We were created with a purpose to fulfill, a calling on our lives, something big or small, that God has created us to do.
Esther, a Jewish maiden in the Old Testament, provides a fascinating story of fulfilling one’s destiny. Through a series of sovereign acts, she became the Queen to King Ahasuerus. In the midst of this, the wicked Haman devised a plot to kill the Jews. Esther’s cousin Mordecai awakens Esther to the critical situation, and the challenge is for Esther to fulfill her destiny to save her people. Mordecai’s words ring out with destiny, ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.‘
Esther had a destiny to fulfill, but there was a cost to be paid.
The Cost to Fulfilling Your Destiny
For Esther, that involved a radical step of faith, to the point of putting her life on the line to go into the king when she was not invited. Knowing the risk she was taking, her response was to declare, ‘So I will go into the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’
The cost was a willingness to sacrifice all to fulfill the call. God is looking for radical disciples who will lay it all on the altar. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, declared, ‘I set myself on fire, and people come to see me burn.’
There is a cost of fulfilling your destiny. Anything worthy of the Lord will cost you something in terms of time – effort – money – sacrifice – discipline – dedication.
The Cost to NOT Fulfilling Your Destiny
Across my fifty years of ministry, I have from time to time observed people who had a definite call on their life, who were not prepared to pay the price and consequently settled for something less.
Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, tells the story of a young man, a coal miner, who, by studying at night school, became a lawyer. Then he received a call from God for missionary service. He even knew the place – Burma.
He went to missionary school to prepare for answering the call. There he met a lovely girl who also wanted to serve God in missionary service. They were married after graduation, but before their appointment to Burma, a small complication occurred. He weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces. She had a difficult labor, and it prompted them to postpone their acceptance for a year. But the next year brought a flu epidemic which nearly took his life and claimed the life of their little son. The overwhelming medical bills caused another delay, and to get out of debt, he worked hard in his law practice.
Then another baby arrived, and other circumstances delayed their going to Burma. When he eventually applied, Burma was closed to missionaries. His law practice flourished. He supported mission projects. Moishe Rosen tells about talking with this now elderly lawyer, who he greatly respected, he was told a shocking secret – one that the lawyer had kept from even his closest associates. He said I’ve had a happy life but not a joyous one. I’ve made and given away a fortune. I have the love and respect of many, but I did not fulfill my destiny. It’s easy to excuse myself by saying that circumstances dictated another call, but only in the last year of my wife’s life could we admit to one another that we had chosen to do the second-best. I am not unhappy, but I am not fulfilled.’
Then the lawyer spoke these words to Moishe, ‘I recognize that you are a man of destiny. You have a call from God. Don’t do anything less than what He has called you to do.’ He died shortly after that – without fulfilling his own destiny.
There is a cost in not fulfilling your destiny. May we not miss it but rather be like Paul and be able to say, ‘I have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision.’ Acts 26:19.