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Positioned for Transition: The Position of Faith

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Last week we talked about the importance of the position of faith, but it does no good to talk about it if you don’t know how to get into that position. Here are some steps that will help get in position:

Study, Sacrifice, Speak

If you’re thinking about moving into a new position in your education, job or your career, one of the first things you need to do is to find out everything you can about that position. For example, when transitioning from high school to college, most colleges require the applicant to at least take the SAT exam. Some require both the SAT and ACT. For most, these exams are not easy, and therefore require one to study. So what is studying? It is reviewing, rehearsing and memorizing information about a specific subject. So what does studying have to do with faith? Well Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Read amplified, and (2 Tim 3:16). This hearing is not a one time hearing, but a repetitive hearing of the word. (Josh 1:8). Why do we study? 2 Tim 2:15 because without faith it’s impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). So just as we would carve out time to study for various exams, or prepare for interviews so that we can go to the next level, we must carve out time to study the word in order to get in and remain in the position of faith. Most often this will require sacrifice, i.e. getting up early, fasting, less social activity, etc. Once we’ve made the sacrifice to study, when then have to speak the word. The more we speak, the more we build up our faith.

Follow Instruction

You may be saying, but I thought that faith was simply just believing the word. Believing the word is necessary, however, we have a role to play in order for what we’re believing to manifest.  There has to be a corresponding action-James 2:14-26. This is not optional, but a requirement-John 21: 1-14.

Develop the position of obedience and consistency

Faith defies all odds-Mark 2:3-5. Must be full of faith-Acts 6, Acts 11:24, Heb 10:22

Until next week….

Be blessed but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

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Positioned for Transition

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We’ve entered a new month and we’re approaching a new year. Are you ready for the transition? One area to evaluate is your position of faith. Check out the video for more info. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Until next week…

Be blessed, but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

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The Vessel of Grace: Called or Chosen

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The Vessel of Grace: Called or Chosen

In today’s society, we often hear people talk about their calling, or people will say “he/she is walking in their calling”.  So what does it really mean to be called? There are many definitions, but a couple that stood out to me are:

1.    To ask or invite to come

2.    To summon by or as if by divine command

The first definition reminds me of the casting call for plays, musicals or television shows. An announcement is made inviting those interested to “try out” to be a part of the production. For example, the American Idol show goes to various cities and states, and people line up for a chance to audition to be the next American Idol. People come and sing their hearts out and there is a process of elimination until finally, someone is chosen to be the next American Idol. The second definition implies there is an internal prompting or nudging towards something. This divine command is most often thought of as it pertains to ministry. You will often hear those in ministry say “I knew I was called to the ministry at an early age”. What’s interesting about both of these definitions is that it doesn’t stop at being called. There is a process for going from being called to being chosen.

To be chosen is defined as:

1.    Selected from several or preferred

2.    Theologically-The Elect

a.    A person or the persons chosen or worthy to be chosen

b.    A person or persons chosen by God especially for favor or salvation

If we go back to our example of the American Idol, the winner is ultimately the person who is selected and preferred from several other participants, however, this does not necessarily mean they have a divine calling to sing. As it pertains to ministry, most churches have a selection process when searching for a pastor and the candidate that is chosen is found worthy of fulfilling the role based on meeting various requirements. However, in everyday life, there are those chosen to fulfill specific roles or jobs simply because of the favor of God upon their life. Their resume doesn’t show they’re qualified, but God’s favor opens the door.

So what does all of this have to do with being a vessel of grace? I’m so glad you asked. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we are a chosen generation. As believers, we have been chosen by God and we were chosen before the foundations of the world (Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4). Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”. We have been chosen to receive the kingdom of God and it is God’s grace that allows us to serve Him with reverence and godly fear. Even in the midst of our sin, God will choose us to be his mouthpiece, his vessel for the kingdom. This example is found in Acts 9, with the conversion of Saul to Paul. God tells Ananias that Saul is a “chosen vessel” (Acts 9:15).

Like Saul, we are chosen vessels. Matthew 22:14 reminds us that many are called but few are chosen. We have been chosen to be carriers of God’s grace, his enabling power. This power is not only for us, but for us to share with others. Our ultimate assignment is to share the gospel with those that don’t know God. This is what is meant by “seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). Like Saul, we will share in the sufferings of Christ. This is the process that we go through while becoming the vessels of God. However, we must not be moved by situations or circumstances. We must be satisfied with God’s grace, for it is sufficient or enough to get us through. Our obedience to God is our works mixed with faith that will profit us (James 2:14) and cause us to be vessels of honor. Remember, like Esther, you were chosen for such a time as this (Esther 4;14), so go forth in boldness and with the grace of God to fulfill what he has called you to do. Until next week….

Be blessed but first comes obedience!

Rev. Robin

 

 

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The Vessel of Grace

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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

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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

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Encourage Yourself on Purpose

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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!

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Submit on Purpose

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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!

 

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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.

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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

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Persevere on Purpose

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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.

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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

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#RecruitOnPurpose

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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

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