This morning Pastor Ricky spoke a message of encouragement. If you are just floating in life and don’t understand or recognize your purpose, may you know today that the Lord has had a purpose and a destiny for you from before you were even born. But before you can embrace His plans, you must first understand your worth and value. Otherwise, you’ll be lost trying to create your own destiny.
The Lord has had a purpose and a destiny for you from before you were even born.
Our first passage is from Numbers 13. Leading up to this moment in history, God has freed His people from bondage in Egypt, parted the Red Sea, and brought them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. He then instructs them to send twelve men into the land to scout it out, as He had promised to hand it over to them. But when the spies return, many of them are unsure that the Lord will be able to deliver on His promise to them:
Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” Numbers 13:26-29
Paradise lies before the people, yet they are afraid to take it. They recognize its goodness, but “nevertheless,” it also has overwhelming problems:
- The people who dwell there are strong
- Their cities are large and fortified
- There are many enemies living there
The Israelites had an amazing opportunity at their fingertips but they were afraid to take it. There are other modern situations where this has happened:
- Blockbuster Video executives had the opportunity to purchase Netflix in the year 2000 for the price of $50 million, but they decided it would be a terrible investment. Today Netflix is worth $115 billion.
- George Bell had opportunity to purchase Google for $715,000, but he turned it down. Today Google is worth $101 billion.
- Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommate, Joe Green, had the opportunity to partner with Zuckerberg at Facebook’s conception, but after Green consulted with his father and received a caution in moving forward, he declined. Today he’d be worth $25 billion.
God had promised the Israelites that this land was theirs and that He would be with them. Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, kept this godly perspective.
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:30-33
Joshua and Caleb know their position with God as victorious conquerors and they know that God is calling them to their destiny. They know that they can trust God no matter what their findings in the land they scouted. But the other ten spies have a persistent rebuttal of fear because they allow their own experiences and knowledge to override the truth of who they are. Consequently, they would never enter the Promised Land.
Pastor Ricky shared that when he was in fourth grade, his teacher called him a menace and pronounced that he would never amount to anything. He believed her and struggled all through his schooling. He floated to junior college with no real plans for his future, and a counselor there told him he seemed to be a “lifetime student,” meaning it would take a lifetime to achieve a degree. Then at age 19, Ricky met Jesus and his life changed. He finally understood that the words of others and even his own beliefs about himself didn’t define who he was. He realized that God created and designed him and that he was loved and valued beyond the grains of sand in the sea. Because God loved him and wanted a relationship with him, Ricky finally had an understanding of his true worth. He went to Bible college, graduated, and dedicated himself to the work of the ministry.
It was not Ricky’s environment that changed him, but the Spirit of God and a new godly perspective. Take note of your own self worth; how do you see yourself? Are you afraid to say you are a powerful, valuable child of God?
The book of Hosea reveals God’s perspective of His people when they do not know their own worth. Hosea was a prophet to whom God gave an extraordinary, difficult assignment. Hosea was a distinguished, respected man of God, yet God asked him to go and find a prostitute named Gomer, marry her, and have a family with her.
Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. And I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.” Hosea 3:1-3
Hosea does all of this, and when Gomer is pregnant with their third child, God reveals that it is another man’s baby, as Gomer has been unfaithful. She then leaves Hosea and the children and returns to a life of prostitution. The law at the time justified Hosea to order his wife’s death for these actions, but instead, God reveals to Hosea where Gomer is, for sale once more, and instructs Hosea to buy her back.
Gomer leaves something good because she is so uncomfortable being loved and accepted, trying to be a wife and mother while her old self still calls to her. Yet Hosea obediently finds Gomer and buys her off the auction block, takes her hands and speaks promises of love and devotion once again.
You are not the sum of your mistakes. Instead of going down a road of destruction, pain, and sorrow, embrace your identity as God sees you.
God had this assignment for Hosea so that Hosea could be a physical representation of God’s love for us. God looks at you with the same love and devotion. You are not the sum of your mistakes. Instead of going down a road of destruction, pain, and sorrow, embrace your identity as God sees you, His beloved child whom He would buy back and redeem even after you have run away from Him.
Today is the day to follow the examples of acceptance set before you in God’s Word. Let go of your own beliefs about yourself and accept who you are in Christ. Your value is much greater than you think! Know that you are perfectly and wonderfully made, knit together for a divine purpose, and embrace the destiny that God has for you!