Presentation on theme: "The Destiny Trap. Destiny We all want to think that our lives count for something bigger than just the daily grind; something bigger; something that might."— Presentation transcript:
Destiny We all want to think that our lives count for something bigger than just the daily grind; something bigger; something that might even change the world. This is particularly true for us as black people who have had a history of being told we have contributed little or nothing to the world.
Destiny Indeed, God in the Bible tells us: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-12)
Bigger Question? There is a bigger question, even beyond the question of we African Americans in relation to the world, a significant question indeed that cannot addressed here. It is, will we as individuals or as a social group find our significance in God and His plan or will we employ God to realize our significance through our plan or some shared plan?
What is the Destiny Trap? The Destiny Trap – Thinking that God comes into my life primarily to cause me to find and fulfill my destiny in life and realize my potential. It is a trap because as a result: 1. The Redemptive Story of Scripture is subordinated to My Story. 2. Thinking and living a biblically grounded lifestyle becomes secondary, optional or a means to an end. This trap is particular tempting to a people who have struggled so much against a past that says “you are worthless”.
Destiny Trap Diagram Ordained WillPrescriptive Will (Hidden) (Written) Destiny (Promised Land) Heart (The Way) Our (Israel’s) Concern God’s Concern V o i c e / S i g h t P o w e r Word Believe/Obey W i l d e r n e s s
The Wills of God “The secret things (ordained will) belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed (prescriptive will) belong to us and to our children forever…” Deut. 29:29a ESV
Example – Ordained Will Samson – “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” Parents – “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?” God’s ordained will – “His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.” (Judges 14:2-4 – NIV)
Abraham God’s concern – I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers. (All the world would be blessed. 12:3) Genesis 17:1-2 (NIV) Abraham’s concern – Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety? Genesis 17:17 (NIV)
Samson Manoah’s concern – “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy’s life and work?” The angel’s concern – “Your wife must do all that I have told her. She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.” Judges 13:12-14 (NIV)
The Disciples Twelve Disciple’s concern – “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus’ concern – “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you : and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8 (NIV)
Observation When we focus on our personal destiny, we miss the Bible’s own story – the story of Christ coming into the world to redeem a people and to reconcile the world unto Himself. We miss how our lives fit into Christ’s purpose for His body as a whole and how our own story fits into His Story.
Destiny Writers Juanita Bynum – Walking in Your Destiny- How to Receive your Spiritual Inheritance Ministerial Destiny T.D. Jakes – Reposition Yourself- Living Life Without Limits Potential and Broader Personal Destiny
Books’ Characteristics Wealth of Practical Instruction Some of that instruction however is wrong. Obscures the Central Message of Scripture – Christ, His Person and His Work It’s a trap!
Bynum Builds an entire theology of leadership progression from the historical narrative of Saul and Samuel In the process it sets up pastors as OT prophets over individuals in the church. See handout (pages 42-43) Now look at the relevant passages Samuel 8-10 I Samuel 8:4-9, 19-22; 9:1-3, 15-21; 10:1 Saul loses his “destiny” because he failed to believe and obey the Word of the Lord. (I Samuel 15)
Jakes Gleans the Bible for timeless principles for getting out of our ruts in life and moving forward to self-realization. Engages in a reading of Scripture that obscures, perhaps even turns on its head, the actual message of Scripture. See handout – pages 81-83 Continue reading Luke 5:6-11
Jakes “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:6-11)
Pattern The Bible is primarily a handbook for how to tap God’s power and guidance. The Old Testament is used in an Exemplary fashion without the Redemptive-Historical connections through to the New Testament. It is one thing to explain a NT text with an OT example. It is another to take an OT historical text out of context and build from it practical instruction disconnected from the unique role that passage has in Redemption’s Story. It’s a trap!
Pattern This kind of perspective and focus can render you unable to actually see what the passage is saying by reading into and out of it these kinds of practical applications There is practical direction in Scripture under the heading of wisdom. Biblical Wisdom does not obscure the overall message of Scripture. It is part of the Prescriptive Will. It’s a trap!
Pattern The New Testament is constantly pointing towards Christ. It is Christocentric.
Gospels – Days of Noah "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:36-39)
Peter – King David "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.” (Acts 2:29-32)
Paul – Ancient Israel For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. (I Corinthians 10:1-4)
Paul – Abraham “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Galatians 3:13-14)
Marks and Consequences The Voice of the Heart trumps the Word in Scripture. Religious version of Self-Realization/Fulfillment. Has lead to the denigration and distain of ordinary but crucial aspects of life (marriage, parenting, mundane life building daily tasks, regular people with regular lives) Damages and limits the vision of life of the young - Pastor Sonny Oliver. Destiny focus obscures issues of character and holiness of life (unless they hinder your destiny) Redefines the role of the devil as Hinderer rather than Tempter. It’s a trap!
Cultural Shifts Earlier Concerns Character Holiness Integrity Manners Self-Sacrifice Heroes/Heroines Right/Wrong Hard Work Living Good More Recent Concerns Personality Wholeness Impression Mastery Self-Realization Celebrities Success/Failure Hard Sell Living High
What sets us free? The Call of Significance and Destiny in Christ “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified,” I Corinth 6:9-11a
Set Free to Be “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-- to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14
Set Free to Be “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I Peter 2:4, 9-10
Trinity – to His Glory Father – Calls and chooses us Son – Saves and give us His righteousness Spirit – Cultivates and works the fruits of righteous character into us. Through this way we live out our real destiny – members of a holy nation in a particular ordained context. All to the Glory of God