Are You Ready?

It is time to rise up and
do all that God has called you to do.

Reina Olmeda
 

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God has an assignment for you that only you can fulfill. Every day God gives us new opportunities to embrace His plan for our lives. But habits such as fear, doubt, busyness, conformity, and procrastination can get in the way, keeping us in a state of mediocrity and personal neglect. And the truth is we are not at our best when we're not healthy—body, mind, and spirit.

Fit for Your Assignment will awaken a passion to change your habits and behaviors so you are ready to walk in the fullness of all that God has destined for you.

With an inspiring thirty-day challenge Reina Olmeda takes you through a four-step process that will help you find and walk out your greatest mission and purpose:

  • CONVICTION-God's reminder that you were made for more
  • CONFRONTATION-areas that are holding you back are identified and transformed
  • REVELATION-God's dreams, desires, and vision for your life become clear
  • TRANSFORMATION-you step into your new life and destiny







AUTHOR.




Reina Olmeda is senior pastor of Third Day Worship Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, alongside her husband, Rev. Charles Olmeda. She has a bachelor's of science in clinical psychology and a master's in professional counseling. With a passion to see women rise up to the Lord's standards for their lives, she has worked with abused women as well as young women in crisis and is a sought-after speaker. Reina resides in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two daughters.

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Sample Chapter.




Chapter 1

YOU HAVE AN ASSIGNMENT


[God,] who has saved us and [has] called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.
« 2 Timothy 1:9, NAS »


God has not called us to be spectators trapped in unfulfilled dreams, dwindled passion, and hopeless hunger for the greater things we feel are beyond our reach, nor does He want us to get comfortable in accepting mediocrity. God wants us to wake up every morning assured and aware of our purpose here on Earth.

If you do not know God’s assignment for your life, then how do you suppose you will fulfill the call over your life? People who are certain of what they were called to do have passion, zeal, and a posture of determination. Despite the circumstances or unfavorable events of life, they press forward to complete their assignment.

You know you are on assignment when the assignment is so “shut up in your bones” that despite feelings of weariness, tiredness, frustration, and wanting to walk away, you can’t because the assignment courses through every fiber of your entire being. Even if you wanted to quit and walk away, you couldn’t because the passion and zeal have become part of your very existence.

If you have yet to discover your assignment, I encourage you to start right now by asking God to reveal His great purpose for your life. Do not spend another day, hour, or minute walking in mediocrity. It is not a coincidence that at this very moment you are holding this book. As a matter of fact, I am almost certain you have a longing and a desire to do more, be more, and to have more.

There comes a time when conformity ceases to exist. There also comes a time when we feel a desperate and overwhelming need to rise up and escape our caves of conformity.

I believe God has created alarm clocks inside each of us that awaken our spiritual senses. It is God’s way of telling us, “Well, I waited for you. But since you can’t wake up on your own, I will wake you and make you uncomfortable until you are walking in complete assurance, abundant joy, passion, and purpose.” What a mighty God we serve! He does what He has to in order to get us to the place where we need to be.

Do not accept your current trials or circumstances as setbacks. Out of great chaos God provides the means for a new beginning.

Perhaps you are awakened by a thunderous noise that shakes the foundation of your home. You discover that the most valuable piece in the house has just been shattered beyond recognition. You tell yourself, “No matter what I do, it’s impossible to pick up the pieces and restore. I will never be able to put this back together again.” The decision is yours, my friend. You can stand in the midst of the broken pieces for hours, days, months, and years attempting to put it all back together and never see it return to its original form, or you can sweep up all the broken pieces and take them to the feet of Jesus. He will know what to do with them.

Similarly, when the storms of life shake our foundation and cause us to fall and shatter into pieces, in our brokenness we can confidently go before Jesus, the only person who knows exactly how to restore us to wholeness.

Sometimes in an effort to awaken us from our spiritual slumber, God allows valuable possessions to shatter. Strength, resilience, and dependence on God cannot be activated until there is a need.

Dependence on God requires such an active faith that as you surrender, though you may not know what the future holds—with the belief that God is in control—you are assured that all is well. When all is well, then you are introduced to your God-given purpose. Out of the rubble of pain and challenges you arise to discover and accomplish your greatest assignment.

