“And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath… by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant… He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
– Hebrews 7:20-25
It’s one of those age-old pub conversations, guaranteed to break the ice: if you could travel in time—just once, anytime, anyplace—where and when would you go, and why? Some people have a hankering to engineer a meeting with a deceased hero or a long lost loved one, while others are more in the mood to play tourist at famous events from the past, or to check out next week’s lottery numbers. Still others, with a greater flair for the dramatic (and, arguably, little sense of cause and effect) would take it upon themselves to change the past to rewrite the present. There’s always someone who can’t see any downside to preventing Hitler’s rise to power, or persuading Dylan not to go electric.
Very few would select the option to meet their future selves: not usually because of some existential paranoia, the fear of canceling themselves out or of changing something vital; nor even through a more prosaic worry that they’ll have swelled, shrunk, or lost their hair. No, the main reason people are loath to see how they turn out is through your basic fear of disappointment. Imagine: what if your future self wasn’t up to scratch—hadn’t achieved everything you want in life, or was bitter, despondent with how things had turned out for you. Imagine returning to your own time on that kind of downer…and then living throughout your life until you reached that point the long way around, every day wondering if this was going to be yet another of those setbacks.
That’s not a pleasant prospect, is it? Thank God (literally) we’d never have to go through any of that. Picture the scene: you’re standing here, in 2016, and your hear God speaking to you, delivering His word…from 2025. He’s looking at you, a decade hence, and He wants to tell you what He sees, because He’s pleased as punch and twice as proud (and no, before you ask, there are still no hoverboards). But that’s not the biggest difference.
The whole point of becoming someone bigger, better, more spiritually gifted, more serenely Christlike, isn’t simply getting the word from the Lord with the lowdown on how you absolutely do not suck in ten years time. No, the point of it is when you travel forwards in time to meet your future self…one minute every sixty seconds, a day in twenty-four hours, until in ten years (or five hundred and twenty weeks), you’ll arrive there having become that person. The point is the process of becoming the person in Christ that you were always intended to be. The word is just the directions on how to get there, with an encouraging post-it note stapled to the front.
The “future word” gives us a cast iron outcome, an ending so potent that it reshapes the story that gave birth to it, changing the narrative that leads us there. It’s a road map, redefining our relationship with God in line with His intentions for us. Once God has spoken, He takes possession of that outcome and retitles it “destiny”, because the Father invented having a flair for the dramatic. The way that He views us, our identity in Him, becomes our goal and vision in the present—and God doesn’t just bellow the word from a decade in the future. No, He carries it with him from the future, walking towards us in the present with it held in His arms, and (like a smiling Terminator), says “come with me if you want to live.”
Once we have taken possession of His word, and begun to get a true sense of our identity as God sees it, we have an image to focus on, a picture of our destiny, something to point towards when we’re planning our next moves in the Spirit. Just as God carried that word in his arms back in time to us, so we carry it in our own as we gradually walk forward in time to meet Him. Somewhere along that way, perilous though it may be, our identity collides with our destiny, delivering an encounter with the Almighty truly worthy of Him.
That’s why the journey from here to then is so fundamentally vital. There aren’t any shortcuts in Christ, and a word from the Lord Of Hosts isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card or a turbo boost power-up. The process of becoming is a series of steps forward, steps that transition us from identity initiated to outcome released. It’s where we connect with the Lord, build the relationship with Jesus that He died to give us, and partner with the Spirit throughout. Everything on that journey is designed to empower us: empower us to learn to overcome through faith, focus and favor. The journey is designed to make us rich in the life of the Spirit, focusing on the outcome that God has laid out for us.
Think about that person, the person you’ll need to become, the future self that God was so eager to deliver to you. Think about the steps between you and them, and the process, the journey, you’ll need to undertake in Christ to move from who you are to who you want to be. Your perception of who you are is about to get a facelift, as you move forward, one step at a time, into the future to meet the self you always dreamed of being. And no, that self won’t have a jetpack.
For more resources about destiny and identity, be sure to check out Graham’s most recent teaching series, Developing Your Destiny. When we cultivate a lifestyle based around Jesus we are given greater access to our Kingdom identities and all the favor and upgrades that come along with it. If you’re ready to run, not walk, toward your destiny, don’t miss Developing Your Destiny!