Healing•Recovery • 4 minutes to read
Recently, I had the task of combing through boxes and boxes of items that had accumulated in the attic over the past 25 years. I came upon at least 800 pictures of the people that, for the most part, I had never met or will ever know (seriously, 800!). Pictures inherited from my parents and grandparents. Few were labeled and, unfortunately (and sadly), many had to be tossed out. Beyond the photographs were other items I had held on to. One in particular caught my eye. It was a letter I had written and dated March 8, 1992. The paper was titled “I Have A Destiny” and was based on a sermon delivered by Pastor Ted Roberts. The letter contains a roadmap to the fulfillment of my hopes and dreams.
Upon seeing the nearly pristine 29 year old paper, I was excited to read it because in the spring of 1992 I was a very different person than I am today. Early in ‘92, I had not yet committed my life to serving Jesus Christ (which would happen later that year). I had been married less than two years, was still attending the university, and our first daughter wouldn’t arrive for another four years. The last full time job I had? Driving a truck and delivering packages of beer. In 1992, my wife and I were living in inner Southeast Portland about a mile from a major, and very loud, train switching yard. Rent was affordable. I was only beginning my adult life and, to say the least, I was very uncertain about the future!
So what is written on the two pages I held on to for nearly 30 years and that helped lend focus to life? The words are simple but they have had a profound impact on my life and the lives of others. What is written is a prayer and a prompt. Both have provided clarity, hope, and promise; and if you choose to claim and walk out your own prayer and prompt, perhaps it will lend guidance toward your destiny too.
What prayer helped guide my life?
“Lord, could you please help me to understand what you had in mind when you made the original me?”
Seems simple enough. In the counseling setting, I will often convey to others that God’s plan for their life has never changed. And it never will. The potential, the blessing, the gifts, and the talent God placed within us is still in there! Waiting to be called forth. We just need to catch a vision and then be obedient to His prompting.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
In the tension of living in a fallen world, interference can easily disrupt our “God trajectory.” Relationships, experiences, memories, limbic lies, and busyness can hinder us and push us away from a clear view of God’s plan and design. But God’s word is true and eternal and it is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Take a moment and reread the prayer. From a posture of humility. Quiet the interference. Receive a word from Him. It may take time. It did for me. Keep the prayer close by. Petition the Lord. He is with you, for you, and He hears your prayers.
The next line in the letter reads: “God’s goals (plans) are built within me.” Please keep in mind the person writing these words had no spiritual guide for 31 of his 32 years. No apparent relationship with Christ. No understanding of the Bible. No history as a faithful believer. But something had taken hold. The Holy Spirit had intervened though others to reach me. The same gift, His plan for life, is available to you.
Closely connected to the prayer is a prompt. A call to action. And a response to the prompt will help lend direction to life. What is the prompt that can place a person on a new path and grant clarity and vision to life?
“If I could do anything I wanted to do for the glory of God, what would it be?”
Again, not an overly complicated question but one that will require time, attention, and focus. And a plan. If a person ever wants to fully step into the design the Lord has for their life, they must address this question within the context of the prayer and the answer will align with God’s original plan for their life.
Please keep in mind, the unfolding of your God-given destiny will take time. You will not immediately arrive at the destination. Life is about the journey. About the moments of joy. About contentment, peace, tenacity, and love. Life is about learning and growing. It’s about becoming the man or woman that God designed you to be before you were even born! Again, that plan has never changed and the outcome is worth the effort. Go after it!
Why am I convinced that a prayer and a prompt can help others? It was 30 years ago when I heard that sermon and I could not have imagined the level to which the Lord has chosen to bless me as I have been obedient to His prompting. Not because I’m special but because He loves me. And He loves you, too.
So what was my prompt from 1992? In its purest form, my prayer and prompt (and destiny!) is all about doing relationships well. About becoming an encouragement to others. About loving well. About involvement in a community. Which is a HUGE paradigm shift from the pain, bondage, and selfishness I experienced in my pre-Jesus days.
May you be encouraged by your own prayer and prompt. May you claim His plan and His destiny for your life. May His peace, love, and guidance be with you today and into eternity.