Comment

The Vessel of Grace

Vessel of Grace Image.jpeg

Vessels come in all shapes and sizes and are used to house various types of things. The material that the vessel is made of determines what can be stored inside of the vessel. There are several definitions for the word vessel, but the last definition in dictionary.com says a vessel is “a person regarded as a holder or receiver of something, especially something non-material: a vessel of grace; a vessel of wrath”. Grace is defined as favor or goodwill, and theologically grace is also God’s enabling power. So what does it mean to be a vessel of grace? To answer that question, we need to understand how vessels are made.

 In Jeremiah 18, we learn about the vessel made of clay. A key trait about this vessel is that it is pliable and the potter is able to mold it and shape it into the type of vessel he desires. We also see, that if this vessel gets marred in the process, the potter will start completely over. This is because it’s important for the vessel not to have any cracks before it goes into the fire. The fire is what hardens the clay. If there is a crack in the vessel once it’s been hardened, the contents that are poured into it will leak out. As believers we are vessels of clay and have the water and the oil on the inside of us. The water represents the word and the Holy Spirit and the oil represents the anointing. It’s God’s desire that we are healed and whole. We must be clothed with the armor of God, but if there is a crack in our armor the water will begin to leak out causing us not be able to stand against the enemy. It is only by God’s grace that we are able to maintain our armor. As we practice abiding in Jesus according to John 15, we are able to be the vessels of grace that God desires. We must remain pliable, teachable and moldable. We must be willing to allow God to refine our character, even if sometimes he has to allow us to go through the refiner’s fire.

 Glass vessels are also shaped with the use of fire, so again we can’t avoid or fight the process God uses to mold and shape us. As others look at the beauty of the glass, they should see the Christ in us. Ephesians 4:29 reminds us that our words should “minister grace to the hearers”. So we can’t be so quick to spout off or respond harshly, even if someone is treating us that way. It is God’s grace, his enabling power that allows us to ensure our words are seasoned with salt and full of grace (Colossians 4:6). Ultimately, God wants our character to truly look like his since he created us in his image (Genesis 1:26).

 I challenge you to do a self evaluation this week. Check your character. Check for cracks in your armor. If you find anything that’s out of order, go to the potter and allow him to mold and reshape you. Until next week…

 

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

Comment

Comment

You Still Have Time!

You Still Have Time

 

Many are saying “I can’t believe this year is almost over”, but I say to you that you still have time. Remember, I am not a God that is bound by space and time. What I have spoken I will do. Have I not said it? Will I not do it? Your role is to keep moving forward with the instructions I gave you. As you move I move. Don’t try to get ahead of me. Stay in step with me. I’ve shown you the open door now stay on my path to reach it. Continue to follow my light. Don’t be distracted by the many adversaries. Remember no man can shut the doors I have opened. My word has not changed from January. It is still the year of open doors. Be ready, be expectant, for my promises are yes and amen!

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

Comment

Comment

Encourage Yourself on Purpose

Encourage Yourself Photo.jfif.jpeg

Over the past six weeks we have been talking about purpose using the following acronym:

P-Plan, Pray, Pursue

U-Unlearn and Unite

R-Recruit

P-Persevere

O-Ownership

S-Submit and Surrender

E-Encourage 

Today we are going to look at the word encourage. As we are preparing to fulfill our purpose, we can’t forget to encourage ourselves along the way. One of the definitions for encourage is to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. In 1 Samuel 30:6, we see that after returning to the city of Ziklag and finding it burned and the wives taken captive, David was distressed. Although he was with his boys, he had to encourage himself in the Lord. The Hebrew word for distressed is yatsar, which has the idea of mind and imagination. It also means to squeeze or bind. So we can deduce that David was in mental distress, bound by negative emotions. Yet, he chose to encourage himself. The Hebrew word for encourage yourself is yithechazeq, and is taken from the Hebrew word chazeq which means to strengthen yourself like a rock. In other words, to bind yourself with God. As we are on this journey of walking in purpose, we may encounter stumbling blocks, disappointments, uncertainties, and even fear. It is during this time we must bind ourselves with God. Galatians 6:9 reminds us to not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap if we don’t faint. We must remember to be strong and of good courage; not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord our God is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9). Although it would be great to receive encouragement from friends and family, sometimes we just have to say as David said in Psalm 43:5- Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

