Choosing God’s Will and Personal Destiny

Mechanics who can fix our cars without aptitude and passion are a symptom of the darkness and stupor that covers humanity. In the same class are cooks whose food speed our trek to our graves, politicians who are self-serving and bribable clowns, children who dominate their parents, patriots with itchy trigger fingers, and selfish spouses. Finding God’s will is not rocket science and choosing to do it involves a great deal more than being a nice guy or complying with a hundred commands. In the world of tickets to heaven, membership in the church, nepotism, tradition, and blind men with visions, there are few individuals who  have found their personal call.  The passion of Yeshua of Nazareth shows us that self-righteous certainty about our calling is a childish and hypocritical game that few dare relinquish.

Twelve years old

Connecting with destiny then pressing pause for eighteen years may seem like unique path to take but it is a pattern of divine calling and timing for all people.

And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

Luke 2:42-48

Thirty-three years old

In the last year of his life Yeshua wrapped up his testimony by riding into Zion on a donkey, visiting the temple, and by preparing to lay down his life.

And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Mark 11:11-17

Passion for God

When our Lord realized that his life’s mission was imminent he prayed. His success was not only the result of thanksgiving. His victory in staying with the mission did not come easily. He prayed.

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

Matt. 26:36ff


He insisted on going through with his calling.

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Matthew 26:36-44


This is what shouldering the calling of a lifetime looks like. This is above and beyond our daily dying. It is not a cakewalk.

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Hebrews 5:7

Have you found your calling? Are you wrestling with getting it done? Does your calling involve your death? Does your calling make you “deadly sorrowful”? Have you been handed the victor’s wreath or have you said “I have finished my race”?

Whose name is in you?

SALVATION is not just an argument we make about human status but the person we need to make life livable.

A Samaritan woman’s testimony

We can pretend that we do not know his name even though it is in the highest place, higher than all blessing and praise (Neh. 9:5), and above every kind of authority.

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:21

Creative interests adorn the gospel; witness “y’all are a new creation”, not merely new items in the workshop. There is new status available: sons and daughters of God. We each carry a potter’s logo. His name identifies every vessel, every living stone, just as surely as name-glory distinguished Jerusalem, as surely as the name-excellence is everywhere. We are a new world order: a family grounded in God, not Adam.

God made us to be shepherded (Psalm 100:5). How many universes has any human made and how many angelic insurrections have we had to put down and manage?

Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:9

I embrace Peter’s caution about the necessity of “one name unlocking salvation for all humans”. That puts me at odds with all the faiths without malice or anger.

And Salvation is in him alone; for there is no other Name in the whole world, given to men, to which we must look for our Salvation.”

Acts 4:12

I pledged a long time ago, taking a cue from Paul (nothing of interest but the Crucified) to reject any theory that does not have the Son of David as front and centre, and him as A and Z. No one can survive the hypocrisy, thievery and robbery without him. No relief comes without his name.

Violence and Murder Inspiration

As news of another senseless violent incident reaches us we find that reflection on the history of human violence is helpful. Violence had a dramatic effect on the Creator of heaven and earth and a fresh start was his judgment. In the 21st century widespread violence and murder are complicated by the suicide of the perpetrators. There is a graphic illustration of this murder-suicide phenomenon. Judas.

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

John 13:27

Judas proceeded to finish his deal with certain of the leaders.

Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

John 18:3

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Matthew 27:5

I am suggesting that suspect #1 in murder-suicides demonic influence, if not demon possession.

Rebuked in Public

I have no idea how many of the politicians in Canada and the United States are regular churchgoers or how many are actually believers in Jesus of Nazareth (believe it or not, he is what church is all about). The spiritual growth rate of believers happens to be the interest of all church members. Correction and discipline are the bedrock of human development and only fools refuse or reject it. The men and women who bring to bear the discipline of the heavenly Father to his sons and daughters may have turned aside from loving God to loving the world, hence the most outrageous behaviours occur with regularity in public by public officials. If these officials are not church elders they all deserve to be rebuked in the weekly church service for their ungodly and wicked speeches and deeds.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. Heb. 12:5 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Heb. 12:6 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Heb. 12:7 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Heb. 12:8 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? Heb. 12:9

Hebrews 12:5-9

Finding a pastor who knows how to do this is worse than finding a needle in a haystack. To a man, they remain silent and so the bad boys club continues its filthiness unchecked. This is happening in nations that like the label “under God” and “carries the Cross”.

I am not holding my breath for North American pastors to deliver a father’s discipline to the brats of our 21st century reality show. Public statements by public figures properly labelling the departure from loving truth such as those by Mr. Romney are inadequate. The bad boys can pray that their sleeping pastors do not wake up and rebuke them in church. It only takes two of us to pray that this weekend the Father’s discipline will begin to reach public officials in the form of sharp rebukes.

Protest! Contend! Refuse!

I do not like to separate a message from its concrete business. I am deliberately highlighting Roman 12:2 without the context of human bodies – balancing our godward and community obligations – because the connection lends itself to the very thing we need to do but largely ignore. 12:2 may begin like the notable Sinai covenant with its Do not conform, but it rattles a cage we need to protest.

Do not conform to the fashion of this world; but be transformed by the complete change that has come over your minds, so that you may discern what God’s will is–all that is good, acceptable, and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Stop conforming! Cooperating with the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. The world wants us to adopt its wisdom, fashion, and goals, but we are on a different trek. Keep decreasing the readiness to shape our lives by what the world dictates. Knowing that friendship with the world demonstrates the absence of divine Father-love we mount a strong and sustained protest. Knowing that for the rest of our lives there is transformation and renewal we contend vigorously for growth in Christ. Knowing that the world will eventually turn on us we refuse to be turned on by its pretty pictures of shallow success.

Careful! Isaiah has your number

Isaiah is the salvation prophet of Old Testament times and he draws the fire of New Testament times observers who wish he has not asked. “Who believes our report?” is the dreaded question that opens his 53rd chapter. He also exposes the lipservice rendered by people in ancient and New Testament times who reject faith in God as all sufficient. By the time we arrive at the 5th verse – one of the iconic sayings in this passage – we have seen 17 actions defined.

  • verse 1: believe, reveal
  • verse 2: ascend, see, desire
  • verse 3: despise, be familiar, despise, esteem
  • verse 4: lift, carry, esteem, plague, smite, afflict
  • verse 5: pierce, bruise, heal

What we can learn from this small observation is that 7 of these actions are human and none of them are honourable, not even our seeing him, which does not end in desire for him.