Relationship between dream/vision and destiny – Prophet Jeremiah was informed about God’s plan for him even before his birth, describing his destiny to be a prophet. We generally hear people saying that God has given me a dream or a vision to fulfill and that is what I will achieve in my life. Destiny is the final destination of our life here on earth while a dream or a vision is about one particular event on the path of that destiny. Thus we may fulfill our dreams but miss out on our destiny.
Joseph had a dream about the eleven sheaves in the field bowing to his sheaf and then the sun, moon and the eleven stars bowing down to him (Genesis 37:5-10). Since this was about his brothers and even his father bowing down to him, they all hated him, for they were much older than him and also because their father Jacob loved him more than them. Joseph ‘brought a bad report’ about his brothers, while they were grazing the flock, to his father (Genesis 37:2-3). Jacob loved Joseph more than his other sons and made him a tunic of many colors which Joseph proudly wore to the envy of his brothers. This jealousy led to his being sold as a slave for 20 pieces of silver, being put in prison for a false allegation by Potiphar’s wife and eventually being called out by Pharaoh for interpretation of a dream and eventually becoming the Prime Minister of Egypt.
While revealing his true identity to his brothers, who could not recognize him, Joseph told them, ‘God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So it was not you who sent me here, but God’ (Genesis 45:7-8). Joseph’s destiny was not about the dreams but about the saving of many lives during the seven years of famine by becoming the Prime Minister of Egypt.
Saul, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin was chosen to be king but he hid himself among the equipment (1 Samuel 10:21-23). He was ‘taller than any of the people from the shoulders upward’. Saul had an impressive physique but he feared every challenge despite the promise of God to be with him. Prophet Samuel confronted Saul, the first king of Israel for not destroying the Amalekites and all that they possessed (1 Samuel 15:18, 23). The prophet warned Saul, ‘rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you’. He failed in fulfilling his destiny to be the great king of Israel.
Apostle Peter sought to know from Lord Jesus the destiny of the disciples for they had ‘left all and followed Him’ (Matthew 19:27-28). He was told, ‘when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’. 24 thrones are supposed to be around the throne of God in heaven and 24 elders, clothed in white robes with crowns of gold on their heads sit on these thrones (Revelation 4:4). It is believed that the twelve disciples are part of this group who worship the LORD in heaven with the angels. Judas Iscariot was destined to be in heaven and sit on one of these thrones but he did not care for the poor, ‘he was a thief and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it’ (John 12:6). Lord Jesus sent the twelve disciples, including Judas Iscariot with ‘power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease’ (Matthew 10:1-4).
Judas Iscariot asked the amount the chief priests were willing to pay ‘if I deliver Him (Lord Jesus) to you. and they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver’, the price of a slave at that time (Matthew 26:14-15). Attempts were earlier made by the Jews to arrest Lord Jesus, but they failed because legend has it that the Son of God had the ability to change His appearance and walk through them. Judas was to identify the Lord to the soldiers with a kiss for this reason. Later, he felt remorse for his betrayal of his Lord, threw the silver pieces back into the Temple and hanged himself. One of those silver pieces is supposedly preserved in the treasury of the Parish Church of St Asela in Nin, the oldest town of Croatia. Apostle Peter while speaking to the 120 for electing the replacement for Judas Iscariot declared, ‘he fell that he might go to his own place’ (Acts 1:25). Judas Iscariot missed his destiny and suffered the worst separation, for he dreamt of becoming rich on the earth while discarding the riches of heaven.
Satan was created first among the angels, ‘seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty’ and he was the ‘anointed cherub who covers’ and perfect in all his ways (Ezekiel 28:12-15). Satan was created perfect but he decided ‘to ascend into heaven, I will exalt above the stars of God….I will be like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:12-13). Filled with pride, he attempted to usurp the throne of the Creator Himself and suffered expulsion from heaven. Satan missed his destiny from the presence of God to be put into the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1).
Reasons for missing one’s destiny – The Holy Bible describes the creation of man as a three step process. The first is ‘briah’ formation of the human form dust of the earth; the second, ‘yetzira’ the creation through breathing into the physical form to make it a spiritual being with the breath of God and third, is the transformation and making of man which is the ongoing process from the Garden of Eden onwards. Since man decided to hide from God, he decided to take on the third stage in his own capability and the resultant chaos so pained the Creator that He felt ‘sorry that He had made man on the earth’ (Genesis 6:6). Man was destined to dominate and subdue the earth and exercise dominion over all that was on the earth and in the sea but due to sin came under the control of the devil and missed that.
The serpent was persuasive to Eve to eat the fruit and be independent and be your own god or remain submissive and under control of God. She and all of mankind are fed the same lie, to be under control and prohibitions or have autonomy to follow and enjoy your own pleasures and attractions. The third step of man becoming a true human being was thus interrupted. Apostle James is clear that God is neither tempted nor tempts anyone but ‘one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed’ (James 1:13-14). The choice before man is to choose between God and Satan.
