Everyone has a divine destiny or some might say, "It's your calling." Recapturing Your Divine Destiiny is a timely message when so many people are facing economic hard times. Many losing their jobs or dissatified with where their going. It's a great time to seek God for the answers and search your heat and surrender to the will of our Heavenly Father. God maybe calling you to something higher something bigger than yourself. I want to encourage others to step out in faith to reach their divine calling in life. It can be done through faith and courage and determination.
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RECAPTURING YOUR DIVINE DESTINYLeaving A Life That's Ordinary - For A Life Extraordinary!
By Carole Ann Smith
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Carole Ann Smith
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWILL YOU FOLLOW ME?
To lay down your will, to follow your Heavenly Fathers will—is trading a life that's ordinary, for a life that's extraordinary!
And Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee, Saw two brothers Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, "Follow Me". And I will make you fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them. And immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
Will you leave all behind, and follow Jesus? Will you become fishers of men? Will you leave your will behind, and follow the will of God for your life? Will you let your life bring glory to God?
You're a Christian and you're doing Christian things, you go to church, pay your ties, and participate in church actives—leading a fairly low-key life. Your life requires no real sacrifices, but you're happy. Your life is comfortable. It's ordinary and you're just fine with that. You have some good friends and a nice family, decent job, what more could anyone ask for? Right! It may not be how you dreamed your life would turn out, but you're ok with the way things are. And besides, no one wants to rock the boat when things are going smoothly.
Then suddenly one day you start to feel a tug at your heart—sort of like a stirring of some kind in your spirit. Then the Lord drops a dream, a vision in your spirit, and a new plan for your life. At first you just kind of put it on the back burner, trying not to think about it too much, hoping it will pass, after all, you couldn't possibly do it any way.
But days go by, and it becomes stronger, and then you hear the Lord speak to you. "Will you follow Me?" "Will you lay down your will, for the will I have for you?" Your heart knows that God has surely spoken to you. Your spirit knows without a doubt that God is leading you. He's calling you to step out of the boat—out of a life that ordinary and comfortable, and follow Him to a life that's extraordinary. He's calling you to go where you have never gone before, and do something you have never done before. He's saying. "Will you get out of your comfort zone and follow Me? "Will you surrender your will for the will I have for you?" "Will you follow Me and walk out your divine calling—and follow Me to your divine destiny?" A place I pre-ordained for you, before time began, before you called on My name.
You now find yourself are at a crossroad, a place where things change. It a place that represents a cross like the one Jesus was crucified on. It's a difficult place to be. It's were you have to make major decisions that will affect your life; it's a place where your future will change. It's a place where something has to die, before a new life can begin. Sometimes you see warning signs before you arrive at this place, but sometimes you just suddenly find yourself there. Which way will you go, can be a very difficult decision.
At this crossroads things seem different, things don't look familiar, and the crossroad unexpectedly takes on a brand new meaning. It feels different and you feel lead to go a different way. You are being lead to go down a road you have never traveled before, a road that is unfamiliar.
These crossroads can be a place of surrendering your will; for the will of the Father. It's a place where self is crucified; and resurrection of a new life begins. It may be the death of a dream, but the beginning of something greater than the former. Jesus came to a crossroads in His ministry when He was in the garden of Gethsemane, when He cried out, "Not My will but, Yours be done." He gave up His will to follow the will of His Heavenly Father. He chose the cross to fulfill His calling—to reach His divine destiny.
Now you find that the Lord is speaking to you about your life, and you find yourself with a new desire, a new dream in your heart and a new excitement in your Spirit. It seems to consume you, and you find it's all you can think about. You try to keep it quiet and not talk about it. You begin to think if you tell someone, they will probably just laugh, and tell you how silly it sounds. So you keep it to yourself, and then it starts to become like a fire in your spirit, you that you can't put out. It's almost like a consuming fire. It consumes your mind, will and emotions, and your spirit.
Suddenly you now you find your mind and spirit at war with one another. God is asking you to lay aside what is familiar, and comfortable, and move into the unfamiliar, and down a different path than the one you're on. Many questions start to flood your mind. All the "what ifs,' 'maybe this,' 'maybe that's," become your constant companions. Your heart believes, but your mind has doubts. Your spirit says, "Yes Lord, I will follow you," but your mind is saying—no way this is possible.
But as time goes by, the dream becomes like a hunger in your spirit. It has taken over your being, your mind, will, and emotions. It becomes impossible to ignore. Welcome to the point of no return. This is the place where you know that you have to lay down whatever you have to lay down, and leave behind whatever it takes to follow the Lord, to follow your God-given dream, brought to you by the Holy Spirit.
This is your crossroads, and this is your cross to bear. It's at this point, you must determine whether you will follow God, or stay in your safe zone. Will you leave a life that is ordinary—for a life that is extraordinary?
This is a critical time in reaching your destiny. You have to be determined to hold fast no matter what comes your way. This is the time when your adversary will attack. He roams the earth to see whom he may devour. You must be sober, vigilant. You must resist him, be steadfast in your faith without wavering, and trust in God who sent you your dream that He is more than able to bring it to pass.
