Transformational Truths

Are You Living In The Destiny God Has Planned For You?

God wants you to live in the destiny He’s prepared for you. No matter how interested you are in living out His destiny for your life, God is exponentially more interested. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been on a quest for your destiny for years, only just begun, or never thought about it before; God has a destiny planned just for you!

Destiny is considered a course of events that will be defined by the end result. What does God want the end result of your life to be?

God’s destiny for your life is your receiving salvation through Jesus Christ. “ For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9

So the question is, Are you living in the destiny God has planned for you? Are you living in the place of deliverance from wrath? Are you living in salvation through Jesus Christ.

God says in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That means you cannot come into God’s presence on your own. There is no merit to enter God’s place of perfection on your own. Unless the course of your life is altered, the wrath of God will be your final destiny. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death (wrath), but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Your destiny depends on what you do with the gift of God, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was God, yet He decided to come to earth as a man in the form of a baby. When he was on earth, he lived a perfect life. He always obeyed the law of God. He had no sin, separation from God, until the day He hung on the cross and became the punishment for your sin. The disobedience in your life that separates you from God, was laid upon Him. Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead. It is Jesus Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection that makes the destiny of your life possible. (Philippians 2:5-11, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:5, 1 Corinthians 15:4)

Without the shedding of blood there is no taking away of sin. God accepted the shedding of Jesus’ blood as payment for your sin. The question is, do you? Are you confident that Jesus Christ is your destiny? Are you assured the way to God’s destiny for your life is believing on the Son of God to take away the sins in your life that separate you from God? (Hebrews 9:22, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Hebrews 11:6)

God willingly gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) The destiny God has planned for you is everlasting life. It is deliverance from the wrath of God, punishment of God, separation from God. “ For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9

Are you living in the destiny God has planned for you?

Read more – What Must I Do To Be Saved?

Transformational Truths

A SUMMARY OF Eight Steps for Thinking Biblically By David Barton

David Barton is the Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage. A national news organization has described him as “America’s historian,” and Time Magazine called him “a hero to millions – including some powerful politicians. In fact, Time Magazine named him as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.

Barton says Thinking Biblically first begins with thinking. He says “The more fear of the Lord, the better you think.” He points out the following verses in the Bible that tell us how to think.

  • Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)
  • Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • Take the helmet of salvation. (Ephesians 6:17)
  • That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24) emphasis added
  • For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)

TO THINK BIBLICALLY A PERSON MUST HAVE A RIGHT VIEW OF GOD’S WORD

8 PRINCIPLES FOR THINKING BIBLICALLY

1- ACCEPT GOD’S WORD AS INSPIRED

-Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:20-21
-All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

2- ACCEPT GOD’S WORD IS RIGHT, EVERY TIME, EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IT

-“I hold it my duty to believe not what I can comprehend but what my Maker teaches me.” ~Daniel Webster
-It has been said, “Put into practice what you do understand from the Bible and you won’t have time for the things you don’t understand from the Bible.”

3- ACCEPT GOD’S WORD MAY NOT MAKE SENSE, BUT IT WILL BE PROVED RIGHT

 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. Deuteronomy 6:24 emphasis added
-And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26 emphasis added
-Health rules now align themselves with health guidelines provided in the Bible.

4- ACCEPT GOD’S WORD GIVES GUIDANCE ON EVERY SUBJECT

-All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
-“The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.” ~Dr. Benjamin Rush (Signer of United States Declaration of Independence)

5- COMMIT TO READING AND STUDYING GOD’S WORD

-Make it a practice to read through the Bible once a year.
-Reading 3 chapters a day usually gets you through the Bible in a year.
-Purchase a One Year Bible which gives you a balanced breakdown of reading to complete the whole Bible in a year.

6- LOOK FOR PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

-“Read it (The Bible) with the intention of desire that it may contribute to your advancement in wisdom and virtue.” ~John Quincy Adams
-Look for things you can put into practice and do.

7- ACCEPT IF YOU FOLLOW GOD’S WORD, YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL

 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8

8- YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF GOD

-But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16
 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

Watch a presentation by David Barton.

David Barton is founder and president of Wall Builders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage. His presentation was at Faith Baptist Church in Knightdale, North Carolina on April 11, 2015.

