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How I almost missed my destiny

We Jesus-followers are called to invest our lives to build the Kingdom. We all have destiny and many have a vocational call – for some, it may be to become a homemaker, for others, it may be a career in business or ministry. My call happened to be to full-time ministry, but in 1987, I almos…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

We Jesus-followers are called to invest our lives to build the Kingdom. We all have destiny and many have a vocational call – for some, it may be to become a homemaker, for others, it may be a career in business or ministry. My call happened to be to full-time ministry, but in 1987, I almost missed it, just as most people in life miss theirs.

I was a born risk-taker, but society was grooming me to be more cautious and analytical. I was in an elite business school with the prospect of fat salary checks stretching before me as far as the eye could see once I graduated. Almost every day, the recruiters lined up to talk to us and we donned blue suits to meet them for interviews.

What I didn’t realize is that I was being anesthetized by the process, made numb to the reality of what God had called me to do. I was becoming more concerned about getting a degree and doing what was expected than discovering a call.

As 1987 dawned, and graduation loomed in May, I felt a foreboding. Soon, I would embrace a lifestyle that included substantial debt and corporate relationships that would shape my expectations and values.

In the back of my mind, I knew that the narrow walk of faith Jesus describes becomes a highway to hell paved with good intentions, but all I could see was that everyone else was pursuing a career.

Contrasted with that, the idea of pursuing a dream of raising support to start a missions agency seemed crazy.

Without realizing it, one of the biggest decisions in my life was almost made for me. I was reconciled to settling down and living the American dream. I was going to find a respectable job and build a career.

Not wanting to completely write God out of the equation, I put out a fleece: If he would bring in $10,000 in support within a month, then I would forego all job offers and do the crazy mission agency idea.

One day remained and we were far short of the goal. What a relief! I went skiing that day. When I returned, the unthinkable had happened – all the money had come in at the last second! We were committed.

Since then, I’ve seen so many people do as I almost did, leaning their ladders against walls that someone else built. Over time they climb up the ladders, peer over the edge, and, too late, discover it’s a façade. A voice nags them along the way up the ladders, “Is this all there is?” It asks. Like me, they sense the answer is, “No,” but they’re too numb to do anything about it, not realizing their destiny is at stake.

Comments (10)

  • Our God is faithful to answer! I rejoice that He was so clear, and that you listened… May we all constantly be listening :-).

  • Seth,
    this article really touched me, because i almost missed my destiny too. it was a harrowing experience for me but the Lord is merciful and put me right back on track and now there is no turning back.i would love to share many testimonies with you pretty soon.i pray the Lord continue to give you more insights to share with others.

  • Hello Seth,

    I decided to check out your website because of a certain mail you had CC me. Well, I thought what better way to know a person than read his blogs. I am glad my mouse clicked on “How I almost missed my destiny”. I, too, have many times “walked” away from my destiny despite knowing what I had to do. But God always leads me back and I use the experience to learn of His love for me and draw closer to Him. God keeps teaching me the lesson of faith and I keep learning but I am yet to graduate.

  • Yeah, God’s timing is perfect, and nothing’s impossible. I also met and married my wife only thanks to God and His good and perfect will. God bless you all, and God bless America.

  • ur post was god sent…just this morning i was in a very bad state of mind because like Jonah every step i take on the career front is frought with failures and obstacles…hoping god will be as clear to me about my destiny as he was with yours.

  • I stumbled on this article as I was on the web. Amazing timing for this to happen as I am STRUGGLING to find my path and/ or what god has planned for me. I mean…Im 27, a cook making 12.00 ph….not exactly what I envisioned. i really want to help people… I think thats my calling but I have no idea what gods plan is and everything seems to blend together now. I guess Im being un patient. Is this bad? What can I turn to in times of despair?

    Please help

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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