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Romans 1.5

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By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Paul is now being fairly personal about his life: from Jesus he received grace and apostleship.

Paul breaks down what Jesus has given him into two categories: grace and apostleship.

Grace is what Jesus gives to everybody – of his grace we have all received (John 1.16). When Paul talks about receiving grace He means receiving the grace that we all have access to in Him.

Grace means something you are given that you do not deserve. When we are talking about Jesus, His grace is where He gives you what you do not deserve due to His redemptive work. You deserved poverty, but He gave you riches (2 Cor. 9.8). You deserved sickness, but He healed you (Matthew 8.14-16). You deserved death and hell, but He gave you eternal life (Romans 6.23).

Apostleship is what Jesus gave to Paul only – He gave some apostles (Ephesians 4.11). This represents what Jesus gives us as individuals as our destiny – the anointings and giftings that help us assume our place in the body and fulfill our destiny. You are probably not an apostle, but you are a somebody with a destiny and with a special gift from God that no-one else has.

Can you see how wonderful this is? Jesus gives us grace – all the stuff that everyone gets, and then Jesus gives us an equipping, a mantle, a revelation, a gift that is just for us to fulfill our ministry. He is such a good God.

I have received from Christ grace and teachingship. I have got all the stuff every Christian has – health, wealth, righteousness, peace, joy; and I have some stuff only I have – the ability to expound the Word in a way that makes people think and changes lifes, the ability to release people into their destiny, and the ability to refresh an entire church at once through my words.

You have the stuff we all have, and you have stuff only you have. You should know what both those stuffs are. You should be operating in both the stuffs.

However, confusing these two things up: the general grace and the specific gifts of your destiny leads to many Christians leaving stagnant lifes.

I lay hands on the sick and see them recover not because I am a minister but because I am a believer (Mark 16.17). Many believers will never minister healing because they think it goes in the specific gifting category and never realize it is for EVERY Christian. I have been to churches that teach that speaking in tongues is only for some Christians, when it is available for all.

On the other hand, some Christians think they can be a prophet or teacher if they believe and receive. You can only believe and receive what is in the general grace, not what is a specific gift. You cannot make God make you a teacher or a prophet or an apostle. You cannot confess that you are an apostle and make it so. You cannot teach like me – just like I cannot do what you do the way you do it.

You can believe and receive for your healing because that is grace. You cannot believe and receive for an office and role in the body of Christ – you can only discover your office, not decide it.

Notice that Paul’s grace and apostleship (just like your grace and destiny) were not for him to strut about and boast, were not for goosebumps, were not for laughing and happy meetings – no, they were for obedience to faith among all nations. God has given you grace and a destiny for a reason: to make the nations obey the Word. Whatever God has given you to do, go and take that gift to the nations and convince them to obey the Word.

If you do not know your destiny, don’t sit on your backside waiting for God to write on your wall. Go and use your grace and take that to the nation. Paul was called to be an apostle when he was already preaching the gospel to the nations. If you want to know your calling, start doing the stuff every Christian is expected to do: go and heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the gospel and raise the dead. Speak in new tongues, preach the gospel, make disciples of all nations. As you go, God will reveal His specific plans to you.

But don’t expect God to reveal His specific orders to someone not obeying His standing orders!

God has a destiny for you impact the world and glorify His name. If you want to know what it is, start doing all the stuff that you know to do from the Word.

Then you will know that you have grace and a destiny. You too can say with Paul:

By whom I have received grace and [my destiny], for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

You Have A Destiny (Andrew Wommack)

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Dear Benjamin,

You were not created by accident. You are not a mistake. Your presence on this earth at this time in history was preordained. The way you look, the talents and gifts you possess, and the personality you have been given is all part of God’s plan.

He made you the way you are for a very specific purpose, and no one can ever replace you. But, if you are ever going to fulfill that purpose—your destiny—it begins with believing that you have one and that you must cooperate with God to bring it to pass.

Psalm 139:16 says, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Jeremiah 1:5 reads, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

And in Galatians 1:15, the Apostle Paul writes, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.”

