Priority #5 : The Great Commission

Chapter 28 - Men of Destiny

In all phases of His work for His church, He is moving the design that man has made and followed into focus so it fits what He's doing. Men at some time looked for reasons to stay away. And they would ask, "give me one good reason why I should be in church. I've got some things that are a lot higher priority than going to church." But God is bringing into focus and men are beginning to see where the priorities really are. And men from all levels of society from all walks of life are beginning to feel the nudge of the big angels of God and the pull of the Holy Spirit and their coming.


From everywhere men are streaming to God. Men who have reached pinnacles of fame in the athletic world are saying this isn't where it's at and they're turning to God and finding all of these other things may have a purpose but the real happiness and satisfaction comes from Jesus Christ in their lives. Men who have spent years amassing wealth and have discovered secrets of turning whatever they do into funds. I had one man tell me that there are just some simple laws to follow that produce funds. He said he had learned how he had gained fortunes and through poor judgment had lost fortunes but he said it's no real problem to me to make money. But men who have reached a point of tremendous wealth are saying this isn't where it's at and they are turning to Him.


I get excited when I read in the full gospel business men's magazine of men from here and there, and the names we've heard before connected with other things here they are connected now with telling people here's where it's at. We're living in a tremendous day. It's not only a day of destiny as far as men are concerned. But when I use the term men I use it collectively to cover mankind. This is a very special time in God's plan for man. I'm going to have you turn with me to a verse of scripture in Isaiah chapter 14, I feel that we need to be reminded that God is on the job and that when He purposes, when He sets in motion those forces that are His will there is nothing in heaven, no big angel can pull a fuse, no man is big enough or strong enough though some try to get in the way, and all of hell may try to say we can't let it happen, but just like that song on the resurrection, but it did, Jesus came. When God purposes it will happen, praise God.


Isaiah 14:24-27. "The Lord of Hosts hath sworn saying … (Congregation reads text out loud) Amen." Don't you like that? God says when I decide to do something I will do it. When He speaks of the Assyrian there, was laying siege to Israel. Bringing oppression to Israel. It was an attacking force on Israel. And when you put your name in there and read that as your message to you it reads that I will break the attacking force in your life. And that thing that has come against you, because I have a purpose. So if you feel that you're under pressure and the enemy has attacked and the enemy has attacked and has put pressure on you, look up. God has a purpose, he said my hand is stretched out and nobody is going to disannul my plan. I wanted to share that with you as a little springboard into the few thoughts I'd like to give on the fact that this is a day of destiny. And people when they fit into a spot that God has foreordained then they become a part of His plan of great destiny. There is no argument with this, I realize that this is not very familiar theology with a lot of people but it's the story of the Word in God's great plan and purpose for people.


"Father I thank you for Your Word, I thank you for the miracle power of God that we have witnessed that is present among us. I thank you for a work that You are doing among this congregation even at this moment because you are here. Not one of us is here by accident today. We're here because you brought us here. And you brought us here because there's something that you want to add to our lives. There's encouragement, there's motivation, there's power, there's faith, there's something that you desire to share with us. We realize that every time we come into your presence that you have a plan and a purpose that is being fulfilled. I thank you for your word this morning and I pray that you will abundantly anoint and bless in Jesus name Amen."


You know so often when we think of men of destiny we think of men that have become famous because they have accomplished something or their names have gone down in history. We think of men like father Abraham. The father of God's people way back there in ancient times. Or we think of a man like Moses whose life God had put His finger on even as a little child and he was spared there in the bulrushes and you see evidences of God's hand all the way through until he was called to lead the children of Israel out. That man was a man of destiny. Or we think of David. David a man when he was a boy, the Spirit of God came on him and he tore a lion in half and he tore a bear apart. He was able to go against the giant and slay him. We could say that David was a man of tremendous destiny. Then we think of others through the New Testament. We think very definitely Paul had to be a man of destiny. For God told Ananias, he said this man was a chosen vessel to carry the gospel to kings and people in authority. You're going to have to tell him, I've got a message for him you get in there don't be afraid of him. So we have to say Paul was a man of destiny. Then we think of Peter and John and some of these great people who have accomplished so much whose names are not only written down in the Bible but they're written in the pages of history, they're written down in God's book, they have accomplished these various things and we say those are people that God chose to do a great work with, we say those are men of great destiny.


But God keeps a different set of books then people do. And though He definitely had a part for these people to fill every person, everyone in God's great plan and program can't be a chief. There has to be a few Indians. But God has made those that serve Him in areas that may not receive quite the same recognition; God has included them in His plan and purpose for ministry that unfolds everyday and they too as they yield themselves to God become men and women of destiny, foreordained for a work for God.