On the path to destiny, the devil places many obstacles and God permits that for testing faith and fitness. The first step of Satan’s plan is to tie down a person in proving his identity to garner support. God subjected His own Son to face temptation and trial for His mission and Satan’s statement, ‘If You are the Son of God’ was followed by certain suggested measures to use that inherent power for personal advantage (Matthew 4:1,3,6). Transforming stones to bread to satisfy hunger, or jumping from the top of the Temple to prove His true identity to others and thus win them over was suggested. Lord Jesus did not even answer the first part for He was confident of His relationship with God the Father. The chief priests, scribes and Jewish elders challenged the Lord, ‘let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him’ as part of the temptation to save Himself and abandon His mission (Matthew 27:42).
Second, the devil always tempts a person to short circuit God’s timing to achieve his goals with the least effort and fast by following his ways. Satan showed the glory of all the kingdoms of the world to Lord Jesus and offered all that to Him as a reward for worshipping him (Matthew 4:9). Surrender and establish Your kingdom quickly.
Third, disclosing your dream/vision prematurely or to the wrong person – Satan’s all efforts are to oppose all those who are actively involved in the work of the kingdom of God. A vision or a mission is given by God to an individual and that is sacred communication. Once we share that information with others, you have violated the sanctity of that information and not only opposition from the forces of darkness will come as also support from God may not come.
Four, misinterpreting the Scripture out of context to suit personal need – A person after reading about the precious stones on the breastplate of Aaron, wanted to know if he can put stones on his finger as told by an astrologer.
Five, lack of commitment is another reason for one not fulfilling his destiny for God desires to reward our commitment to His commands – Many people believe that Christian life is free from all types of suffering and the promised ‘abundant life’ means prosperity and joy only. God sent His Son to ‘destroy the works of the devil’ and our efforts to win souls over as disciples is partnering with God as His soldiers. When Satan is opposing God, we as frontline troops will also face him and his tricks.
Six, following personal plans in their own strength –Lord Jesus called out to Simon and Andrew, his brother, ‘Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:18-19). The command is to follow but many times Apostle Peter tried to move ahead of the Lord. Apostle Peter tried to dissuade the Son of God from the sufferings of the cross (Matthew 16:22-23). Satan asked for Apostle Peter ‘to sift him as wheat’ (Luke 22:31). The Greek word ‘eksaiteomai’ means total handing over thus implying complete removal from God’s hands and to be put totally into Satan’s power and control. The most repeated verse is about dwelling in God’s secret place and to abide in His shadow (Psalm 91:1). But ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5) and darkness provides a shadow and this protection is about being under His Divine care. The moment we try and attempt to move ahead of God we fall into total control of the devil and all plans go awry.
Seven, disobedience –Prophet Jonah was commanded to go to Nineveh but he boarded a ship to go to Tarshish in the opposite direction ‘from the presence of the LORD (Jonah 1:2-3). His effort to flee landed him inside a huge fish in the sea and finally back on the God ordained route.
In fact God is reality and Satan provides only a perception and the serpent was persuasive to Eve and she allowed the temptation to define her rather than defining the temptation as a dialogue from God as preparation for ultimate meaning of their life. This is the mistake that leads us far away from our God ordained goal of life.
How to avoid going astray from our destiny? – There are some things about Judas Iscariot that are generally overlooked by all. First, he made a commitment and was with Simon, the Canaanite, to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out unclean spirits (Matthew 10:1-5). Second, he saw, heard and partnered with the Lord in all things for three years and witnessed all the miracles first hand. Third, he made the choice by opening a door for the devil by stealing from his Lord. The Savior Lord can win a soul without man first approaching Him while Satan cannot get a foothold in our lives without our going to him. Four, Judas opted to embrace the spirit of darkness and death himself by shunning the Light of the world and life. Apostle Paul provided the key to staying the course, ‘Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11:1). The Apostle has set a great example for all of us to follow for he lived his life in total commitment to the Lord and nothing could separate Him from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
King Solomon, had received the gift of wisdom from the LORD God and yet strayed and the kingdom was divided in two by his son. About the evil spirit of fleshly desires he has warned, ‘all who were slain by her were strong men’ (Proverbs 7:26) and the main mistake one makes is to treat the threat lightly. He provides the answer for staying on the right course, ‘lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him; and He will guide your steps’ (Proverbs 3:5-6). When we depend on God, ‘He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength’ (Isaiah 40:29). The inner purity is maintained not with own efforts towards righteousness but by knowing Lord Jesus ‘and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings’ (Philippians 3:9-10). His very purpose of becoming man was to be Redeemer of mankind and to bear in full the penalty of our sin, through His suffering and death on the cross.
We share in His inheritance, our ultimate destiny by sharing in His sufferings also, when we reach out to win souls and resist the devil in our daily living. When we surrender to the Lord every morning, the first thing we seek His guidance, help and strength to win the battles of that day. King David proclaimed God to be his ‘helper’ or ‘Ezer’ the one who upholds and protects, a role defined for the woman, the ‘ezer-kenegdo’ (Psalm 54:4). Woman is God given helper to a man and the command where ‘two or three are gathered together’ in His name the Lord is with them to stay on to the destined way.
Our destiny is already pre-decided by God for He has a great plan for each one of His created beings for He wants us to achieve all that He has decreed for us. On the other hand, the devil is perpetually engaged in ensuring that we stray from the path and lose sight of all else. The devil keeps bombarding us every moment to manage on your own potential and why harass God, the Creator, with small things. This is the great error of mankind that causes our downfall. God wants to be with us as per His promise and be a witness, participant and helper in every activity, howsoever small we may consider that to be and that is the key to success in God.