It was probably the worst day of my life. I had no idea as I woke up that morning what was coming.
If I had I would probably have stayed in my bed! As far as I knew, it was just going to be another work day with a lunchtime appointment at the fertility clinic with my wife, Lynley. We had been trying to start a family for two years without any success and so had come to the fertility clinic three months earlier for their help and advice. As Lynley and I sat in the doctor’s office, we were fully expecting to hear about what our next treatment would be. Instead they gave us some devastating news. The doctors had discovered that we both had fertility issues and the combination of these meant that we could never have children together by natural means.
We hardly had any time to take in the implications of that statement before we had to be back at work. As a logistics manager I could control the running of a complex international business with complicated distribution, transport and storage requirements. But now I was seriously out of control in my own life, out of control of the complexities of the human body, and out of control of all the plans Lynley and I had of settling down to have a family.
This was all happening at the time when John and Carol Arnott were in New Zealand for a 40 Days Ablaze conference. And we were due to minister that very night at the conference. All our life plans seemed to have been wiped out in the time it took for one lunchtime appointment, and all I knew to say was, “God I choose you.”
Disappointment To Destiny
During worship that night I cried out to God. I made a determination in my heart not to allow bitterness and anger to creep in. It was a make or break time, and we decided to go after God 100%. More than ever, we knew that He was all we had. Out of this place of desperation, God set us on the track to a destiny that is bigger and more surprising than we could ever have anticipated. Our destiny was birthed in intimacy with Him. We didn’t ask for Him to show us plans or strategies or vision, we just asked Him for His best, His plan “A” for us. We kept pressing into Him, and then the doors started to open through no effort of our own.
In 1997 God spoke to us clearly about coming to the School of Ministry in Toronto. We went through the school and were asked to stay on as temporary staff. Then we became assistant directors, and just two years after we began at the school, we were appointed as the school’s directors. For an ordinary “Kiwi” guy who’d never led anything in church, not even a cell group, to become a director of a ministry in just two years has to be God!
The even stranger thing is just how easy it felt. I’ve just been walking along with God, pursuing Him, and everything has just happened around me. I’ve never pushed my own agenda. I never asked for promotion in the kingdom. God Himself has made a way for me. I know people who are more qualified than I am to do my job, but it’s not about me or my talents. It’s about God choosing you.
I know that I’m walking in my destiny because God has so clearly orchestrated it and also because of the vision and passion He has given me for it. But it’s the fruitfulness that is the real confirmation to me. If you are walking in your destiny you can tell by the amount of fruit that is growing up around you. And being fruitful is highly satisfying because your destiny is personally fulfilling.
I believe the anointing of God will make way for you. In other words, God’s anointing on your life will open doors for you. Psalm 138:8 says, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me. Your love, O Lord, endures forever.” That has certainly been my experience.
When Doors Don’t Open
But what about the times when the doors aren’t opening however hard you push on them? There are no pat answers, but if the doors aren’t opening, I would question whether you’re pushing on the right doors. Or perhaps you aren’t ready yet to walk through them. Bad character will shut more doors than good character will open.
Both you and God have a part to play in your destiny.
God creates the plan and gives you the gifting and commissioning to fulfill your destiny. Your part is to go after intimacy, character and preparation and to live in obedience and faithfulness. Living by kingdom values is essential to releasing the anointing of God on your life. To really live out values such as mercy triumphs over judgment, that love is above all things, that relationships are primary and that God upholds the humble all require dying to self. But the insecure self isn’t very happy about dying, but as we do, we find our identity and security in him.
A Revealing Vision
That security came to me when I had a revelation of God as my Heavenly Father. It all happened in a vision. In this vision I saw myself as a young child of 5 years old. It had been a time of life when I was having recurring nightmares. Jesus met me there in my need and asked me a life-changing question. He asked me if I wanted to meet His Father.
In the vision I went with Him to the Father, and I saw the amazing bond of love and security between them. I wanted this but was afraid I would be rejected. Then Jesus asked me if I wanted to ask His dad to be my dad, too. I pushed through the fear and said, “Yes”.
Immediately the Father reached for me and placed me in a backpack where I could see over His shoulder. I used to love standing on the back seat of the car looking over my Dad’s shoulder. I loved being that close to Dad, feeling safe and watching what he was doing.
In the vision, the Father then took me into a room where there was a huge boardroom table where the business in heaven was conducted. The Father sat at the head of the table with me on His back. Angels sat around the table. One huge angel on the Father’s right leaned over and asked Him, “Who is that?” The Father sat up proudly and said, “This is my son. Get Gabriel, sound the trumpet. This is my son”. I was overwhelmed with the sense of belonging, and I cried out, “I belong!” The words sank into in me and brought a deep sense of peace and security.
Now I know that the more secure I am in God, the more I can embrace His values of love and humility and consequently, the greater the anointing and fruitfulness in my life. This security and healing comes through intimacy with Him.
Intimacy + Character = Destiny
The starting place for our destiny, as with everything, has to be relationship because God created us for intimacy with Himself and with others. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37- 40.)
The kingdom of God is all about relationship.
Ultimately we all have the same destiny: to be both a son of the Father and a bride for the Son, although our individual paths to this place will be very different. Our destiny is more about who we are than what we do. More specifically, it’s about our relationship to Him. It all comes back to Him.
In spite of all the opportunities that He has opened up before me, the thing I hunger for most is more of Him. As I think ahead to what my future could possibly hold I’m not thinking about jobs or positions or locations, I’m thinking about how close I can get to Him. Close to Him is right where your destiny starts. There is so much hope for you even if you feel right now that all the doors are slammed shut. The biggest encouragement I can give you is to pursue intimacy with God and healing for your heart. Get close to Him, embrace His kingdom and His values, and then you will see the anointing make way for you. Your greatest disappointment in life, as it was with me, can be the diving board to finding God’s destiny for your life.