The issue of predestination meets different reactions with different people. Some believe so strongly that the events of their lives are completely predetermined so that nothing, absolutely nothing, they do can alter it. Others will have none of that, believing that your life is a product of the effort you put into it. The question is “what is the truth?”
I offer to you today what God has expressed in the Holy Scriptures as the truth. I do not give to you man’s opinion but the truth expressed in the word of God.
Yes, there is predestination, but maybe not as most people think. They think that Judas was predestined to betray Jesus, and so had no choice but do just that. They think that Paul was predestined to become a great apostle, and that come what may, that is just what he would become.
Well, the Bible teaches differently.
You see, life is in paths. Just like there is a road that leads from Benin to Lagos, and that road does not lead from Benin to Kaduna, so is life. There are many roads in life; indeed life is a very dense collection of roads. When you are introduced into life, many roads surround you, all leading to different places.
Predestination is true in that each road has a specific destination that cannot be changed. No matter how much you wish it to be otherwise, the road from Enugu to Abakaliki will not take you to Onitsha. So is life; the path or road you choose in life will only take you to a predetermined, fixed destination.
Now, predestination does not determine which road I take; this is absolutely my decision. It only determines where whichever road I choose to take leads. If I start traveling on Benin-Lagos road, that is my choice; predestination then takes me to Lagos.
There is a problem however: In most issues in life, we are on roads the destination of which we do not know, and we are not bothering to find out. We keep on traveling hoping and praying that we will reach a place we have in mind, forgetting that the destination is not affected by our wish or prayer. It is much like getting to a bus park intending to go from Enugu to Lagos; at the park you simply enter the most beautiful bus you see, not asking where it is going. After many hours of traveling, you reach Abuja and are asked to disembark, then you turn to the driver and start blaming him for the fact that you are not in Lagos. How absurd that would be!
The driver here represents predestination, and he cannot be blamed; you are the one who joined the wrong bus! Next time, don’t join a bus for its beauty; ask for where it is going.
You see, Judas did not begin life hoping that one day he will betray the Messiah or commit suicide. He probably had a carrier plan, wanting to be someone great. “So, what happened,” you may ask.
“In any big household, there are naturally not only gold and silver vessels but wooden and clay ones as well. Some are used for the highest purposes and some for the lowest. If a man keeps himself clean from the contaminations of evil, he will be a vessel used for honourable purposes…” 2Tim 2, 20-23
As I mentioned earlier, what happens to you in life is not as simple your wishing for it. From the above passage, we see that it depends more on what you make yourself ready for. It says that the man who keeps himself from the contaminations of evil will be used for honourable purposes; the reverse is also true. Judas enwrapped himself in the contaminations of evil from the beginning. Jesus once said “I have chosen you twelve, yet one of you is a devil” (referring to Judas). Also, we are told in the gospels that he was a thief and used to steal from the money kept with him as the treasurer.
God uses people. His plan was that someone would betray Jesus; nobody’s name was written, but a road led there, waiting for whoever will take it; Judas stepped in, and the road led him inevitably to its end. Peter couldn’t have been the one to betray Jesus. Yes, he could deny Him under pressure but not like Judas would he consciously sell his master. Judas opened a door in his life for Satan.
God does not just make anybody do anything, if He did, He wouldn’t be right in judging them.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.”
Destiny is determined by the choices you make! If you make the correct choices you get the right destiny. The unfortunate fact is that people want to choose directly the outcome of life. No! You can’t; you have no power over that. Oswald Chambers said “I have the ability to choose my actions, but not the consequences.” For example, as a student I have the ability to choose to go to school or not but the decision to pass or fail the examination is not within my power; it is a consequence of my previous choice.
What choice are you making? Ask the Lord to help make the right choice because “there is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof is death.”
Only the Lord can teach you the real choices, the good roads to travel on.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to the word of God.”
God is the one that knows life; His word can show you the proper roads.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
If He tells you a road to choose, please be wise and comply. It will get you somewhere good. God is always thinking of your welfare, He wants only good things for you. There is safety in His ways; you never have cause for regret if you are following Him. For example,
“Seek your happiness in the Lord and He will give you your heart’s desire. Give yourself to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will help you.
