The Future Factor and Your Personal Destiny
How do we cope with the future factor challenge when it involves our personal destiny?
When God speaks a word about our ministry, vocation, or calling, most of the time it will not be immediately possible to step right in and do it. What we can do is embrace what He is telling us and begin to align ourselves with however much of the plan He is currently revealing to us.
In most cases, we can’t just sit around and wait for God to drop whatever He has spoken to us into our laps. People who do that end up missing what God has for them in the now. They also miss the road to their future.
To a point, we can take appropriate steps to prepare for what’s coming, whether by educating ourselves, getting our finances in order, or asking our pastor to assist us in growing into our place of ministry. But practical preparation alone is not usually enough. Most of the time, the role God is giving us must be worn on the inside long before we are able to wear it outwardly, where everyone else is aware of it. We begin to “see” ourselves doing the things which God has spoken to us of, and we develop the mindsets that go with our calling.
Inevitably, over time, we begin to step into God-given callings in the material world, which in an overall sense is what should happen. But there will be occasions when we will quite naturally step into them prematurely, causing others to raise their eyebrows and wonder what we are doing and who we think we are.
If you have a pastoral calling, it is going to show up in how you relate to other people long before that office has been officially given to you. You will probably be the one who makes newcomers at church feel welcome. People may call you or come to you for counsel, sensing that you care and that you have the wisdom to help them. But you might find yourself at times taking on responsibilities that aren’t rightfully yours yet – things that you should have left to recognized church leaders.
Teachers-in-the-making will sometimes be wrongly viewed as know-it-alls, when that is the furthest thing from their hearts. While God is still in the process of rubbing their rough edges off, and long before they are perceived by one and all as teachers, they start stepping into their God-given giftings. Because they really are teachers, they start to sound like they are teaching, even when they are not trying to. And that will sometimes offend others.
When God first spoke to me about my husband and me having a primary call of armor bearers to our pastors, He gave some specific details of how that would be accomplished. I did not see a whole lot of tangible ways to do the things I was hearing. But the Lord said to live it in the spirit first, which involved much prayer support for them and a deliberate aligning with their vision. He said the practical details would follow. By wearing that role on the inside, I began to develop a consciousness of little ways to work it out in everyday practicalities — and sometimes I went overboard in stepping into those things prematurely or immaturely. I got some criticism from people who didn’t have my inside info from the Lord.
So, unless you are a perfect person, you are going to make mistakes and get yourself into a little trouble here and there, all because you are living futuristically. Others are not always going to understand. They may think some of the things you do and say are odd – even arrogant. And they may criticize you. There’s really nothing wrong with you: it’s just that your time zone is ahead of theirs. None of us have life so together that we will get all the timing exactly right.
We will finish talking about how our future factor works with personal destiny next time.