Destiny. Is there such a thing? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines destiny as, “a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency.” This can be classified as fate, as well. Are fate and destiny, then, a biblical concept?
The answer is complicated, really. For me, fate has negative connotations. They are negative, because fate breeds resignation. Resignation comes because if events in my life are unavoidable, why bother with anything? The things in life I choose will make no difference to my future.
The result is fatalism, which is definitely unbiblical.
Destiny and Religion
Several religions and philosophies embrace fatalism. Islam is one as Allah holds the destiny of all. Hindu is another and its philosophy keeps the caste system alive. The Greeks with their mythology believed in goddesses that held the power of fate, which disallowed any other gods to manipulate or change their plans for an individual or circumstance.
These teachings are unbiblical because the Bible teaches that Adam, and every soul created after him, was born with a conscious and this conscious provides man with a moral choice. This is called free will. What this means for Adam is that his fall was not predetermined. His creator did not arrange for him to fail. It was not his destiny to leave Eden.
Each of us can choose obedience…or not.
We know that God held Adam and Eve accountable and the instant they disobeyed, they were separated from God. Death was instant. The transgression was so great that the spirit birthed from disobedience spread across to every living thing. Suddenly, every living thing experienced death. Death was never God’s plan. The effect came as a result of the choice Adam and Eve. This was their free will, not their fate. So, we can witness throughout the Word of God men are held accountable for their decisions.
Having said that, we must grasp the reality that God is the master of cause-and-effect. We must also separate the fact that while there is no “destiny”, there are also no coincidences. This is because while there is no such thing as fate, there is still a master plan and a Master Planner. While God doesn’t make our decisions for us, He is certainly not surprised over the decisions that we make.
Something that is difficult to grasp is the concept that God is outside of time and everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen is going on all at once before the throne of God. Though He is all-knowing, that doesn’t mean that one has a destiny.
Destiny and Destination
We mustn’t confuse the fact that God has a plan for creation and that God will make sure this plan comes into existence as fate. Even so, there is no plan that can exist without His approval and no life will come into existence without His design. God is Sovereign, but it is our choice to heed Him or not. In the end, we will be blessed or we will be cursed based on our decisions. It is not fate, but circumstance.
When we exercise our freedom to bless God with our lives, He will bless us in return, both now and later. Indeed, He has a plan for our lives. Will we receive it?
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…