“He will make your righteousness shine like the noon day sun.
“Be patient and wait for the Lord to act.” Ps37. GNB
The problem is that people feel that God’s ways are slow, but what is the use of speed when you are on a wrong road? David Oyedepo said it only takes you further away from your destination. Listen, there is an end to every matter, that end is more important than the beginning, and only God can tell you the end at the beginning. For this reason He warns people about the end, and what He says will surely happen. Nobody, not even you, can change it.
Your destiny is determined by the choices you make. Your choices are determined by your value system. If you are an ungodly man or woman in your heart, you will automatically make choices that will firmly establish you in the wrong path, leading to that wrong destiny.
Listen to me young man, young woman. All the things you are doing today are setting you in a particular direction. Only God knows the end. The end will definitely come, so listen to God today.
Let us take a few examples:
“He who curses his father or his mother, his lamp will go out in time of darkness.” Pr. 20. 20
Do you see arrogant and delinquent young people today who have no regards for elders? They are only putting their feet on a path leading to a sad end. I heard the story of a man who used to insult and revile his father. When he became an old man, his own children abandoned him in his poverty. Many people have invited curses upon themselves and are blaming predestination for the poverty in their latter years.
Also see this:
“He that hasteneth after wealth hath an evil eye, and knoweth not that poverty shall come upon him.” Pr. 28.22
Do you see young people running after quick wealth today? The word of God says it’s an evil eye which is only procuring for them enduring poverty. When such a one passes his prime and poverty sets in, he will start blaming his enemies, or worse still, predestination.
This is how prosperity, enduring wealth comes:
“If they hear and obey Him, they shall end their days in prosperity and their years in pleasure.” Job 36.11
Hear this: Enduring wealth is a reward from God; it is a blessing God gives. It is not a product of hustle or smartness, nor is it a product of rich thinking. It is something God places in your hands because he has seen you faithful and is set to bless you. This is why Solomon said wealth is not always to the brilliant. Paul said it is God who shows mercy. What you need to do is to position yourself for God’s mercy.
“Would you like to enjoy life?
“Do you want long life and happiness?
“Then hold back from speaking evil and from telling lies.
“Turn away from evil and do good.
“Strive for peace with all your heart.” Ps 34
So you see that predestination is determined by the choices we make or do not make for God. To fear and obey God is a choice; you have to choose the fear of God. Every choice you make will affect this predestination we are talking about. What will you choose?
Before we conclude, let me briefly tell you something about prayer. You see, prayer can change the course of events in your life. I mean that if you are heading for a wrong place, by sincere and earnest prayer to God, you can turn things around for your life. But wait a moment, what can of prayer are we talking about?
“When Your people are deflated… because they sinned against You, and when they turn to You…humbly praying to You for forgiveness, listen to them, forgive their sins…and bring them back to their land.
“When rain is held back because Your people have sinned…when they repent…humbly praying to You…forgive them…teach them to do (or choose) what is right. Then, O Lord, send rain in this land…” 1Kings 8
We see clearly here that the prayer that changes destiny is a prayer of repentance and request for forgiveness, and of a dedication to change. What will change your destiny is not a prayer directly requesting the change. No! It is a prayer of repentance.
To avert the effect of your previous choices, you need God to forgive you and to wipe them away. That is why Jesus died to wipe away every handwriting against you, that you may not perish but have everlasting life. You need at this time to rededicate your life to start choosing what pleases God. God punishes people only for choosing what does not please Him.
“I will destine you for the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter.
“Because I called, but you did not answer.
“And you did evil in My sight.
“And chose that in which I did not delight.” Is. 65.12
If you are ready to choose what pleases Him, then pray this prayer with me.
“Lord Jesus, I come to you this day;
“I choose to serve You;
“I choose to do the things that please You;
“I forsake my past choices and ask You to forgive me.
“Give me a new destination, and by Your Spirit resident in me now, help me to stay on track.
“In Jesus’ name. Amen.”