This morning I feel led to share a special message. It’s part of my testimony. It’s something I have been meditating on for about a week. I was in the Dominican Republic last weekend, on a missions trip, and while I was there the Lord spoke to me about His plan for my life. This is not necessarily new, but the Lord used some of my family members to trigger thoughts of His sovereign plan for me; a plan He developed before the world began.
For years I thought my decision to join the Army was somewhat haphazard and divinely orchestrated. I was the first of my family to be born in the United States, so I did not have a pattern or trailblazer to follow. As I remembered it I was a High School senior, I called a recruiter because my cousin Robert wanted to join the Army, I explained to the recruiter that Robert wanted to join, but he did not know English, the recruiter said he needed to know English and I was about to hang up the phone. The recruiter then said, “Hold on a minute, you know English”. To which I replied, “Yes I do, but I don’t want to join the Army.” That led to another conversation and within days I was on the rolls. So I knew it was God, but what I did not remember was what my family told me last week.
My mother, aunts and uncles began to talk about me as a child. They said that as a little boy I would say, “I am going to join the Army. I am going to be a Colonel”; and they would laugh because I could not pronounce the word “Colonel”. They then mentioned a time when I visited my Godmother in Atlanta. She sent me back home in Soldier’s fatigues. My mother said I wore those fatigues all the time, telling everyone I was going to be a Soldier. I honestly did not remember that. Having served 25 years in the Army, it’s obvious God had a plan.
While I was in the Dominican Republic I visited our two Haitian schools. Rick & Isabella Pina Ministries (ripministries.org) is providing a Christian education for 122 Haitian children. We are thankful to be able to do so. Afterwards I took a team into the La Vega Prison, where we took cupcakes and softdrinks to hundreds of prisoners. The next day I took our team grocery shopping for all 1,000 prisoners. Our team will cook for the prisoners on March 18th. While doing this my mother and I had a long conversation about my paternal grandmother. I did not know my father well, nor do I have any interaction with his side of the family. But one person I do remember is well is my grandmother. She was a praying woman. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, at her home in the La Vega, going out to the outhouse to use the bathroom, when I saw her in her small living room, sitting in her rocking chair, speaking to an angel. I saw the angel clearly. When I asked her the next day about it, she confirmed it. But we never spoke of it again. My grandmother had a heart for the less fortunate. She had a special day, a day in March every year, when she cooked for the entire prison. My mother recalled helping her cook over 125lbs. of rice and beans. She and her team would cook several pigs and a calf. All to share the love of God.
When I posted a picture of me buying groceries for the prisoners after having gone to the prison, one of my family members commented, “It’s in your blood.” Without knowing it, without thinking about it, and without planning it, I am doing what my grandmother did and what my mother has done decades. I am helping the less fortunate. But in my case I am much more fortunate than my grandmother or mother. My grandmother did not have much, but she gave. All my life I have seen my mother give, even when she was in need. I am thankful to be able to give, to share the love of God, and to walk in my destiny. What God has called me to do is both my heritage and legacy. I am destined to do this. God planned it before the world began.
Yesterday morning, around this time, I was writing Today’s Word when the Lord moved on the heart of LaShawne Holland, one of the members of my church, and she sent me this message, “Rick, DESTINY is your word. I just heard that in the spirit.” While she was going through her email the Holy Spirit interrupted her to share that word with me. DESTINY. This came at a time when I was meditating on what I’m sharing with you this morning.
Tonight I will be honored for my military service. I will be acknowledge as a Distinguished Member of the U.S. Army Signal Regiment – it’s basically the Signal Corps Hall of Fame. It’s a big deal and I am very thankful and humbled. As I think about it the Lord keeps taking me back to that little kid (me as a child), a kid I did not even remember, telling everyone he was going to join the Army. 30(+) years later my military service is complete, but my destiny is unfolding before before me. I am thankful for my past and excited about my future, because I am DESTINED!
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- You are not a mistake. God made plans for you before the world began.
- God is so invested in you that He has been orchestrating things on your behalf ALL your life, things you don’t even remember.
- There is no such thing as luck, chance, or happenstance. God is God, He made a plan for you, and He is tirelessly committed to seeing His plan come to pass in your life.
- As you enter this day remember that you are DESTINED! You were born for a divine purpose and the God of the Universe is watching over you to fulfill it.
Instead of leading you in a closing confession, I feel led to pray for you this morning.
My Prayer For You Today: Father, I thank You for blessing me to share my testimony with my brother/sister receiving this prayer. I am destined. I know it. Your plan for my life is continually unfolding. I recognize it. I now pray that the person receiving this prayer does the same. May You open their eyes to Your purpose. May they be able to see what You called them to do. May they FIND, FOLLOW and FINISH their purpose before they die. They are DESTINED. May they know it, live like it, and cooperate with You so You can manifest Your glory IN, WITH and THROUGH them. By faith I declare that they will leave a mark in this world that will never be erased. Not by their strength, but by Your grace, because You have DESTINED them for such a time as this. I pray this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.