So let’s recap. To walk in purpose, we need to first pray, then plan and pursue the purpose based on the strategy that God has given. Next we need to unlearn those things that don’t line up with what God says-i.e. you’ll never be successful, you can’t do this, you’re too old or too young-and then unite with what God says. We have to remember that we were not meant to do life alone, so we need to recruit the right people that will help us fulfill our purpose. We have to be like Jesus and take ownership of our purpose. He knew that he was sent for the lost, and we have to know that our purpose is designed to benefit a certain group of people too. Submission and surrender to doing things God’s way are critical. Whenever we try to do things our own way, we will find ourselves going in circles until we yield to God. Lastly, don’t get distracted by the obstacles, but simply encourage yourself in the Lord.

You can check out the videos from this series on our YouTube channel: Come Up Higher Ministries. I charge you to go live life on purpose! Until next week…

Rev. Robin

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

Comment

Comment

Submit on Purpose

submission photo.png

The word submit or submission is often thought of as profanity, especially when used in the realm of marriage. However, to truly walk in purpose, whether it be marriage, motherhood, entrepreneurship, etc., we must first be willing to submit. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines submit as:

1a: to yield oneself to the authority or will of another SURRENDER

b: to permit oneself to be subjected to something: had to submit to surgery

2: to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another

Basically what this is saying is that we shouldn’t have the “it’s my way or no way” attitude. We have to be willing to be like Jesus and say, not my will but your will be done. We have to be willing to heed the advice given by those God has placed in our lives as godly mentors or leaders. 

The conjunction “sub” means to be under, thus submission means to be under the mission. Whose mission are you under? Although God may have given you the vision or shown you your purpose, ultimately it still belongs to him. He has just chosen you to carry it out in the earth. The reason that your vision or your purpose seems unattainable is because in your own strength it is. However, once you submit to the will of God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Often we say that we are the visionary, when in all actuality we are the vision carrier and God is the true visionary. It’s important that we understand our role and the power or authority that has been given us. Just like the centurion understood he was a man of and under authority, he knew he needed to yield to the power and authority of Jesus for the healing of his servant (Matthew 8:9-10). In this same manner, we need to yield to the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, because he is the one who will lead and guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

This weekend at Brunch on Purpose, one of the vendors shared how it was out of her complete surrender to the will and voice of God that has now caused her business to be an international business. She shared that she heard the Lord tell her to take her last $20 and buy some products to make an essential oil, which she would sell. Because it was her last $20, she asked for specific instructions on what products to buy. She bought exactly what God said, made the oil and sold it. Now she has clients nationally and internationally. Oh and this submission came at the most trying time in her life financially and physically. She submitted. She took that leap of faith and God showed up as He was obligated to do. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it’s our faith that please God. Is 55:10-11 reminds us that his word won’t return void and it will prosper in what it was sent to do.

So today, make the choice to submit to God, to his will, to his plan and to his way for your life. Get out of your own way and let God have his way. Will you say yes?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kTPX0CXEB8

 

Until next week….

 

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

 

Comment

Comment

Own Your Purpose

When we think about purpose we don’t necessarily think about owning our purpose. However, as the Lord was breaking down the letters of the word purpose, he said the letter “o” represents ownership. This ownership is not just referring to a business or a non-profit, but has to deal with understanding the cost of your purpose.

Accessories.png

Ownership indicates that there has been an exchange, either in the form of a purchase or a gift. As it pertains to purpose, we have been given an anointing, a gift to fulfill the call on our lives. However, to take ownership of that purpose, we have to receive the gift. For example, my husband bought me some items for my birthday. Although I said thank you, if I never use the gifts I’ve actually never received them or taken ownership of them. The first gift we need to accept is the gift of a relationship with the purpose giver himself, Jesus Christ. There’s no point trying to walk in purpose without a relationship with Jesus. He is the one who will give you the strategies you need to fulfill that purpose. If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and savior, simply confess that you are a sinner and that you want to surrender your life to Jesus. This is based on Romans 10:9-10, and once you’ve done this your relationship with Jesus begins.

So now that you have that relationship, here’s some things that you can do to take ownership of your purpose:

1. Believe God. Mark 9:23 says that all things are possible to those who believe. So how do you believe God? Whatever he says to do you do it. God told Noah to build an ark because he was going to bring a flood. Noah built the ark and built it according to the specifications God gave him (Genesis 6:14-16, 22). Abraham believed that he would be the father of many nations, even though God asked him to sacrifice his only son (Genesis 22:1-5, 10-19).

