Article by Doug Terpstra
It’s been said by church leaders that there are a thousand different ways to your destiny, but I wonder how much faster we would get there if we learned how to remove the roadblocks that keep us from getting there. I’m 60 years-old and for the first time I feel like I’m beginning to see my destiny unfold before me, but not without taking the long road around. I see now that I needed healthy church leaders, ministry coaching and solid christian leadership to equip myself and others.
I don’t want to imply that I wasted 40 years of my life because as Paul Manwaring says, “God wastes nothing,” but still I wonder if I would have gotten to where I am sooner if I would have dealt with some of the underlying issues through greater relational church health that would have pointed me towards what God wanted me to do.
I was born to coach and teach. I think I first realized this at the age of 19, but that’s where the roadblocks began. As Michael Brodeur says, “Our character must match our level of calling and we need to remove the hindrances to reach our dreams. We must remove the lies and brokenness of our past if we are to walk out our destiny fully.”
For me, the first hindrance came in the form of father wounds. My father had explosive anger issues and one never knew what would set him off or when they would occur. The way I dealt with this was to become a people pleaser (father pleaser) because I had developed the fear of man on the inside. I would do anything to keep from experiencing the anger that felt like was directed toward me. So, when I went to my father at the age of 19 and told him that I wanted to coach wrestling and teach business classes at the high school level, he gave me reasons why that was a bad idea. Wanting to please him, I quickly caved and chose another field of study of which I really had no interest.
I guess at the center of this was that I really didn’t know who I was. My identity in Christ had not yet been formed to the point where I knew what God was saying to me in the moment. Lies like, “You’re not good enough” or “You can’t do that” were prominent in my thinking. Such thinking was undermining what God was leading me toward. In short, I had yet to get God’s perspective on who I was which is all that really matters.
Michael points out five areas that can derail us from our destiny. The first is “appetite.” This is about how you’re doing physically. How’s your health? Do you have any addictions that might derail you from your dreams? This may include drug addictions, health problems, or issues pertaining to the way we spend money to name a few. These are typically character issues that we may have a difficult time controlling that may be rooted in past wounding’s that need to be brought to the surface and dealt with.
Second, is “affections” which deals with our emotions. It has been said that emotions are wonderful servants but terrible masters. These may include things like dealing with rejection or depression. If we want to be successful in the plans God has for us, then we will need to deal with our emotions. For example, I have learned that my emotions get heightened when I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t make any major decisions when this happens until I get the rest I need, and my emotions are in check.
Third is what are my “assumptions’ about life and God. These seem to come out in the worst moments in life when things may not be going well. I may say “God is good”, but if I start blaming God in the midst of my problems, then my core value about God needs to be renewed.
Fourth is “attitude.” Attitudes form our actions. If I live in pride and always think I know best, then I’m not going to hear God speak to me when He has something to say. Or how about my attitude when I am asked to do something? Am I positive and have a yes in my spirit, or is my response always negative with grumblings? Always living with negative attitudes is sure to derail us from our destiny.
Finally, we come to “Aspirations”. This is about humbly submitting our hopes to God. He alone is the author and finisher of our faith. However, if our aspirations come out of comparison or competitiveness, then we could be put our wants above God’s and will fall short of what he wants us to do.