“Ten years from now, I don’t want any of you to be in a place you don’t want to be,” said youth pastor Tyshone Roland as he began his third and final message to more than 1,000 young people gathered at Bethesda Cathedral for the last day of FOPx.
“Yes, you need your calling, but you also need to stay away from compromise. When you lose your conviction, you’ll lose your calling.”
We have so many people who have great destinies, but they give in to their dark sides.
Using the example of King Josiah from the Bible, the youth pastor of Free Chapel Youth Church referred to 2 Kings 22-23 where eight-year-old Josiah ascended to the throne and had to lead a nation because his father, Amon, died. Amon was king for two years – one of the shortest reigns in the Old Testament.
Roland said: “Let me tell you something about sin. Sin will shorten the reign of your calling.”
Amon did not walk in obedience to the Lord and worshipped other idols. Eventually, his officials conspired against him and assassinated him.
“(Amon) did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done.” (2 Kings 21:20)
1. YOUR DESTINY HAS A DARK SIDE
“We have so many people who have great destinies, but they give in to their dark sides,” observed Roland.
For Josiah, his dark side was his terrible heritage. Based on his family history, he could have been tempted to do wrong in the sight of the Lord, as his father Amon and grandfather Manasseh had done.
Instead, Josiah did “what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings 22:2).
For some of us, our dark side might be insecurity. And for others, addiction, anger or how we approach relationships.
“We all have one… don’t give in to it,” said Roland. “When you leave this conference, it’s the person you are when no one’s watching.”
We might think we’re not going to go too far, but often that compromise can grow into a stumbling block that causes us to fall.
2. YOUR DESTINY NEEDS DIRECTION
If you want to keep walking in the ways of the Lord, seek out people who can help you to stay committed.
“Someone needs to teach you to love a woman, how to love a man, how to be good with money,” said Roland, adding that we need to be open to correction.
In Josiah’s case, he took reference from his great grandfather, Hezekiah, who spared no effort in tearing down places of worship to foreign gods. Hezekiah was a king who kept God’s commands and trusted in the Lord.
When Hezekiah received a message from the Lord that he was going to die from his illness (2 Kings 20), the first thing he did after hearing the bad news wasn’t to blame God. Hezekiah prayed, asked God to remember how he had walked faithfully, and wept.
Roland pointed out that God can delay destruction in your life if you do what’s right.
We see that God later shows mercy to Hezekiah, saying: “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you… I will add fifteen years to your life.” (2 Kings 20:5-6)
3. YOUR DESTINY REQUIRES GREAT DETERMINATION
Finally, it takes sheer determination to fulfil your destiny.
If you need a reminder of this truth, just look at Jesus, said Roland. Even though His ultimate destiny was the Cross, Jesus, too, prayed the night before His death: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me…” (Luke 22:42).
That was essentially Jesus saying “God, I don’t want to do this,” Roland pointed out. This was the man with one assignment, one mission and one destiny – and yet He too asked for a way out.
“Jesus shows us you can pray these kind of prayers. But Jesus says after that… ‘yet not my will, but yours be done.'”
“The pressure of your destiny can lead you to reject it,” shared Roland, confessing that there have been times when he felt that his calling was just too much to handle, moments when he simply didn’t want to preach.
He said: “I know there will be days when you’re sitting in the room and looking at your Bible and saying (to God): ‘If You’re willing, can You choose another person? I don’t want to do this.'”
“Aren’t you happy that God doesn’t answer every prayer?” asked Roland. “What would happen if Jesus did not go to the Cross?”
The life of Jesus shows us something: There is someone who is depending on you to be who you need to be – and they need you to be determined. Who’s connected to your destiny? Who’s connected to your calling?
On the other hand, it’s also important to know that there’s someone who’s hoping that you’d fail.
“If the enemy can’t keep you from being saved, he’ll keep you from operating in your destiny,” said Roland. “The devil will say: ‘I want them to compromise in their purity, the way they talk about people… Because if they compromise, they’ll never walk in the calling that they have.’
“What happens to so many people is they give in. Let me urge you: Don’t give in,” he stressed. “Run if you have to. Joseph did it – he ran from Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39). Sometimes in your life you’ve just got to run. Don’t allow the devil to win in your life.”
Roland said: “It’s hard being a holy man and woman of God. It gets hard being encouraging to other people who are mean to you. It gets hard being aware that God can use you despite of your insecurities. But you need to make this decision. Don’t give in to your dark side.”
For more stories from our FOPx GO Conference coverage, see:
THINK + TALK
- What’s your dark side? Is there anything you need to flee from today?
- Do you know what you’ve been called to do? Who’s connected to your calling?
- Are you finding it difficult to remain faithful to what God has called you to do? What do you think will help you stay committed?