Destiny is about looking forward.
During my youth, I did everything I knew to fit in. As a result, I fell in with the wrong crowd, did the wrong things and was on the wrong road to my future. Had there not been a major intervention by God, I would probably have been dead before the age of 20.
But God did intervene. And today, as a pastor, I often encounter people at my church with problems similar to the ones I had in my teen years in Baltimore, Maryland. For years now, my message has never changed: God doesn’t make mistakes. He has never given up on you. God loves you and wants to see you fulfilled in life. God has a purpose and calling—a destiny—that He seeded into you when you were first conceived in your mother’s womb, and He is still holding it for you today.
When God looks at you, He sees your destiny fulfilled. Certainly, if you have wasted some years of your life, you may have to work overtime to still accomplish it, but God is still willing to spend the effort on you to get it done.
Destiny is not about where you have been; it’s about what you are doing now in the present to make sure you are headed where God wants you to go in the future. The apostle Paul seemed to understand this.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14, KJV).
Paul had been incredibly successful in his world. He came from the right family and studied under the right people. If there was success to be had in the Jewish world of Paul’s day, he had experienced it, yet when he talks of this, he says: “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:8).
He had accomplished great things, but he had also done horrible, unspeakable things. He had persecuted men, women and children because of his legalistic religious beliefs.
Paul had to forget these horrifying acts he’d committed and leave them behind. They were all forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and he had been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.
Although he had accomplished more worldly honors and done more ghastly things than most of us, Paul put them all behind him for the hope of accomplishing what God had set before him. We need to do the same thing.
If you need to turn your life around, then you can pray just as I did, and your change will start today. God still believes in you. It’s never too late.