It’s Not All About You


When Jesus spoke to His disciples, He commissioned them to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, nkjv). In essence Jesus wanted them to know that inside each of them was a message that others needed to hear. Let’s look at three important principles in regard to this commission:

1. “Go.” What He has given you, what He has deposited inside of you, is not to be kept in the confines of your own personal compartment. It must be shared with others.

2. “Into all the world.” Yes, outside of you are people whom you have been called to serve: your family, community, a whole generation . . . You have been chosen to make a difference in someone’s life. Perhaps the enemy has lied to you and told you in his most deceiving and convincing voice that you do not have purpose or that there are others in the trenches already, therefore your services and gifts are not needed. Well, I come against the lies in the name of Jesus as I declare over your life that you have indeed been chosen and destined for more. There is a unique gift and tailor-made assignment that is exclusively yours. There is someone out there waiting to see you, hear you, and know you. I invite you to receive it, believe it, embrace it, declare it, ignite it, stir it up, and walk in it.

3. “Preach the gospel.” The Spirit of God is upon you. He has anointed, separated, and selected you to help meet the needs of other human beings. Within you are expressions of encouragement, words of wisdom, and creative ideas. There are revelations to be revealed, a vision to behold, and a mission to fulfill. Someone needs to hear the good news that you, my friend, carry. Let loose and let go. Change your thinking and walk in your assignment, your anointing, and your gifting.

Every day you open your eyes, breathe a new breath, see the rising sun, hear the birds singing, feel the wind blowing, and hear the voices of your loved ones is simply an expression of God telling you, “You are here now and alive for purpose and great destiny.” Moreover, it is God’s way of revealing to you that the assignment over your life is not completed. Therefore a new day is introduced, providing a new opportunity to take hold of all that God has deposited inside of you. It is another opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.

You Have Been Set Apart


Did you know that before you were born, your assignment, purpose, and call were established? You were born for such a time as this. God has set you apart for the assignment over your life.

In the Scriptures the Lord tells Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5).

As we read this portion of Scripture, we witness a dialogue that takes place between the Lord and Jeremiah. The Lord revealed to Jeremiah that He knew him even before his very existence. The Lord formed and fashioned him. He set him apart and separated him to fulfill a great assignment. Jeremiah needed assurance of the Lord’s providence over his life, and the Lord gave Jeremiah this assurance.

But then God delivers quite an impressive assignment (Jer. 1:5, 10). Jeremiah was assigned to speak to a sinful people and was called to bring conviction. Let’s face it; this is not an easy assignment. I imagine Jeremiah felt unequipped for this particular assignment. We can see in verse 6 that Jeremiah did not embrace his assignment with great enthusiasm. As a matter of fact, Jeremiah resisted it.

He came up with a really good reason for why he did not believe he was the right man for the job. He told God he did not know how to speak (Jer. 1:6). Wait. Didn’t God clearly make known that it was He who formed Jeremiah, knew him, and appointed him as a prophet? Yes, He did.

I am going to make a hypothesis as to why I believe Jeremiah said what he said. If I were in Jeremiah’s predicament, the voice of fear would have drowned out the voice of God. In other words, the fear in me would have taken over to become the voice of reason.

Like Jeremiah, many of us to think we can pick and choose what assignment we are going to embrace—as if we have a choice.

Trust me, there were plenty of times when God clearly reminded me that He had already established and set me apart for a specific assignment. It was already written, declared, and established. I could not escape it even if I wanted to. I attempted every excuse I could think of. I even rationalized my excuses by trying to use God’s inspired Word as justification. Ah, the things we do when we allow the voices of insecurity and inadequacy to take over.

Now, this is not always intentional. Sometimes it is difficult to accept God’s great plan and purpose for our lives. His plan is so much greater than ours. It has unlimited possibilities. I mean, why would God trust you or me to execute an assignment with all our inabilities, shortcomings, insecurities, fears, and doubts? I’ll tell you why: it is because God knows us better than we know ourselves. This means that whatever you think you are incapable of doing, God, by setting you up for a particular assignment, has already declared, “You can!” When you think you do not have the right words, know the right people, or have the right resources, let me remind you that “the one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).