Faith says, "I will stand," with tenacious, unshakable faith, and determination to stand by your word from God, never wavering in faith until you see your dream fulfilled. Nothing else will do; nothing else will satisfy. Nothing else will give you the joy, peace and satisfaction, then walking out the will of God, for your life. It's not an easy journey, but one that's worth it, if you will surrender to God—and just believe.
You can say with the Apostle Paul." I'm now a prisoner of the Lord Jesus and His will for my life. Nothing else matters, nothing else will do." No matter what, I will finish my race. I will reach my destiny. "I will go wherever the Lord calls me to go; I will do whatever He asks me to do."
But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. So he said, "come," And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying. "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
It's not easy, by any means, to get out of your safe-zone, and walk where you have never walked before, or go where you have never gone before. It takes great courage, faith and trust to begin your journey. Peter experienced this when the Lord asked him to get out of his comfort zone in a boisterous storm and come to Him on the water. Peter's spirit was willing, but he looked at the circumstances and didn't continue to trust Jesus. Peter became afraid. But on Peter's behalf, it took a lot of faith and courage to step out on the water, a place where he had never walked before. It also takes even more faith to continue to walk and move forward in your dream when the storms of life are boisterous—when fear and doubt come against you like a mighty rushing wind.
And besides, when Jesus asked Peter to come to Him, and Peter started to sink, Jesus was right there immediately to catch him, to keep him from drowning. In time of trouble, Jesus will show up on the scene and lift you up to solid ground. Jesus will still be there in times of trouble or distress. When the storms come, He is still there.
What a faithful God we serve. What hope and faithfulness we have in Jesus. Even when we fall, He is there, to catch us. Even when we doubt, He is faithful. When we lose our footing, He is right there to pick us up, so we can keep moving forward.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
It takes a lot of faith and trust to move from where you are, to where God is calling you to go. Most godly dreams are bigger than yourself. If your dream doesn't require you to stretch your faith, and make a change in you, and if it doesn't require you to be totally dependent upon Jesus to bring it to completion, it's probably not a God-given desire, it's probably a fantasy, a dream that will fade with time.
A God-given dream will cause you to have to depend totally on God. And when you depend upon Him to help you see it through, He will change your inner man. He is navigating your spiritual walk, and strengthening your character, and changing you into the image of Jesus; while at the same time, giving you the desires of your heart. He will—
make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen Hebrews 13:21
When Jesus calls you out to follow Him, it requires obedience on your part, it's a choice. Obedience is the moment when you choose to let God work in you, and through you. It is an outward expression of our love for God. Once Jesus calls you to leave all behind and follow Him, you must act on faith. You must have complete trust in Him, that He is all-knowing and knows what's best for you. Faith requires major adjustments in your life. You cannot stay where you are and follow Him at the same time. To walk in obedience you must lead a life of surrender to Him, that He may work in you what is well pleasing in His sight. When you are obedient to God, your saying "yes, Lord, I'm available to You, to work Your will in me and through me." To be obedient requires faith and faith without works is dead.
Not only does following the Lord require a surrendered life, but a life that is totally depended upon Him—A heart that says, "Not my will, but Yours be done."
"And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27
You must be willing to bear the cross that comes with your dream. It may be leaving something you love behind, or giving up something you love. You may have to make great sacrifices. You may feel the sting of rejection by some, or betrayal by others. The cross may become heavy at times. But be of good courage; Jesus promises He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you, and He will carry you through the difficult times.
"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life." But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Matthew 19:29-30
If God asks you to give up something, He has a reason. It will be for your good and for His glory. I believe Jesus is saying, "You must be willing to give up any earthly thing that will cause you to stumble, and cause you not to fulfill your calling." You must be willing to lay down whatever He may require of you; you must put Him first, for those who love their lives, will surely loose it, and whoever loses his life for His sake, will preserve it. Where your treasure is, there will your heart will be also.
Lots wife is an example of one attached to material things. She could not resist turning around to see what was happening to her home, and as a result she became a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19:26)
I can't think of anything on earth that is worth the loss of eternal life, or your victor's crown. Cars and houses and stuff are nice, and I believe God wants us to have nice things and great finances. God wants to bless His children, so we, in turn can be a blessing to others. But they are not worth losing eternal life for, or forfeiting your divine destiny!
When God gives you your dream, you have to count the cost. Will you forsake all and follow Him, to where He wants to take you?
Yet, indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death, Philippians 3:10
Paul, counts his loses as rubbish, so he may know Jesus. Paul knew nothing on earth can compare to knowing his Lord Jesus. Paul's sights were on being conformed to God's image and fulfilling his calling. There is not greater accomplishment than this. It's a choice only you can make. Will you follow Jesus for a life extraordinary—a life full of blessings and joy unspeakable?
