Prayer: Lord, all glory to you, please come and lead us today. Abba, I believe you have a lot to tell us today, please show us the Lord's will for us and move in our midst and our hearts. May you reveal your glory, may all glory be yours, and help me guard my mouth and the work that you are going to do among us. We thank you, and we pray that in the precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen!
This is my third time sharing on the topic of destiny. Through teacher Ming’s sharing in the first two sessions and the subsequent review, I wonder how far you have come in your understanding of destiny. If God has already revealed the direction of the road ahead of you, we give thanks to Him. For those who have not, we believe that He who seeks will find, knock and the door will be open to you, and He will tell you about His will in your life, and the direction in which He will lead you to walk towards your destiny.
The topic I want to share today is the journey leading into the land of destiny through His guidance. The most obvious example in the Bible is Israel. Israel was promised the beautiful land of Canaan, but they had to face a lot of obstacles in the beginning. After that they had to travel around the desert for 40 years, and only after one generation was dead did the new generation begin to enter the promised land.
When you are called to a destiny, it usually takes a lot of courage, just as the people of Israel had to go through a lot of obstacles to get out of Egypt. Getting into destiny also means that we have to leave our accustomed environment, and our old way of lifestyle, even to give up our homes, properties, and everything that matters to us.
There will be a lot of tugging, struggling, and pain emotionally, you may even encounter a lot of difficulties with people and the collective environment; Sometimes people's words in the situation will not only cause you in tearing pain but also cause you to feel that it is impossible for you to take the first step. You would even wonder if the choice of leaving your old comfortable life behind was worth it.
With His guidance, can we get to our destiny? Along this journey, you will be faced with many choices such as "Do I want to keep going or not?" Just like the people of Israel who traveled this wilderness road, do you have the determination to follow God's guidance with all your heart, soul, and mind? Sometimes you don't know where you are going; just like Abraham who was called out of the wilderness and didn't know where he was going.
When God says, ‘You will go where I tell you to’, but no one tells you where that place is. Also, God gives us a little bit of guidance, a little bit of forward movement, he doesn’t tell you everything all at once, but just a general direction. Once you step into the path of your destiny, you will also encounter pillars of fire and clouds to guide your way. Whether it's a vision, a dream, or the words of the people around you, they're all leading you in one direction. When you find yourself in a situation and you don't know where to go, you must pay attention to the revelation that God has given you. You must trust that He has given you the opening doors to go in this direction.
I believe that many brothers and sisters in this ministry have been molded into workers for His kingdom, at this time you may not be able to stay in the church where you came from. Some may feel as if they hit a roadblock, and that place was not able to satisfy them anymore.
In my previous church, I also encountered the same thing. I longed for a breakthrough in that environment, I longed to see a church that is full of His abundance, to manifest God's glory, I longed to see the marvelous work of God's Holy Spirit and even miracles. In fact, these glories were manifested in the church, but I just didn't know how to get them, and when I couldn't see them, I called out to Him, "God, where is your abundance?”
The local church I was attending initially did not teach about healing. However, when I found out that there was a healing program for believers to receive abundant life, I decided to join. When I started attending, God's miraculous works happened in my life. He began to close the doors of all my local church ministries, which was a great struggle for me at that time. In the end, I chose to talk to my senior pastor and told him that I had to keep going; and that I couldn't stay where I was. After I left the local church, I experienced a great deal of pain and suffering, and since then I have gotten to the first phase of my destiny-- the stage of healing.
2. Receiving a divine calling
After I had been healed for some time, a prophet suddenly told me in a meeting that I was to begin to receive the position of the Bride of Christ. At that time, I didn't know much about the calling of the Bride of Christ, all I knew was that during that period, I would often read some verses in the Bible, and the word "Bride" would suddenly catch my eyes. In my mind, I imagined a groom who has just gotten married, and how eager he is to go back and see his bride as soon as possible each day.
One day, there was an opportunity to listen to a sermon, and I didn't know what was going on, but it seemed like a flowing river started coming out of my heart. I sprinted out of the church into the woods; and when I came out of the path, I started to cry like crazy. I felt inside of me that there was a wedding, a wedding banquet. There were messengers going up and down, and there was a bridegroom in white; and he was Jesus, standing in front of me. Jesus Christ died on the Cross 2,000 years ago to chase after me, to love me, and to die for me, and when this revelation came, I was so moved that I kept crying.
