His Character Our Destiny (an excerpt)
God's Character is our destiny. God means for us to be able to love and care for others like He does in the midst of difficulties. We can make good choices that mold our characters. Look to Him, behold Him, and He will work His character in us.
Recently I read a quote, perhaps from Plato, that said, “Character is destiny.” Somehow that stuck with me and it made me think that our character, more than anything else, will determine our destiny. In a lot of ways that is good news because it’s not how much we know or how good we are at different things but it’s our character that really matters. No matter who we are and no matter what types of gifts any of us may have, we are in control of our character and we can make the choices that are going to mold our character. Ultimately that is going to determine our destiny.
I started to look at that quote from another perspective. The other side of the coin is that it’s not our character that is going to determine our destiny but it’s God’s character, ultimately, that determines our destiny. It’s a very hopeful thing, really, when you look at it from that perspective. More than anything else it’s those who hope in the Lord that will renew their strength and those who trust in God and His character. It’s important to bring those things to mind and present them to God. It’s God’s character and if we will stay attached to it, that will ultimately determine our destiny. It’s a very hopeful thought.
That expression viewed with one more twist is “His character is our destiny.” It’s true that His character determines our destiny, but also His character is our destiny, which again is an encouraging thought. Right now I think that each of us, if we are honest, can see where our character flaws are, who we are not that we know we could be. I was in a conversation recently talking about the fact that if you ran an eight-minute mile right now and your goal was to run a four-minute mile, you would never be able to accomplish that goal directly from eight minutes to four minutes. You might be able to run the first two laps in sixty seconds, each after a considerable amount of training, and that’s the pace you need to run a four-minute mile, but you may not be able to finish the race. It may be that under certain stresses, tensions and circumstances you would do much better with that six months later than you had previously.
His destiny for us is to have His character where we can actually finish the race. We can take the most stringent and difficult of tests, the most revealing of crises and issues in our lives and face them with the poise, grace, wisdom, love, and compassion that Jesus Himself has, that He demonstrated in His physical lifetime and means for us to experience and live out in our own lifetimes, corporately and individually. It is true that our character determines our destiny. It is also true that His character, as written in the heavenlies, has determined our destiny as we have decided to trust in Him and be washed in His blood. But it is also true, in a very visible and real way, that His character is our destiny-it’s where we are going.
Maybe it is two laps at a four-minute mile pace this year, and maybe six months or a year down the road we will be able to handle even more stress, more crises, challenges with the children or challenges on the job or difficulties with temptations of food or whatever it might be. We might be able to face those things and, in fact, should be able to face those things because His character is our destiny. We should be able to face those things with even more strength reflecting more of His image. A remark that is made to us or a situation that tests us, we ought to be able to rise above that even more six months from now than we are able to right now. We should learn to look at those challenges as He would see them, with compassion and grace and wisdom and respond to them with His poise and His compassion towards the situation, rather than needing to be hurt by it or respond out of impatience or fatigue or something else. His character is our destiny. That’s where we are going, that’s who we are going to be, with His grace and by His spirit, by His foreordained word for those that believe in Him and turn to Him.
Character is destiny means that God’s character is the goal of our life so that our life would reflect and exhibit and shed forth God’s character. Along the lines of being like God, there were some people back a long time ago that wanted to be like God knowing good and evil, but to be like God is not to know good and evil, because God is not knowledge. He is all-knowing, of course, but the scripture says that God is love, and so to become like God and to have His character is to love. Some may think that to be like God is to be right as opposed to being wrong. There is some truth in that, but if our goal is to have the character of God then remember, God is love. God is not knowledge in that sense. There were those who desired to be like God knowing good and evil, but I think we should want to be like God in His character which is to love.