Moses and David mentioned a book called the “Book of the Living” (Exodus 32:32, Psalms 69:28).
Scholars have assumed it is another name for the Lamb’s book of life, the book holding the names of the righteous that have a covenant with God. The Jews, however, have a different and unique interpretation of what the book of the living is. Some actually identify it as a book of destiny. The word “book” in Hebrew is cepher, from where we get the word decipher, meaning to decode something (a cipher is a code). God has an original book of your genetic information which contains the mystery of your life and destiny!
Jeremiah knew about this book when the Lord told him: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
The Hebrew word for “formed” is used often to allude to a potter who molds clay. For example, the Bible says that God “formed man from the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7). The creation of an infant in the womb is a miracle beyond description. Yet God says He forms an infant in the womb of its mother!
David takes this a step further, revealing the amazing foreknowledge and pre-determined will of God. Psalms 139:13-16 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
The substance God saw could be the human DNA, or the genetic makeup some scientists call the “genetic book of life.” If we believe God formed us and He alone can impart the eternal soul and spirit into the body of a fetus, then we must also believe that God has pre-destined every person who would be born on this planet, and has the details of their body in the book of the living.
Paul also understood the foreknowledge of God and how humans are designed with certain gifts in their mother’s womb to accomplish certain functions in life, be appointed to certain positions of power and authority, or receive special callings and gifts from the Lord. Galatians 1:15-16 says, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen.”
Consider that Paul was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin (Philippians 3:5). He was raised under a brilliant and respected Rabbi, Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). He admitted to being a strict Pharisee (Philippians 3:5) and became one of the first persecutors of Christ’s followers (Acts 22:4). Yet he revealed that God separated him from his mother’s womb to preach the good news. If this call was from the womb, then why wasn’t he converted during the earthly ministry of Jesus, and why was he not in the Upper Room on Pentecost? Why did he consent to Stephen’s death, arrest Christians, and admit to causing people to blaspheme Christ’s name?
Look at it from another perspective. Because he was well-known, his conversion was also well-known. His training under Jewish rabbis made him an expert in debating the law, even with Jewish believers who attempted to bring the Gentiles back under the law. All the training that Paul received prepared him to oversee the Gentile branch of the Christian church, and write fourteen letters of the New Testament! He thought he was being prepared for the job of head rabbi of Jerusalem, but he was being groomed to be a chosen Apostle for the Kingdom of Christ!
You Have a Pre-determined Destiny
I believe God prepares you from the time you are a child to become what He has designed for you, if you will follow the path of His will. My wife, Pam, came from a divorced home. She lived with a church family for several years, until the time we were married. Some would say she had a “dysfunctional childhood.” However, she and I realize that her lack of emotional ties to her parents proved a blessing after marrying me. In the 1980’s we traveled constantly, preaching nightly for up to 16 consecutive weeks. Most women with a close relationship to their immediate family could complain and want to go home more often, thus shortening the many extended revivals. However, Pam never complained. She and I were a team and we were in love with God and each other and were happy that way. She has never complained about ministry in 27 years of marriage. She has been content where she is and with whom she is.
Kelvin McDaniel was a runaway, staying alone in dangerous cities. Years later, after being called into missions, God would use Kelvin’s “loner” personality as a positive when he boarded a plane to a foreign country and stayed in a cheap hotel room. He could do it by himself, without depending on a large group or a team. God used the experiences in early life as his testimony in years to come.
The Lord’s Prayer
How should we prepare for our destiny? A destiny leads us to a destination. The key is found in the Lord ‘s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, which says, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
Notice the phrase “on earth as it is in heaven.” Why should we pray for God’s will on earth? Isn’t God’s will always accomplished on earth? The answer is that God’s will is not always done on earth. God uses men to accomplish His purposes. Wicked men often make decisions that are the opposite of God’s will. They steal from the poor, commit crimes against humanity, and reject the gospel. God has a divine will in heaven that must be released on earth. We should pray that decisions God has willed in his heavenly Temple will be done on earth. If the Book of the Living holds pre-destined information, then that heavenly book revealing God’s will in heaven must be revealed on earth. It is revealed by the Holy Spirit through intercession.
The Bible teaches that God numbers our days (Psalms 90:12) and our years. Prayer can also extend your life (2 Kings 20:1-6). Obeying God can extend your life, such as honoring your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12). Disobedience can also cut off your days (Psalms 55:23). The Scripture reveals that a rebellious person will not live out half of their days; however, the righteous are promised a long, satisfied life (Psalms 91:16).
Destroying Your Potential
It is possible to destroy your potential. Athletes with multi-million dollar salaries are arrested for fighting in bars or domestic abuse. World renowned ministers lose their respect and their ministries through immorality. Your actions in your personal life play a part in the continual, progressive walking out of your purpose. Sin separates you from God’s presence and lays a barrier on the road to God’s will.
The book of destiny is opened and you must pray its contents out of the heavenly realm and into the earthly realm. This is why we should always pray that God’s will be done in our lives each day. That one day could be the moment your destiny is discovered!