3. Where to serve
There was a period when many organizations invited me to become a pastor. However, I soon had a dream that I was riding in a carriage and my mother was admitted to the hospital. I was waiting outside while she was getting her medicine, I saw a needle and thread on the road and picked them up. After that, I saw a lot of people in traditional costumes walking on the road.
When I woke up, I realized that God had already told me through a dream that I would do the work related to making connections in the future, which is to lead the traditional church into the new work of the Holy Spirit. However, the several churches I had kept in touch with are not related to the work of making connections at all. Only after I joined Omega Ministry, did I realize that this was the church I was called to serve to fulfill my destiny.
4. God's Preparatory Period for Us
Just as the phase when entering the wilderness was God’s preparatory period for the people of Israel, in the same way, we need such a preparatory period before getting to our destiny.
The journey in the wilderness took the Israelites 40 years. Why did God intend to set up this preparatory phase in the wilderness? The main reason is that God wants to train us and teach us. Deuteronomy 8:2-6. “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.”
Keep the commandments of the LORD your God, walk in his ways, and fear him. The purpose of equipping us in the wilderness is for us to come to know God, to experience God, and to let Him show us the way to a blessed life. This was His ultimate purpose, to experience Him personally.
Moving from a life in the flesh to a life in the Spirit, the wilderness phase will wear away our natural habit gradually, which is our carnal lifestyle. Deut 8:16 says, “He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.”
We do not only merely have an earthly life on earth, but we also have another life which is in heaven – eternal life. To enter this eternal life, we must first prepare ourselves, if we do not possess a lifestyle of living in the Spirit, there is no way to receive the blessings that God has given to us. Like the previous teachings I have shared about destiny; Regardless of which bible characters, Abraham, Joseph, David, or Jesus, they all went through trials and sufferings before entering destiny.
God knows what our character is like, in Deuteronomy 8:12-14 “Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Sometimes only adversity can root us in God. Learning through adversity is the lesson we are destined to learn throughout our lives. David went through four spiritual stages in his life as a fugitive before he became king.
First stage: Bethlehem
David was young and did not have any outstanding achievements, he learned to develop an intimate relationship with God at this stage. He herded his father's sheep in the hunger, heat, and loneliness, of the wilderness where the wild beasts roamed. What is worse, he was forsaken by his parents. Psalm 27:10 “My parents have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.” At this stage not only his parents but also his brothers and sisters had forgotten him. David’s parents had almost forgotten the existence of their youngest son when the prophet Samuel came to anoint him.
The years of loneliness, desertion, and hiding are necessary paths that you cannot avoid when serving God. Those days of silence, when you do a lot of work that is unseen by man, except your Heavenly Father knows about it, are a valuable character-building process in your walk with God.
My personal experience during the Bethlehem days is that despite serving the Lord for so many years, I still chose an obscure path. Although I had struggles and pains, often envying the gifts of others, envying the big and beautiful fruits of others, while my own fruits are all groundnuts and sweet potatoes buried in the ground... These Bethlehem days allowed me to rely on God and look up to Him alone, with my eyes fixed on Jesus, and build an intimate relationship with Him. In this relationship, I began to taste the sweetness of being with Him. Before this, I had been so concerned about what others thought of me that I often forgot what God thought of me.
Caring too much about what people think, naturally brings pride or shame. I was forced to look at God whenever I was put into a new situation. Finally, I realized who is my one and only in life. I realized it was God's great mercy and His love for me that He put me into this environment and situation. He allowed me to no longer identify myself with my tasks and accomplishments. Instead, I started to identify myself through the lens of God, e.g. the way He sees me.
Second stage: Gibeah
These were the days of service in the palace of Saul after the young David had the first taste of earthly success and praise. He ended up suffering from persecution and ostracism from his leader- the man who had authority above him. Along his journey into his destiny, David’s excellence was challenged and repulsed by his leader, after having tasted the success of his victory in the battle of slaying Goliath and serving alongside the king. Unfortunately, he lost his leader’s confidence. David was forced to go into hiding in the wilderness with many chasings and persecutions by Saul.