I know that many believers never let the Bible get in the way of what they believe. But these three verses, and there are many more, should be enough to convince any skeptic. They are written proof that God knew you even before you were born and that He has a very specific plan for your life that no one else can fulfill. He has a destiny designed just for you.

The word destiny is defined in the America Heritage Dictionary as “the inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person is destined. A predetermined course of events.”

However, I believe that definition is wrong. It implies that your destiny cannot be avoided or prevented. That is not scriptural and therefore just not true. It’s true that your destiny is preordained, but it is not inevitable.

Whenever I teach this, it always brings up questions about the sovereignty of God. There are some who teach the sovereignty of God in a way that leads one to believe everything happens for a reason and that God is behind it all. If this is true, then you have to be prepared to blame God for every evil and bad thing that happens on the earth. That means every catastrophe, every war, every murder, every rape, or anything else you can name must be God’s will. If that were true, then God has not done a good job of running the world.

I believe this teaching is the worst heresy in the body of Christ today. And it’s very destructive because it takes away the will to resist evil. You need to live with a sense of destiny. It’s important not to go through life doing your own thing and then asking God to bless it. It’s the reason so many believers are experiencing a lack of success, of fulfillment and satisfaction.

There is a power and an anointing that only comes when you are fulfilling God’s plan for your life. Every person has a preordained plan for their life, but God is not going to make it come to pass. God will speak to you, and He will woo you. He wants to reveal His plan for you more than you want to know it, but it’s incumbent upon you to find out what it is. As long as you are asking God to reveal His purpose while you are on your way to doing something else, you’ll never learn what it is.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” When you finally reach the point where you can no longer live without knowing His will, I guarantee you’ll find it. However, it doesn’t happen without your pursuit. Deuteronomy 30:19 makes it very clear that God has given you the power and the freedom to make your own choices: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” God does not force His will or His plan upon anyone.

So, is He sovereign? Yes, if the correct definition for sovereign is used. Sovereign means supreme in power or rank. We all would agree with this definition, but I totally disagree with the way religion today uses “sovereign.” God does not make His will for our lives come to pass. We have to submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). We have responsibility.

The best example of this is in the Great Commission: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). The Apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

You would have to have help to misunderstand these scriptures. It’s not God’s will for people to perish, and yet they do because His will is not automatic. Maybe the person who was called to preach didn’t obey, or maybe the one hearing the message rejected it. In either case, God’s will did not come to pass. Your destiny will not come to pass automatically either.

Whatever God is calling you to do, it is not based on your natural talents and abilities. I am not saying that there is no connection between those natural gifts and God’s plan for your life. However, many times God will call a person to do what they seem totally unqualified for. He will call you to do the very thing you can’t do.

If you would have told me at eighteen years of age that God was calling me to be a minister, looking at my natural abilities, I would have said no way, no way, no way. But you know what? Looking back, I can see that everything in my life was pointing toward exactly what I am doing now. God has a destiny for you, and He wants to reveal it. But He is not going to run you down. He is not going to steamroll you or force it upon you.

That reminds me of Romans 12:1, which says you are to present yourself as a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice is a volunteer. If God were to force your destiny upon you, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice; it would be slavery. For whatever reason, many believers have been sidetracked. When I teach on this subject at churches or conferences and ask how many know that they know what their destinies are, few ever raise their hands. When I ask those to stand who would like prayer regarding this, it’s usually eighty to ninety percent of the audience. This is not what the Lord intended. Regardless of where you find yourself today, God is so awesome that He can plot a course from right where you are to where He planned for you to be.

It’s like a GPS navigator. When you go the wrong way, it says “Recalculating,” and in an instant, it has a new route planned to get you to your destination. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what has happened in your past; it’s never too late to recalculate. Just believe that you have a destiny, and determine in your heart that you will not take another step in life until you know what it is. Then, just start doing what God is telling you to do. He won’t necessarily give you the entire picture, but He will give you the next step.

As you take that step, you will find that there is an automatic anointing that comes to help you accomplish it. It would be unjust for God to call you do to something and then ask you to do it in your own strength. Everything God asks you to do is supernatural. He will always lead you to do something that is beyond your own natural ability so you will have to be dependent on Him. If it’s not supernatural, it’s superficial! God wants your life to be supernatural!

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