, which will help you fulfill your destiny.
Aim to work for God’s glory rather than your own. Keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of fulfilling your destiny is for God to be glorified on Earth, leading people to seek Him and find salvation and redemption through Him. Check your motives for your work regularly. Ask God to root selfish motives out of your life and keep you focused on what matters most for eternity: serving God.
Tony Evans is founder and senior pastor of the 8500-member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and author of God’s Unlikely Path to Success and Victory in Spiritual Warfare. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 500 US outlets daily and in more than 40 countries. Visit his website at www.tonyevans.org.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Artem Kovalev