Even though David was under arrest and persecution, David didn't lose his intimacy with God. He didn't say, "I can't go back to shepherding because my status is different.” David didn't do that. This is what Paul said in Phil 4:12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Therefore, when we encounter the stage of Gibeah, one of the tests we were to face is that God intends to take down all the personal crowns from our heads. Then, you will once again humble yourself before God and become someone who relies on God and hides in Him to wait for His salvation.
Third stage: Adullam
This was a difficult phase for David as he fell from a glorious position into the cave of Adullam, experiencing the dangers of the sword, fleeing, and being hunted down. During the seven years in Adullam, he had to prepare for a life of escape as a fugitive. God's promises seemed to be very far away from him, He was full of complaints; he was sad and hungry; and even became angry with God, and felt as if he had been forsaken.
The cave of Adullam, a place of distress, was the place where God came to prepare David's life once again. Romans 5:3-6 “ Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”
After endurance, we develop the character of God. In the past, I used to feel miserable in times of trouble, like the Adullam situation. God's way of love is that He knows that you are unable to accomplish something, and He will equip and train you for it. After experiencing many sorrows at this phase, I chose to let go and let God choose my circumstances. When I encounter a difficult situation, I understand the fact that I can’t escape from it and tell God so. I chose to let go of my own dignity, self-righteousness, and the way I judge people, and I am willing to accept all of that and surrender to Him.
The Fourth Phase, Hebron
2 Samuel 2:1 “In the course of time, David inquired of the LORD. ‘Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?’ he asked.
The LORD said, ‘Go up.’
David asked, ‘Where shall I go?’
‘To Hebron,’ the LORD answered.”
At this stage, after David's seven years of hiding in the cave of Adullam, Saul died.
Normally, when people see that their hard times are finally over, they say, ‘I'm going to rush in and get my destiny, I'm going to take my place,’ but after Saul's death, David chose not to do that. He came to God and inquired of Him, "God, where am I going from here?”
By this time David had already occupied one-twelfth of Israel, but he still waited for God's timing to prepare him for his destiny.
He learned in this stage that human success is not the most important thing, human prestige is not the most important thing, and only God's love is the most important thing. Being a king or not is not the most important thing, it is God Himself who is the most important thing, and obeying God's command is the most important thing. If it is not God Himself, the destiny you seek will not come into your lives, and you will remain in the wilderness.
Stage 5, Zion
The fulfillment of David’s destiny was his appointment as the king of Israel when he entered Zion/ Jerusalem. He didn't do it by his own means, he didn't do it by force, he didn't do it by deception, he did it by the will of God. In the end, who is responsible for us entering our destiny? It is God. Since destiny is given by God, He will surely fulfill it, and you don't have to rush to get there.
When you are not in the position that God has given you, wait and God will help you. We often think that if we don't hurry up and do it, we're going to get caught up in the fear of losing our destiny. This is when we have to say, Father, ‘I'm entrusting my destiny completely into your hands, and I'm asking you to fulfill it Yourself.’
God put David on the throne in the right place at the right time because of God's love for His people in Israel. We also need to be clear that the honor of entering Zion is not for our personal glory, prestige, or enjoyment, but it means more responsibility, commitment, hard work, toil, and dedication.
Therefore, the equipment phase arranged by God in the preceding years is very important. Without the preceding days, there would be no Zion. In the days of Zion, we must be very careful of falling into the trap of people’s admiration, because once we fall, there is no way for us to get back to the position of honor in Zion immediately.
Like David, we go through different stages of our destiny: from Bethlehem, you start in the intimacy of God; then you go to Gibeah, where men affirm you; then you come to the days and nights of Adullam, where you are ostracized, misunderstood, denied, ignored, and even being envied, just as Saul envied David; and then finally we come to Mount Zion, where we are destined to be.
It turns out that every circumstance and encounter we experience is arranged and permitted by God, and we should be thankful for all the people and circumstances around us because it is what brings us to the destined place gradually.
Let us say a prayer: God, thank you for the path that you have prepared for us, the path that you have walked with us, the path that you have accompanied us. This path that you have shown us: where to go east and where to go west, thank you for allowing us to rely on your grace alone and to fix our eyes on you alone in our search for our destiny. Give us dove-like eyes so that we can focus on following you, cherish the circumstances that you have given us, and call you Lord alone. Thank you for blessing every one of us to enter the destiny that you have given us. We pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.