Millions of people loved the television show Seinfeld when it aired. A college drama department did a study to find out why Seinfeld was so popular. They determined that the reason was because of its plotless programming. Seinfeld just meandered haplessly from one scene, one circumstance to the next without connection. The drama department concluded that Americans who lead plotless lives prefer plotless TV programs.

There’s a plotlessness that exists in many of our lives today. Often we move from one scene, one circumstance, to the next without purpose. We wander from high school to college, from college to our first job. Then we’re just dying to get married. Then we’re just dying to have kids. Next we’re dying to get them out of the house. Then we’re dying to retire, only to find out that we’re just dying—never having known why we were alive in the first place.

But what would life look like if we all lived with a purpose, with a destiny? How would we act and think differently if we saw God’s hand in the plots of our lives connecting one circumstance to the next in the tapestry of His will? How would that affect our emotions? How would that affect our choices? How would that affect our outlook?

Destiny is the customized life calling for which God has equipped and ordained us, in order to bring Him the greatest glory and the maximum expansion of His kingdom.

I believe it would affect it greatly because when you add purpose to the mix of pain and patience, it gives you the ability to push on. It gives you the ability to keep going when your get-up-and-go has gotten up and gone. It gives you the strength to accept and face your fears, disappointments, and pain rather than seek distractions to avoid them.

Since this book is called Detours—sharing biblical principles of how God will often take you from you where you are now to where He wants you to go—I thought it would be best if we started with a look at the destination. Let’s look at what destiny means.

 

Destiny is the customized life calling for which God has equipped and ordained us, in order to bring Him the greatest glory and the maximum expansion of His kingdom. Every believer must understand first and foremost that his or her premiere destiny is to glorify God and make His name known (Isa. 43:6–7). Destiny always starts there. It always involves bringing glory to God somehow. It begins with the place of God integrating in our lives in such a way that people come into contact with Him through our words, spirit, emotions, or actions. If you want to find your destiny, find God. After all, He is the author of it.

And I don’t mean “find Him” as if He’s lost and you do not know Him. I mean get close to Him. Get to know God’s heart. Come to recognize His voice more than anyone else’s in your life. Learn what pleases Him and makes Him smile about you. Spend time with Him. Talk to Him. God must occupy the central place in your heart, mind, motivation, and actions (Deut. 6:5). After all, the heart of destiny itself is to serve the purposes of God.

As you obey and serve the Lord, He will make His purpose for you crystal clear (Prov. 3:5–7). You won’t have to hunt for it, or chase it, or put out fleece upon fleece upon fleece to discern it. God is not playing hide-and-seek with your destiny. He just wants you to seek Him first, and then all of the things you need in your life will be given to you.

Why is finding and living out your destiny so important?

I have served as a pastor for more than forty years. This has given me the unique opportunity to be in people’s lives at a level most do not experience. With that, I’m able to notice patterns that pop up routinely. One pattern I have seen repeatedly is this pattern of purpose linked to personal satisfaction. When people don’t live with the sense that God has given them a divine purpose in life—or that they are fulfilling it—they become depressed. I’ve witnessed that more times than I wish. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping people find the principles that can open up the path of destiny in their lives. Everyone has a destiny and a purpose to fulfill. Everyone.

Each member of the body of Christ has a unique role to play. But when some members don’t fulfill their God-given destiny, the body cannot function (Rom. 12:4–8) as it was designed to function. Others are affected negatively when you do not live out your purpose. We are all interconnected in God’s kingdom, and that’s why it’s critical that we all make seeking God and living out our purpose an important thing to do. Not just for others but also because it will benefit you.

When you discover your destiny, you’ll begin to live life like you never have before. You will have skills to bounce back from disappointments and challenges, even pain. You will find resolve and determination that will enable you to accomplish things you didn’t even know you could accomplish. Your passion and delight in what you do will be contagious to those around you, making your sphere of influence better as a result. You will push through things that used to defeat you.

Tony Evans, Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017), 1–4.


We have just completed a Bible study to guide your group into meditating on and applying these truths. Detours is our Bible Study based on Dane Ortlund’s book by the same name. It consists of 7 lessons with ready-to-use questions suitable for groups. It can be purchased on Amazon and is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service.