I would like to have you turn to a verse of Scripture over here in 2 Timothy 1:15-18. I feel that they have real special meaning today. The Apostle Paul as he was doing this mighty work for God, there were times when he found himself in prison, there were times when he was lonely. And he thought back at people whose lives had touched him and had helped him and he thought, "Well there's Peter, Peter's a great person, there are the other apostles but they had their place, Paul said you know there are times when I think I would have failed if it wouldn't had been for some unknowns here." And as he was thinking about these people who had helped shape his life and without their help, without God using them or someone like them, the tremendous work that he accomplished around the world and that is still living today through these epistles would not have been complete. And he's thinking now about these people. And here he's talking about one person whose name is only mentioned one other time in the Bible. And here's what he said, "You know I expect that all of those in Asia have turned against me, Phygilis, Hermagilis among them, may the Lord have mercy upon the household of Onisiphorus, many times did that man put fresh heart into me. He was not in the least ashamed of my being a prisoner in chains. Indeed when he was in Rome he went through a great deal of trouble to find me. May the Lord grant he finds his mercy in that day and you well know how many times he helped me in Ephesus as well."


I want you to think about this man. Many times did that man put fresh heart into me. I wonder today if this was the day when the apostle Paul was doing his work. And we were to hear about that fanatical preacher who talked a lot about revelations and other things and he said a lot of things that didn't fit the theology of the day and he was kind of independent. He just somehow or another was cut from a little different cloth. I wonder if he were down here in the aida county jail because of some of the ideas he was presenting. I wonder how many of us would care to go down and see him and identify with him. I just kind of wonder. We'd probably say, "Well that rascal is a right winger. He needs to be in that place, why he's even said some things that are against the king or the governor or the president and I know he said some things that are against our county government. Let him rot down there."


That's what Paul was saying here, he said I suppose you know by this time that all of them have left me, I don't have anybody, they've all forsaken me. You read in the 4rth chapter of this same epistle down to about verse 14. He said not one person stood with me, nobody. Doing everything you can do for God and not one. But I'm glad Paul added a little word here. He said but the Lord stood with me. And when he thought about that he had to think about this young man again named Onesiphorus, and he said when you see Onesiphorus greet his family for me, I think he has a terrific family, the household. We might say well how does Onesiphorus here fit into the destiny. How could we some way tie this in. He was just doing what was right; the thing expected of him, well there's more to it than that. When Onesiphorus' mother was pregnant and Onesiphorus was just about ready to be born. The Lord spoke to his mother and said "hey don't name this fellow John or Mark or something else. Give him a kind of a stupid sounding name here, one that I just manufactured. Call him Onesiphorus." What? Well we don't have anybody in our family named Onesiphorus. Why would you want to call him a name like that? Well God said it took all of these roots of these different words to say what I want to say about this fellow that's going to get born. And so she called him Onesiphorus and I got something leap up inside of me when I looked in the concordance and found out what God had in mind and that word Onesiphorus means a bringer of pleasure. One who creates or inspires joy, one who gratifies. Oh, I tell you the Lord had it mapped out for Onesiphorus and He helped him to live up to his name.


There were times when Paul didn't need just a good prayer meeting; he had plenty of those he could get a hold of the Lord and the Lord stood with him in prison. But it's sure nice sometimes when I get somebody with skin on them. He knows the Lord is here and the Spirit is here but to get somebody that cares, and some times I have to have a good laugh and who in the world could I look to? Ah, it's Onesiphorus, he comes in with some of the greatest puns you ever saw. He can even make some puns about this chain that I'm wearing. Onesiphorus was a man that took a hold of my spirit and flew out through the prison bars with my spirit, let me rise above where I could look at the stars and the sun and breathe the free air. He often refreshed me.


Do you know that in that man of destiny, Paul, in God's plans as He put it together way back there before the earth was ever made, God said an important spot just as big and just as important as the work I have mapped out for Paul is somebody that's going to make sure he gets the job down. There are going to be some people that will yank Paul's heart out. That will make it pretty rough on him. But I have a guy in mind here that will put the heart back into him every time. Hallelujah. Praise God.


I'm looking at this congregation, at deep pools of water. People who are refreshing others, people who have brought joy and pleasure. They have gratified that person so they felt it's worth it, there's purpose in my life. They have strengthened the hands of others. They have been able to look past the pressures and the hurts and the hard times. They have turned a deaf ear to criticism and instead looked to see what God is doing. And I want you to know that I'm looking at some deep pools this morning. I can go on naming people throughout this congregation who have ministered to me. God has put you; he has foreordained you for this day. It's a ministry. I think of several of you that you have not to be concerned if your name hasn't gone up in neon lights somewhere. You are fitting into a beautiful plan that's unfolding for this day.