Order Your Own CD Here
We regularly view the world around us through the filters with which we have been raised—the filters of culture, tradition, gender, race, or geographic regions; and too often we are not even aware of these influences upon our thinking. Romans 12:2 admonishes: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold,” and this CD presents steps for learning to think Biblically in every aspect of life. Approximate running time: 60 minutes; 1 CD.

Transformational Truths

LEARNING FROM A DESOLATE MAN’S PRAYER – HELPING YOU TO PRAY

How would you rate your prayer life? Are your prayers being answered? Do you think your prayers are effective?

Elijah was a man just like we are. He prayed earnestly that there’d be no rain. God answered his prayer and it didn’t rain for over three years. Then, he prayed again and God sent rain. (James 5:17-18) Elijah’s prayer was toward the end result. He wanted the effect of his prayer to come to pass. He prayed, was approved by God, and got his prayer answered on multiple occasions.

Another man in the Bible who was a passionate prayer was David. There were circumstances in David’s life that made him desperate for God. At one time in Psalm 143, David even describes himself as being desolate. He was forlorn, dismayed, appalled, isolated, bare, bleak, dreary. His circumstance in life had sucked him dry.

In this dry and desperate situation, what did David do? What were his actions? What can we learn about prayer from this man of humanity – like us?

Lesson One: Know Who You Are Talking To In Prayer

David considered the One to whom he was praying to be a God of faithfulness and righteousness. He addressed God as the “loyal one” who does everything “right”. David asked God to hear what he was speaking to Him not because of what David was saying, who David was, nor because of David’s dire situation. Instead, David requested a hearing before God because of God’s character of trustworthiness and justice.

Lesson Two: Plea for Mercy

David understood God was not required to answer him. The fact that David was a sinner coming before a holy God was at the forefront of his mind. Before David was able to ask for help for his current situation, he needed to ask for mercy from God whom he had trespassed from his youth. David understood all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23) David’s approaching God was not on the merits of David’s goodness, but on the merits of God’s mercy toward David.

  • Enter not into judgment with they servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. (Psalm 143:2)
  • Of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul. (143:12)

Lesson Three: Tell God All Your Problems – Causes Too

David told God what was making him so discouraged, parched, weary, overrun, dismayed. An enemy was after him. The enemy had worn him down. All the light David had was gone because the enemy had caused it to be shut out. He was way down in sorrow and despair with no life left in him.

NOTE: It is important that we understand the enemies we face today may not be people or people groups like David faced in Bible times. The three main categories of our enemies are The World, The Flesh, and The Devil. These are the systems, faculties, and dominions that tear us down, destroy us, and seek to end our very existence. These are the ones who fight against God and if we are on God’s side, they are fighting against us too. (Ephesians 2:1-3, I John 4:4, John 16:33)

What David experienced, he stated. He expressed his feelings, his thoughts, his circumstance, his needs, and all that was causing him problems.

  • The enemy has persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. (Psalm 143:3)
  • Therefore, my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. (Psalm 143:4)
  • My spirit faileth. (Psalm 143:7)

Lesson Four: Force Yourself Toward God

David used his memory, thoughts, body, and very life to reach toward God. He rehearsed in his memory what God had done in the past. The accomplishments God had performed from of old were readily in his memory. He thought thoroughly about all the works God had done since before the creation of the world. Physically, he reached up his hand as a way to reach out and touch God recognizing God was higher and wiser. Desire controlled him as he longed for God to come meet his desperate need. David trusted God and showed his trust by his moving himself closer to Him.

NOTE: Reading the first few chapters of Genesis is a great way to remember the works of the Lord. You can see how the Lord didn’t depend on anything to make the world and everything in it. The chapters will demonstrate for you how God created from nothing, made distinctions, worked with ease, gentleness, accuracy, authority, and order. God took emptiness and made something beautiful. We can force ourselves toward God with the same expectation that He will take the voids in our life and make something beautiful.

David passed the time of his desperation with fresh visions of God’s past accomplishments, works, and attempts to reach the God who could do the same for his dreary existence. He flees unto Him, lifts up his soul to God, and puts his trust in God.

