January TMP Recap: Destiny and Divine Relationships

 
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On Monday, we celebrated our first 2019 monthly prayer gathering! From the very beginning of worship, we were invited to give the firstfruits of our praise and worship to God - for Him to have all of our time and attention. To have more of Jesus, we must give more of ourselves to Him. As we prioritized God and declared Him Lord over our communities and our hearts, we could feel our hearts aligning together for the purpose of glorifying Christ.

This month’s sermon continues in our series through the life of David. Through passages from Psalm 139 and 1 Samuel 18:1-10, we pondered and wondered upon divine destiny. If we truly reflected on our lives, on the Scriptures, we can see how God introduces Himself not only as Creator, but also as Author. Our lives are not a series of coincidences, but paths where each step has been designed and ordained by God, even the moments of brokenness and mundanity. Many try to create their own destinies; Christians get to discover theirs in Christ.

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How does one discover his or her destinies? By walking and co-laboring with Jesus.

How does one fulfill his or her destinies? Through divine relationships.

Divine relationships are friendships and relationships appointed by God so both individuals can encourage and build one another to be Christ-centered and Christ-like. Moses was destined to lead his fellow Israelites. But alone, he killed Egyptians and stuttered. He wasn’t ready. But when God called him, He also called Aaron. Until Aaron was ready, Moses was not ready. When Aaron was ready, Moses was ready. Likewise, when Paul encountered Christ, he needed Barnabas to be his brother and advocate.  In God’s kingdom, He places the right people at the right time for us to become who He called us to be. He calls multiple people to join together and build the kingdom. Without Aaron, there would not have been a Moses. And without Barnabas, there would not have been a Paul.

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In David’s life, we also see two people who shape David into a king after God’s own heart: Jonathan and King Saul. Jonathan, Saul’s son and heir apparent, grew up in royalty. He was well-educated, wealthy, and trained to lead as king. Yet, he was also David’s best friend, an ally and brother in arms. Although God anointed David to be king, David was still only a shepherd. He needed Jonathan to show him the ropes of a different world, to teach him how to run a government and to navigate royal culture. Even deeper, Jonathan could only mentor and love David to such a degree because he was secure in his own identity. Only when a person is secure in him/herself can he/she celebrate, support, and give generously to the people around them.

On the other hand, King Saul was an enemy to David. The rejected king is abusive, murderous, two-faced - he literally throws spears at David. Yet, Saul is just as important as Jonathan to David’s preparation as God’s appointed king. If Jonathan nurtured the nascent king in David, God used Saul to kill the prideful, self-reliant inner man in David.  Through threats of death, rejection, unjust opposition, David found himself in need of God’s presence, strength, and grace. Throughout the Psalms and the Samuels, we see David turn to and rely upon God more and more. This same truth is the same in our lives: some of our closest friends and family have hurt us, pierced us with their rejection, criticisms, and accusations. Yet, these marks left by these piercing thorns can be redeemed by Christ to shape us and lead us to Him and His destiny for us. We become like Christ as we are pierced like Him for His sake.

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During our time of corporate prayer, we confronted our lack of faith in God’s promises. For some of us, we had to confess that we’ve stopped seeking His kingdom first, that we’ve stopped prioritizing Christ in our lives. As we lifted up our prayers, we also thanked God for letting us be a part of His plans and purposes. We asked together for God to open our eyes and open opportunities for divine relationships in 2019. We asked to be people who could meet divinely appointed friends as well as becoming those kind of friends to others. Finally, we asked the Lord to forgive us when we’ve been those who threw spears at others. At the center of it all, we asked God to open our hearts and welcome the callings He placed on our lives. We enter 2019 confidently, rejoicing that God has written and established the steps of those who love and seek Him. We praise God for a beautiful time together.

 
esther chungComment