2. Confess the word or the promise. Looking at the life of Abraham it would have seemed that God did not know what he was talking about. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham so that whenever he said his name or someone said his name he would hear “father of many nations”. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 4:17 says that Abraham called those things that be not as though they are. Speaking the word builds up your faith and helps you believe that what God said will come to pass.

3. Don’t fight the process. Earlier we mentioned the need to understand the cost of the anointing. Walking in purpose means that we are going to have to make sacrifices, deal with rejections, backbiters, haters, etc. Just like Jesus, when suffering arises, we have to say not my will but thy will be done (Luke 22:42). We also have to remember that the suffering is a catalyst for the manifestation of our purpose (2 Corinthians 4:17).

So as you are striving to walk in purpose, just remember to take ownership. Receive the gift of Jesus, believe God, confess the word and don’t fight the process. Until next week….

Be blessed, but first comes obedience.

Rev. Robin

Comment

Comment

Persevere on Purpose

Persevere 2.jpg

To persevere according to dictionary.com means to :

1.    to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

2.    to persist in speech, interrogation, argument, etc.; insist.

persevere 3.jpg

Perseverance is often not welcomed, but it is so needed to walk out our purpose. So often we get discouraged, frustrated and weary when things don’t seem to be happening as we think they should. However, we have to remember you can’t get the oil from the olive without the press. I’m reminded of Galatians 6:9 which says (paraphrased) don’t grow weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if you don’t faint. We have to remember that we have a season that is due or owed to us, and therefore must expect for that season to come. Just like we are expecting fall to come, even in the midst of summer still popping up, our expectation doesn’t change. We have to have the same mindset about our purpose. In the video I talk about three things in regards to persevering:

  • Don’t Quit

  • How Bad Do You Want It

  • Stay Focused

As you watch the video, I pray that you are encouraged to persevere on purpose.

Until next time,

Be blessed, but first comes obedience.

Rev. Robin

persevere 4.jpg

Comment

Comment

#RecruitOnPurpose

team building 2.png

The letter “R” is the next letter in our study on the word Purpose, and it represents “recruit”. You may be asking yourself, how does recruiting have anything to do with purpose. I’m so glad you asked! One of the things we’ve learned is that purpose means an end result or goal, and that the majority of the time we can’t reach our goals on our own. Thus the need to recruit. In sports, recruiting is necessary to create the best team, and so it is with fulfilling our purpose. Recruiting the right people is also necessary to help us fulfill our purpose. Habbakuk 2:2 says, “ Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the visionand make it plain on tablets,that he may run who reads it.” This verse is saying after you’ve written that vision or received your purpose, you need to articulate it in such a way that others will want to be a part of it. In the business arena this is called your pitch or your elevator speech. People don’t stick around if they don’t see where they fit.

Things to consider before recruiting:

1.     Acknowledge that you need help. When Esther accepted her purpose, she knew that she couldn’t accomplish it alone. She sought the help of the Jews and called for a time of prayer and fasting (Esther 4:13-17). We weren’t created to do life alone (Genesis 2:18, 21-25). The will of God is for us to be interdependent not co-dependent. It does no good to be gifted and not connected to those who can help perfect our gift. To fulfill our purpose requires resources-human and financial. It’s through relationships that resources flow.

2.     Accept godly counsel. Esther heeded to the counsel of Mordacai and sought God through prayer and fasting for a strategy to change the heart of the king. Esther heard Mordacai’s elevator pitch and ran with it. I heard T.D. Jakes say “giftedness without strategy, leads to injury. Moses also heeded to the counsel of his father-in-law to get others to help him (Exodus 18:13:27). We have to realize that we were only created to handle so much pressure (2 Corin 1:8-10). Once Moses heeded to the counsel of his father-in-law, more was able to be accomplished. 

3.     Align with people who make up for your deficiencies. It’s important to first acknowledge your deficiencies and then recruit based on those areas that are not your strongest. Admitting your deficiencies births fruitfulness. Perhaps you’re like me and lacking in the creative arena or you’re not too savvy with social media. You should seek out those who are gifted in this area. It’s important to surround yourself with competence. Always look for the 3 “C’s” of recruiting: Character, Commitment and Competence. Don’t limit yourself to just recruiting your friends or who you like, but always be prepared to recognize divine connections.