You mom's if you are able to help those little one's at home. You dad's that are able to some way add your influence by letting the young people in your home know that Jesus is just as important at home than at church. God had this plan for you, a destiny that some life is going to be helped because you have been faithful. Don't whip yourself if you missed God in the past, get in there and be what you can for God. If you fail, God's got another well to drink from.


I think of another one named Barnabus. The name Barnabus means the son of Nemus but there's a meaning that goes way beyond and that is one who serves, one who waits upon, one who runs the errands. Not everybody's going to be a D.L. Moody. And I only know of one Billy Graham around. But I sure know a lot of Barnabus's. And every time Barnabus went to do something he was thanking God. When Paul accomplished something big, Barnabus was handling all of the machinery and doing the leg work and taking care of the details. The Lord is not only causing people to be pools of water, but He's causing them to be channels to carry this water to many, many other lives around. You have a spot to fill. There are times in our lives when we don't need a good sermon, we don't even need the singing ambassadors to sing for us and boost us into the third heaven. There are times when you don't even need someone that's a real spiritual person to make you feel spiritual. There are sometimes when all you need is somebody to know that he's there, that he loves you in spite of your faults, that knows all of your quirks and problems and troubles and he still hangs around. You call them a brother or a sister. There are times when you just need to know somebody's around, somebody's hanging around there. And of all things, Paul mentions the name of a man, God has a great big page written for him up in heaven because he was one as with the rest of us, there's a blue print all written out and a ministry and a path with which we're following.


Every little old bird that drops to the ground, God's eye sees it. He knows exactly all about it. He watches the grass as it starts poking it's head up through the soil and he's got a billion other worlds a lot bigger than this one that He's got to keep from bumping into each other all the time. His plans are just so vast. But when you take His plans for people, 4 billion of them and each of them having different things coming to pass or opening up each day and each minute.


I was in confusion but the Lord ministered to my heart, I remember so clearly and one thing that he let me see about this was that every day is the fullness of time for some phase of His plan for every person. It's fullness of time; time has come up for something in your life. Every day you can look ahead, hallelujah. God has planned something; don't know what it is exactly. You might go to bed that night and say well nothing happened today. Just your presence near someone may have given them a cool drink. Just your ability to carry a burden without complaining may have helped someone else to get down under a big load and inspire them, without you realizing you may have put somebody's heart back into them that had lost heart. Hallelujah.


Aren't you glad that God cares about you? You see in His book, He doesn't have some big blue prints and some little blue prints and some that are supposed to be important and some unimportant, there all the same. He just wants you to fill the spot that He's put you in and as He leads you and opens up each day in the fullness of time. Men of destiny, it's our day; let's make this day tell for God. Let's carry the influence of the life of Jesus that's flowing so full and so free through this place. Let's carry it to people all over this community. There are people dying for just a little sip of the water of life that's within you. Let's become those wells that are open and ready. This man that I'm referring to that was nothing more but it was written down in Paul's book as a brother, in God's big book He said he is a man of destiny. Because those times when Paul needed something else other than the spiritual force. He needed a human being; he needed someone with skin on them. He needed somebody to talk to or somebody just to be there. He said that old quartus never fails. The word quartus doesn't mean very much. It just means a fourth. Even his name doesn't mean much but he was a brother. How about going out there a being a brother or a sister. Carry some joy, refresh some lives, be a well. Or if you have to run some errands like Barnabus but I want you to know something, that God has given you a spot in the greatest work in the whole universe. And one of these days when the saints go marching home God isn't going to have certain fellows standing on platforms way up above everybody else. He's going to say, "did you fill the spots in that little blueprint of your life that I gave you, well done thou good and faithful servant." Old Barnabus and Onisiphorus are going to hear well done just as loud as Paul is going to hear it. Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.


"God I thank you today that the men are coming, I thank you that women are coming and are taking their place and the youth are coming. But on this particular day I ask that special anointing upon these men who have heard the call of God who are looking for ways and means to minister, to find new direction for their lives, Oh God I thank you for them. I thank you for their strength. I thank you for men that may not ever had privilege of becoming fathers. You have need for their strength, for their direction, for their capabilities. I pray that this day would be a day of new thrust of new power of new direction, or of increased desire and drive in the direction You have put us in. I ask that this will happen today in Jesus name."