  • I will remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. (Psalm 143:5-6)
  • In thee do I trust. . . I lift up my soul unto thee. (Psalm 143:8)
  • I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalm 143:9)

Lesson Five: Tell God What You Need Him To Do

David petitioned God for what he needed. At times David told God the benefit of providing what he asked. At other times, David warned God of the danger that would accompany not giving what was asked. David asked God for specific things, not a general “help me”. David had thought through his situation and presented to God a list of things that would aid him in his need.

The order of priority David asked God for what he needed is remarkable. David didn’t just ask for deliverance, he first wanted God’s hearing, God’s answer, God’s presence, and God’s voice. David knew that if he had these 4 things of God, he’d be able to make it. The prayer of David didn’t stop with those four things. Instead David made his prayer effective by praying to the end . . . have his enemies destroyed.

  • Hear my prayer. Give ear to my supplication. Answer me. (Psalm 143:1)
  • Hear me speedily. Hide not thy face (presence) from me. (Psalm 143:7)
  • Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk. (Psalm 143:8)
  • Deliver me from my enemies. (Psalm 143:9)
  • Teach me to do thy will. Lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10)
  • Quicken me . . .bring my soul out of trouble. (Psalm 143:11)
  • Cut off my enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul. (Psalm 143:12)

David ended this prayer with his allegiance to God – “I am thy servant”. In doing this, David left the results in God’s hands. David had asked God to hear quickly and answer. There is no record how quickly God answered David’s prayer. David continually stretched himself toward God to be aligned with Him.

In your praying, use these five lessons learned from the passionate prayer. Know that when you pray with fervency, God hears and answers. Elijah who prayed and it rained again . . . prayed 7 times before it rained. (1 Kings 18:42-45) The number 7 in the Bible means completion. He prayed until it was completed. I encourage you to keep praying . . . until the completion of your prayers is effective.

Written by: Anne Gurley (5/11/21)

Transformational Truths

WOULD GOD SAY “SO GOOD TO HEAR YOUR VOICE”?

How do you feel when someone you are talking to says, “it is so good to hear your voice”? Maybe you’ve been separated by choice or circumstance for quite a while or only a few days. Does it make you feel “special” when someone speaks the statement “So good to hear your voice”?

People who know you well can distinguish your voice from all other voices. Priscilla Shirer tells of her father and brother having similar sounding voices. She said that when people call on the phone, they thought they were speaking to Tony Evans only to discover after they had told their heart, they were talking to his son. Priscilla followed up the story with the fact that she never wondered who was on the other end of the line when she called. She knew them well and could distinguish one voice from another.

Ask yourself this question as we think through a passage of scripture.
-Does God hear my voice?

Psalm 55:17 says “Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and moan, and He will hear my voice.”

This Psalm is written by David at a time when some well-known to him people were opposing him. David was crying out to God for deliverance from those who were trying to destroy him.

We see from this one passage 4 things that will encourage us to pray.

TIMING

It is always the right time to pray. But sometimes when we don’t set aside time to pray, we don’t pray. David made a habit of praying evening, morning, and noon. The Jewish day began at evening, that is why the evening is shown first in this passage. A Jewish day went from nightfall to nightfall. Therefore, David was saying here at the beginning, middle, and end of my day; I will pray. If he had a cell phone, he would have set an alarm. If he had an appointment calendar, he would write in his routine prayer times. He made a point to invade his day with prayer.

COMPLAIN

This shouldn’t be too hard. Finding fault comes so natural to most of us. David described “what is wrong with this picture” before the Lord. He pondered the way things were and told the Lord how that didn’t line up with how God wanted things to be done. He meditated and thought through what his “gripe” was with God. David did not take out his anger on his enemy, the one doing him “wrong”. Instead, he expressed his dissatisfaction to God with the knowledge God could and would make all wrongs repaid.

MOAN

Great commotion was in David’s prayer. He was boisterous about his unsettledness with how things were going. David expressed his discouragement to God. Moaning is often loud and disquieting. Waves of despair described how David spoke to God. Prolonged sounds of suffering were part of David’s prayer. Repeated intensely troubled tones could be a description for how David communicated with God.