Following the will of God for your life is by no means easy. You will go through trials and tribulations. But the journey is worth it when you know that you are following the will of God for your life. You will find contentment that you can't find outside His will. There is a peace even in the midst of storms and trials that is incredible, when you are in His will and pursuing His purpose for your life. There is a joy unspeakable.
Your journey to your divine destiny is a place where your faith is stretched, and great hope is born, and you grow strong in the Lord.
Your divine destiny lies at the foot of the cross—where the blood of Jesus flowed, with a surrendered heart, "Not my will Lord, but Yours be done."
And it ends—When your life on earth is over, and you are at the exact destination— that God Almighty ordained before time began!
Chapter TwoCOUNTING THE COST
All dreams come with sacrifices, they all come with a price—but the price you pay to see your dream come to pass, is never too high to pay!
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—"Lest, after he had laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, "Saying 'this man began to build and was not able to finish.' Luke 14:28-30
What is the cost of following your God-given dream? For each one of us, it is different. But it requires complete dedication and faithfulness for all who chose to follow God. It requires a close relationship with the Lord which requires giving up time to spend with Him.
Excerpted from RECAPTURING YOUR DIVINE DESTINY by Carole Ann Smith Copyright © 2011 by Carole Ann Smith. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Forward Recapturing Your Divine Destiny....................xv
Chapter 1 Will You Follow Me?....................1
Chapter 2 Counting the Cost....................11
Chapter 3 Tests and Trials....................17
Chapter 4 No Turning Back....................32
Chapter 5 Is It A God-Given Dream; or Just a Fantasy?....................40
Chapter 6 Pressing Toward Your Goal....................45
Chapter 7 Walking In Forgiveness....................53
Chapter 8 Running Your Race....................59
Chapter 9 Being Faithful....................65
Chapter 10 Moses: From Ruler, to Slave, to Deliver....................73
Chapter 11 Beyond the Broken Road: Is A New God-given Dream, A New Journey!....................81
Chapter 12 My Dream, My Job, But God's Glory!....................88
Chapter 13 A Heart Surrendered to God—Is a Heart of Worship....................94
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Carole Ann Smith of the Rosewood community....regarding the comment that one anonymous writer wrote and said ugly , disrespectful, unchristian things about a good Christian lady who has been everything that a Christian person should be. I think and know this anonymous person has fabricated these comments to intentionally spread lies and rumors and attack a lady who has had to deal with people who have unfairly depicted this lady who has had deal with outright lies and accusations that have no truth to them. Miss Smith and every person who has ever existed on Gods earth has made some mistakes in life but the anonymous writer who is spreading lies and gossip is passing judgment on one of Gods very own. Repentance of our sins to God is the first step in becoming a Christian. Even though we choose to walk with Jesus in our daily lives he understands that we will make mistakes because we are humans and therefore we are imperfect and exposed to many cruel people and the things that they do for no other reason than evil itself. These people are mean and spiteful if for no reason. We as a society refer to these people as BULLIES...People of poor character , low self esteem, no morals, some are sociopaths and even psychopaths and has no empathy and are not capable of feelings for other human beings. They are manipulative and use this to establish control in order to get their way or to torture their victims physically and mentally just to get their thrills. These are some of the things some people such as Miss Smith has had to endure but she kept her faith in GOD and as she struggled on her journey in becoming a better person and Christian. She had to endure many painful experiences as many of us have. But she still has faith in God and this is why her writings are so inspirational. She is reaching out to others in her book to hopefully give others hope and to find inspiration through God. So if you want to criticize someone look in the mirror that is where the criticism belongs.
Carole Smith of the Rosewood community of Goldsboro NC is some so-called Christian. She packed her clothes and left her husband and two children, a 9 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. The day after she left, she moved in with her boyfriend, Mike Smith (whom she married the day after her divorce was final some 13 months later). From the day she packed up and moved out, she never had anything to do with her children; no phone calls, no Christmas cards, no birthday cards, nothing!!! No acknowledgement of their exsistence at all. Prior to leaving her family, she wrote The Last Days at Joy Fellowship. The Last Days was a one sheet of paper folded in half, which she called a magazine. She can't even tell the truth about that. They run her off from Joy Fellowship. She was told to leave and never come back, because she tried to seduce the pastor. Carole Smith is a sorry excuse for a human being. She tells you that she had a career as a truck driver, but she'll never tell you about her son and daughter. I worked with her for several years at Food Lion. We had many conversations during our soda and cigarette break. I even asked her once indirectly if she had any babies, and she shook her head no and scoffed. Someone came through the checkout some time later and asked about her children. It made her so mad. She had to leave after that. Later on, I asked her about the comment and she cussed, screamed, and threw a tantrum. She said she didn't have any children, that her children were dead to her. What kind of a mother would treat her children like that? Not a christian mother, and Carole Anne Smith is no christian. Then I found out that she lived on the west side of Goldsboro in the Rosewood community, and her children lived in the pinewood area, just a few short miles from where she was living with her lover. And she wants you to believe that she is so godly. She's not even close. I'm not either, but I would never abandon my children. Isn't it a shame that she's lost all those years from the children she bored.