Cleansing First, Then Destiny
“…and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Mt. 1:21
So it was I was lying in bed far away in my parents’ home one last time before their final move out…a home of 44 years. I lay awake in prayer reminiscing over all the spiritual battles fought on that bed….dreams and visions and prayers of days long past wrestled out as a teenager and beyond.
I surveyed the life wreckage in the wake of those conflicts, continuing to wonder about things never yet fulfilled. And now I wondered, “There’s not much time yet left to me in this life. What has it been all about, and where did it all go, Father?”
Out of the stillness I heard His Voice rather clearly, “It was more important for me to save you from your sin than to fulfil your destiny.”
I pondered on this and continue to. I thought about the scriptures, the writings of the apostles, and the gospel. Then I remembered the name of Jesus, and what it means….“He shall save His people from their sins.”
Then I thought about my quest over all the promises, and all the movements through which I passed in their pursuit…the Faith movement, the Worship movement, Prophetic movement…. And so on. Yet after all this time, one last time, upon a bed of yesteryear in a house soon to be no more to me, I pondered. I wondered.
I was reminded of all the past, and the early struggles against sin that took up so much time in my earlier life, while never seeming to get to the fufilments of the promises. I remembered also the apostolic word, “If the righteous are scarcely saved…..”
So it was the Lord brought me again to face the basics. How as a church, and even individually, we have lost sight of what our faith, our salvation and our mission has always been fundamentally about.
We rightly came to a place where we knew we needed more in our Christian life than just the gospel preached with an altar call every Sunday. But we’ve gone over the other way. We have pursued “fulfilled destiny in Christ” past salvation so far that we have forgotten where we came from and what was at the foundation of all those promises in the first place.
No one (hardly any one) in the “Spirit filled” church preaches the gospel of salvation any more. It’s all about the promises and the prophecies now. It’s so bad in fact that the gospel has not merely been neglected, it has been redefined in terms of destiny fulfilment. The new “gospel” is “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”
The old gospel says, “Come, repent and be saved from your sin by the blood of Christ.” The new gospel says, “God has planted a gift in you and He wants to fulfil it.” As I said in another place, the ministers of Christ are no longer preachers of righteousness, they are now all “life coaches.”
The gospel of destiny fulfilment is not the gospel. It is another gospel. The true gospel, though it promises a destiny, always hinges destiny fulfilment to cleansing from sin. It never mitigates or eliminates the need for that cleansing and the ongoing work of the cross.
The preachers of the new gospel are ashamed of the gospel of Christ that seeks first to deliver us from sin, the world, the devil and hell, the only power of God unto salvation:
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mk. 8:38
And so, though I still must await the fulfillments of many promises, I am thankful that in lieu of all, the Father made the investment in me first over the struggle against sin—against the flesh, the world and the devil. And I would not trade the life of struggle I have lived for having obtained any fulfilment prematurely without it.
The Lord reminded me that many have received fulfillments for which they were ill equipped in sanctification to steward. The result was shipwreck of life and ministry. They wanted what they wanted, and got what they wanted—God heard their prayers—but in the end their fulfilled prayers and prophecies destroyed them. Someone once said, “The gift of God can take you where the grace of God cannot keep you.”
So He gave them their request, But sent a wasting disease among them. Ps. 106:15
Deferred hope makes the heart sick (Pr. 13:12), but it is better to endure deferred hope than to receive blessing before cleansing. Fulfilment without cleansing leads to a worse state of bondage than unfulfilled longing.
However long then the cleansing takes, it is worth it, even if it must stretch beyond this life to find the accompanying fulfilment. The cleansing was and will always remain the reason for His Name in our lives and His foremost purpose underlying all other promise to come.
May these few meditative thoughts add perspective for those who continue to wait on the Lord for His promises while He continues His relentless jealous work of washing our souls.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created August 22, 2018