VOICE

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. David’s voice came from his heart. He was speaking to God in an audible voice that God could hear. David said “He will hear me.” This is a two fold meaning. David believed God would hear him. Secondly, David spoke so God could hear him. It is believed David wrote Psalm 139:4 – “Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, Lord, You know it all.” Although David knew God would know before he even spoke, David chose to make his voice heard to God.

How did you answer? “Does God hear my voice?”

Would God say to you three times a day, “So good to hear your voice”? Would he hear you share your meditation on how God thinks things should be, how they are not lining up, and your disquietedness because of your circumstances. Would your mouth declare the overflow of your heart that needs God’s deliverance and help?

Hebrews 4:16 reminds us “let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.”

We can be bold in our prayers, regular in our utterances, and boisterous in our gripes. God wants to tell us “So good to hear your voice”. —- and —– then He will show forth his compassion and benevolence to help us at our time of need.

BE ENCOURAGED TO PRAY!

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. But You, God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.

Psalm 55:22-23
Transformational Truths

Living the Abundant Life When You Are In a Rut

Have you ever been in a rut in life, a depressing time? Are you in one now? Do you seem to be in the “groove” of your dull, unpromising life? Have you stopped looking because all you see is “dirt” all around you?

I wonder where are you looking? Where are your eyes fixed?

Psalm 119:18 is a prayer, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” This is a request for God to let you see beyond your depression and into His wonderful rule and way for your life.

Jesus had a possible “rut” experience before him at one point.

(Jesus) taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.  For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.  And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”

Luke 18:31-33

The rut of Jesus’ life consisted of words like: delivered up to evil people, mocked, shamefully treated (some translations say scourged), spit on, flogged, and killed. Has your rut included all of those things?

Hebrews 12:4 says that in our difficulty, we have not had it so hard to the point of shedding our own blood. That thought doesn’t make it any easier to go through difficulty but it does gives us understanding. We understand we are not the only one in the rut!

What made Jesus get through the difficulty? What brought Jesus through the hard time, the depressing circumstance, the difficult cruelty?

He knew the rut was not the end. He added at the end of the horrible circumstance before him, “on the third day he will rise”.

We pray for God to open our eyes that we can see His plan. In His plan, 1 Peter 5:10, tells us “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Your end is not the rut. You too will RISE. Your end is a future, bright hope of spending eternity with God in Heaven where there will be no more tears. suffering, pain, ruts, heartaches, or brokenness. Nothing that kills, steals, or destroys will be in the eternal land where Jesus is.

My friend, as you are living in the rut of depression, difficulty, and what seems to be a dull, unpromising life, ask God to open your eyes. Ask Him to help you to see the RISE you will experience after the rut. Ask Him to enable you to see the wonderful things He has written in His Word that display before you the bright hope and future He has planned for you.

I’ll share a story I heard of a swimmer, Florence Chadwick from the 1950s. Florence was a very experienced long-distance swimmer who had mastered swimming the English Channel both ways. As the story goes she had planned to swim from Catalina Island to the mainland of California. The day of the planned event came. The weather was chilly and foggy. It was so foggy, Florence had a difficult time keeping the boats accompanying her in view. Fourteen hours later after emotional and physical exhaustion, she stopped swimming and was taken out of the water. The shore could not be seen at the time, but less than a half of a mile later, the shore line was upon them. Florence made no excuse for her failure to finish. She merely declared, “I think if I could have seen the shore I would have made it.”

Are you there? Are you in the great fog of your rut? Are you in the life that seems so dull and unpromising. Let me encourage you with the following:

  • Ask God to open your eyes so you can see the wonderful things He has written in His word about your future. Asking Him to allow you to see the “shore” of your finish line.
  • Keep looking past your circumstances to the RISE God has for you.

It is when you see the “end goal” that you can keep going. Jesus didn’t stop with the rut in his life. He looked beyond to the “RISE”. He didn’t stop on the hard things, the difficulties, and the troubles. He looked beyond to the “RISE”.

Run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Jesus endured for the joy beyond the rut, and you can too!
His resurrection power is made perfect in you!
Live the Abundant Life Today – The End Is Not The Rut!