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Creating our destiny
- Jacob Ninan
Slick preachers and self-help gurus promise us that we can be the masters of our destiny. Is this true? Many times truth gets distorted through taking only a part of it, extrapolating it beyond its validity, or mixing it with error or some other unconnected truth. This is what seems to have happened in this case. That is because, instead of standing firmly on the foundation of the Scriptures, people have allowed other ideas to get mixed with the truth.
In the larger sense, our destiny is entirely in the hands of God, who created us, caused us to be born to parents of His choice in some place of His choice and at a time of His choice. He overruled on all the situations we have faced in our life and watched over our training and preparation. And even before we were created, He foreknew the master plan for our life which He recorded in His book (Ps.139:16).
Yet God has created us with a certain level of free will, so that we have the ability to make choices about what we would do. Therefore He holds us accountable to Him for our life (Ro.14:12). Many of us have misused this freedom and messed up our lives to greater or lesser degree. The point to consider is what we would do now with the rest of our life.
Many preachers and teachers, aided by 'pop' psychology and New Age philosophies, are emphasising man's role in the shaping of his destiny, and 'God' practically becomes a tool in man's hands to be used for this purpose. People want wealth, fame, pleasure and 'happiness' which is defined as absence of problems. These teachers tell us to define our goals, and devise ways in which we can attain to these goals. Those who believe in God are encouraged to use God's power and promises to make their dreams come true.
Some of the tools include 'claiming' God's promises that relate to prosperity, 'releasing' our faith through our lips, denying every 'negative' thought or word, and setting things into motion so that God now has to act according to our desires.
Now, what about seeking God to find out what He would have us to become and do, and then choosing to go in that direction in His strength?
The difference between the two approaches is who is calling the shots and who submits. If we give Jesus the duty of 'saving' us and tell Him what we want, isn't that different from coming under His lordship and submitting to His plans?
When we read about life and death being in the power of the tongue (Pr.18:21;Jas.3:5), we understand that what we say can have good or bad consequences. For example we can build friendship or cause enmity by using our tongue. But if we misinterpret it to mean that we have the power to make happen what we want by speaking with our tongue, we are making ourselves 'gods.' On the other hand, when we submit to God and speak and do according to His ways we allow Him to accomplish His purposes.
Some may think this is splitting hair. But you will see the point if you think about it. The two ways glorify either God or man.