Have you ever wrestled with trusting God with your destiny?
Have you ever wrestled with just trusting God, period?
You’re not alone in this journey. Let’s go back to the beginning, when even time was young, to discover whether God’s destiny for us can be trusted. For as so many others have questioned—is God’s destiny a prison or a partnership?
Once upon a time there was a wilderness. Then there was a man. Then there was a talking serpent…?
And a forbidden fruit.
But before that part, there was God, plenty of dust—from the ground—and His magical breath.
Ehm, please pardon my error—His POWERFUL breath. Yes, because this isn’t a Disney fairytale fraught with snake-tongued witches and poisonous apples.
Anyway, you know how the story went.
In a beautiful garden, God saw it fit to put this man into a deep sleep—without the help of anesthesia—and when he awoke—without the help of a true love’s kiss—true love was waiting for him given by Love Himself.
If I try to wax poetic it would be something like this…
—But consider yourself warned, there’s great onslaught of cheese a-coming—
When a man loves a woman…
(Baby boomers, hear that gritty tenor of Percy Sledge?)
Like the sun holds the moon she holds his being
Capturing his eyes, the gates to his soul,
Soul—womb for the heart;
Heart—home of springs of life
Without which only leaves
A dust shell of a man
Yes, that didn’t rhyme, but you get the point. (If you’ve recovered from all that cheese, well, by all means, carry on).
My point is, when Adam met Eve, he never had a chance. From the beginning he was done for and he didn’t even know it. One perspective may argue that it hardly seemed fair except that was exactly what destiny seemed like—beyond mankind’s control… And for Adam, literally translated ‘mankind’, he was destined for Eve. Without his permission or pardon. Think about it. God never even asked Adam’s permission whether He could go ahead and form Adam as “male”, let alone give Adam an option for marriage. Seems like there are some things in life that are beyond the limited understanding of human beings and can only be unlocked in the sovereignty of a limitless God.
Now, mankind’s response to destiny is something else altogether. Responding, on the other hand, is within our mortal reach, something we can control. For example, powerless as we were against the tectonic floodwaters in Noah’s time, we are powerful to disregard, reject, and even squander our destiny. Or we can yield to it and steward it the best of our abilities.
It’s all throughout the Bible. Like Jonah, some run from it. Some took it for granted, like Samson. And some, like Adam, never saw it coming. Until it did.
And he sure went, “Whoa-man!”
(I hope you got that…)
Here’s that other perspective; Adam didn’t complain that he never had a chance. He was delighted.
It’s quite bizarre at times how unyielding, desperate, even violent, we become to protect our right to choose. Though it is in fact quite commendable, especially when faced to choose between choices that would seal irrevocable results. We would fight for that God-given right, as we should. In our basic instincts, we like to be not only our own ruler over the right to choose, but also the right to choose to choose. It’s quite simple, really, as to why… Because God made us that way—Creatures of free will.
Among the greater and countless gifts that God had bestowed upon mankind that proves His vast love is free will (aren’t you happy that He didn’t make us robots!). And a worthy gift that fragile humanity can give to an immeasurable God is that same free will. Jesus embodied this perfectly for on the eve of The Cross, in a different garden, Jesus, known also as the Second Adam, prayed, “Not my will but Yours be done…”
How then can we arrive at such a place? To freely give, relinquish our right to choose?
Would such a place be a liberating one, or would it be imprisoning—even tormenting slavery?
In that perfect world, before the evil one entered the garden and sin entered the world, Adam completely trusted God and never questioned why God did not give him the chance to choose whether he can choose a life with a wife or not. For Adam was alone then one day he was not, because God decided, not Adam, that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. I mean, men, isn’t that awesome! Imagine a world without women or children… Yupe. Nope.
And never did God violate Adam’s free will. Just like his free will was a gift, Eve too was one, because God is good and He loved Adam. Adam must’ve known that, seen through that different perspective, and trusted God’s judgment for he responded splendidly to his destiny, a good and perfect destiny authored by a good and perfect God. God had a plan—a destiny—for Adam and Eve that impact the whole world and that plan is good because God loves the world.
In that perfect world, mankind was never under a yoke of bondage and slavery. Mankind was loved and in perfect relationship with God and one another. Mankind had a clear purpose. With the authority delegated by Almighty God mankind ruled the world, was free, and knew no darkness. As mankind was destined for. God’s destiny became Adam’s…
Until he rejected it.
And ever since then we have issues trusting the destiny of God for us. No longer today do we have the perfect world that Adam and Eve enjoyed. All things seem to be broken—relationships, promises, systems; life itself for it is corrupted with sicknesses and infirmities whether of the body or the spirit and soul. Where once the world only knew life now it loves intimacy with death.
Not all is broken because God had a destiny for the entire world that began with Him. That destiny still endures today! Why? How? One reason and one reason only—Jesus Christ.
So God created a perfect world to function with perfect order. He created mankind with the destiny to bear His image, multiply, rule, and live in perfect love with God and one another. Things were such for a time. Then mankind was deceived, chose disorder, and failed. Mankind should’ve been the one responsible to deal with the problem but God did it on our behalf. Because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life… This is that same Son of God that gave up His will and He is given to us. And when we receive that Greatest Gift, His strength, all that He is, become ours. And we in return love Him, able to love Him, because He first loved us.
Perhaps that is how today finds you. Living out your destiny in returning God’s affections because He first loved you. If so, isn’t life good!
But perhaps you’re more like Jonah; wrestling and running away from it—only to sink in the middle of a raging sea. Are you perhaps like Samson? Seeing only what this fallen world could offer on the here and now, unknowing that his destiny would resound throughout eternity? Perhaps like Adam and Eve; you’ve partnered with God to live out God’s destiny for you but then the evil one deceived you and you’ve sinned… and now you’re hiding from God while He is calling you.
And that’s just it… Wherever you are, a loving God is calling you. He’s always calling you. Instead of imprisonment, could destiny be a partnership between a strong, loving God and fragile mankind? Where God calls and we respond?
As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.
Rebecca Ticoalu serves as the director of Wellsprings Creative, the worship creative ministry of Jesus Reigns International and Abundant Grace Christian Church located in NJ. She is the founder of LOVE OUT LOUD, a love movement fighting against slavery and poverty through artistic and creative expressions.