I hope you’ll be able to apply this information as you begin to recruit people to help you fulfill your vision. Check out the video of a more in depth study.

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

Comment

Comment

Unlearn and Unite

IMG_1169.JPG

Last week we talked about the first “P” in the word purpose, which represents pray, plan and pursue. Today we are going to look at the letter “U”, which represents unlearn and unite. After seeking God for our purpose, we may find it to be a bit overwhelming, which could possibly result in us talking ourselves out of pursuing that purpose. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life is in the power of our tongue, and they that eat it, eat the fruit thereof. As this verse leads off with death, it’s most likely because we generally speak and believe the negative before speaking or believing the positive. The majority of the negative things we speak or believe come from what we’ve learned or have heard repeatedly throughout our life. Thus the need to unlearn.  Unlearn is defined as to forget or lose knowledge, or to discard or put aside certain knowledge as being false or binding. Let’s take a look at what the bible says about this.

9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Genesis 3:9-11

In Genesis 2:7, and 15-25 shows us that God created man and woman and that he created them naked. God would visit them in the garden to fellowship with them and they would go about tending the garden and living their lives while naked. The significance of being naked is that there is no shame and that they lived a transparent life before God. Transparency comes after allowing intimacy to take place. Once we remove the walls and allow God to see into us, we’ll be better positioned to fulfill our purpose. Then in chapter 3 the enemy steps in and begins running his mouth to Eve. His words caused her to doubt the instructions they had received from God and even doubt the character of God. In Genesis 3:9-11, God asks them who told them they were naked and then asks if they ate of the forbidden fruit. Immediately after ingesting the fruit, they realized they were naked and did a poor job of trying to cover their shame. They allowed what the enemy said about them to take precedence over what God said about them. When we feast on the word of the enemy or on the words that someone said like “you can’t do that” or “you’re too old to do that” or you’re not smart enough to do that”, we position ourselves to not achieve the purpose and plan that God has for us. We have to unlearn that negative language and unite our mind with who and what God says we are. We have to imprison those negative thoughts instead of becoming prisoner to them (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

To unite is defined as:

1.    to join, combine, or incorporate so as to form a single whole or unit.

2.    to cause to adhere

[ Unity Through Humility ] Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2 NKJV

3.    to cause to be in a state of mutual sympathy, or to have a common opinion or attitude.

As it pertains to purpose, we have to first unite with God. This starts with accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of our life. We surrender our will to the will of God. Once we do this, in our prayer and fellowship time, God will give us strategies and reveal who we should unite with to help fulfill our purpose. Philippians 2:1-2 says, “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”.  It’s very important when establishing your team or partnering with someone that you surround yourself with likeminded people. Although no one will work as hard on your vision or purpose as you, it’s important that the same level of passion and commitment is present in those that you unite with. 2 Corinthians 6:14 talks about not being unequally yoked with unbelievers. There must be a unity in belief. How can two walk together unless they agree (Amos 3:3). There has to be agreement that the purpose is significant, adds value and will fulfill our ultimate purpose which is to please God.

If you find yourself stagnant, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve been speaking about your purpose. Have you been feasting on the word of the enemy or on God’s word? Remember his word will not return void. Unlearn the negative and unite with God! Check out the video for the full teaching.

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

Comment

Comment

Pray, Plan, Pursue

#GOTPURPOSE.png

Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz in all arenas about knowing your purpose, walking in purpose, living on purpose, etc. This Monday on The War Room Prayer Line, we started a new series on the topic purpose. We looked at the first “P” and talked about the importance of praying, planning and pursuing your purpose. Each week we’ll be looking at each letter and applying biblical and practical principles to help us not only to know our purpose, but to live out our purpose.

Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” If you’ve ever asked yourself “what is my purpose”, this scripture lets you know that first and foremost your purpose is to please God. In understanding how to fulfill this purpose, we must pray, plan and pursue.

 

P-Pray, Plan, Pursue

U-Unlearn and Unite

R-Recruit

P-Persevere

O-Ownership

S-Submit/Surrender to God

E-Encourage Yourself

 

Prayer is simply having a conversation with God, asking Him to reveal to you your purpose. Once you’ve prayed, it’s time to plan. However, we must remember that our plan must line up with God’s plan. After the planning phase, we must begin to pursue. Check out the video on our YouTube page for the details. I’ve included the scripture references here for you to refer back to in your study time.

Make plans to join us next Monday as we look at the letter “U” and break down the importance of unlearning and uniting. You can call in at 712-775-7031, passcode 111-178# or tune in via Facebook live.

 

Pray:

Jeremiah 33:3 AMP

John 16:13-14 AMP

James 1:5-8 AMP

 

Plan:

Your plan must line up with God’s plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Proverbs 15:22, 16:9, 19:21, 20:18 and 21:5

Habakkuk 2:1-3

Pursue-Requires faith:

James 2:14-18

 

Until next week,

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

Comment

2 Comments

The Anatomy of Obedience

Join us on The War Room Prayer Line, Monday August 6, 2018 at 8PM EST. Our topic is the anatomy of obedience. The dial-in number is 712-775-7031, passcode 111-178#.png

 

O

B

E

D

I

E

N

C

E

 

During the month of August, the topic for The War Room Prayer Line was the anatomy of obedience. We broke down each letter of the word to identify what is necessary to walk in obedience. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is definitely a good start. Here’s a recap of the study.

Obedience is defined as the act of obeying or dutiful, submissive compliance. The Hebrew word for obey is shama, which means to hear or listen with reverence and obedient assent. We see by this definition that obedience requires reverence and respect. It requires a willingness to not only hear, but to listen with the intent of responding with the corresponding action. I’m sure like me you can recall in your younger days responding with an “okay” to being told to clean your room or wash the dishes, but often times there was no corresponding action to that response, until being told again, and usually this meant with some form of punishment.  Although we eventually cleaned the room or washed the dishes, we find that delayed obedience is simply disobedience. As believers, we have to get to the place where we operate like Abraham. As soon as God told him to leave his country and go to a place that he would show him, Abraham packed up and moved (see Genesis 12:1-5). He had no idea where he was going, but he moved at the word of God. We have to get to the point that even when it doesn’t make sense and even when we don’t have all the answers, because of our reverence for God we will immediately obey. The Greek word is hupakoe, which means submission to what is heard. This is the example that Abraham gives us. He heard the instruction and he submitted to it. Jesus is our ultimate example, as he humbled himself and was obedient unto death on the cross (see Philipp;ians 2:8). What things do you need to put to death that are hindering you from walking in obedience?

What is required to walk in obedience?

1.       Open to the voice of God. We must be willing and have a desire to hear the voice of God (see Matthew 5:6, 1 Samuel 3:9-10).

2.       Believe what you hear even without seeing or knowing the end result (2 Corinthians 5:7, Genesis 12:1-5).

3.       Every day submission to God (1 Samuel 15:22-23, Ephesians 5:22-24, Colossian 3:13-25).

4.       Diligent study of the word (2 Timothy 2:15, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11:6, James 1:22)

5.       Irrigate your heart. The heart is the seat of our emotions, so we must ensure it is washed with the water of the word (Ephesians 5:22-24, Deuteronomy 32:46, Proverbs 4:23) https://fccdl.in/jrQHJhvhQT

6.       Endure (Galatians 6:9)

7.       No turning back (Numbers 13:30-14:9, Genesis 19:15-26, Luke 9:57-62, Philippians 3:10-16).

8.       Consistent and never ceasing time in prayer (Matthew 18:19, Amos 3:3, Mark 11:22-24, Isaiah 53:1, Ezekiel 24:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 5:16, 2 Timothy 1:3).

9.       Expectation (Mark 11:22-24, John 2:1-11, Psalm 9:18, 39:7, 62:5, Proverbs 23:18, 24:14, Lamentations 3:21, 2 Corinthians 1:10)

If you were unable to listen to the calls, below are the links to the recordings:

Week 1 covers the letters O and B: https://fccdl.in/uhmzDd3nD4

Week 2 covers the letters E and D: https://fccdl.in/ZHyITATYKl

Week 3 covers the letters I and E: https://fccdl.in/jrQHJhvhQT or https://www.facebook.com/video/embed/async/dialog/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frobin.evans.165%2Fvideos%2F2050662771612505%2F

Week 4 covers the letters N, C and E: https://fccdl.in/78Pvx45LXC

I encourage you to listen to the teachings to get an in depth study of walking in obedience. Walking in obedience is a journey that we have to take one step at a time. I pray this study blesses and encourages you. Until next time, remember be blessed, but first comes obedience.

Rev. Robin

 

2 Comments