A Glimpse of His Favor


At a very young age I knew there was something peculiar about me. I grew up in a Christian household. We attended church at least four times a week. The church I grew up in had a thriving children’s program. Thursday evenings we had children’s service. Children led worship, ministered in song, and even delivered sermons.

It wasn’t until I was eleven years old that I was asked to sing a worship song. You see, I had been waiting for this moment. No one knew this, but one evening while at home, I began to sing. And for the first time my voice was unfamiliar to me. I realized I had a gift. I could sing; yes, I could sing!

Imagine, eleven years old and discovering a gift that was a kept secret until that very moment when God told everything around me to stop, to be silent, because He had something He wanted me to hear. He wanted me to hear the gift He had deposited inside of me. I remember saying to myself, “I can’t wait till Thursday! I am going to sing!” But guess what? Thursday came around, and while I made my way to the front row, someone asked if I would sing. By the end of the song I experienced the warmth of people as they arose and glorified and worshipped God. I was not sure of what was happening, but I knew I had a gift that was greater than what I had initially realized. It went beyond singing; this gift provoked people to rise up and give God praise.

When God deposits something inside of us, it cannot be taken lightly. Whatever comes from God is bound to have an impact first on you and then on others around you. Something happened inside of me; there was a stirring that ignited in me a desire to discover God’s plan for my life. Hence, the process had begun. I realize now that this was simply the beginning of the assignment and call over my life. I was given an assignment that would impact people and make room for God’s favor over my and their lives. Through my voice people would be introduced to God. Whether through singing or through speaking, God had set me apart!

What if I told you I am an introvert? Yes, this girl right here stood on the altar for the very first time and sang with her eyes closed the entire ten minutes that felt more like ten hours! I was petrified, but I did not allow fear to stop me because I had just experienced a glimpse of God’s favor.

You see, when God’s assignment and purpose over your life enters the core of your very being, it pushes you into unknown dimensions. All of a sudden your dreams become larger than life, and you are open to a world of possibilities as you confront fear face-to-face and move boldly in your assignment. Despite your feelings of fear or insecurity, you are propelled to move forward. Your assignment becomes a lifestyle. You move in your assignment and live your life as a vessel used by God.

People Will Know You by Your Assignment


As a mother I know I am assigned to care for and nurture my two daughters. Motherhood is not the easiest of assignments. There have been moments where I have felt inadequate; I have been tested to the core, challenged in various areas of my life, and sought desperately to have the right answers. However, despite everything that comes my way, I am still my daughters’ mother—this is my assignment! I cannot run from it. I could not deny it if I wanted to. Parenting is part of who I am. When my daughters introduce me to their friends, they begin their introductions with, “This is my mom.” They affirm my assignment every time they call me mom.

As a pastor, working alongside my amazing husband, I am called to shepherd a flock—a wonderful flock, may I add—of amazing people. Assuming the role and responsibilities of the pastorate is also part of who I am. This too is my assignment.

Every time I am called mom, wife, and pastor, I am reminded of my assignment to serve others. I am also reminded of the responsibility I have to exercise self-care so that I can give the very best of me, so that I can give the very best of what God has deposited inside of me.

Truth is, we cannot give what we do not possess. We can try to “fake it until we make it,” but I don’t buy it. We cannot think we can fake being joyful and believe that we can give fake joy to someone else. This is why I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a leap of faith to pen the pages of this book. My goal is to shine a light or provide a beacon of hope—hope that will ignite you to understand that conformity, mediocrity, lack of passion, and maintaining the status quo just won’t cut it. Because God has called you to so much more, something needs to change.

Discovery, activation, and revelation of your purpose, assignment, and call will not materialize until you recognize that without God it is impossible to successfully carry out the mission bestowed upon you. The truth is, dependency on God is necessary, if not crucial, to becoming a successful agent of change in the hands of God. You must understand that you are not selfsufficient but completely dependent on God. Everything must be aligned—your spirit, your thinking, your emotions, and yes, your physical body.

Spiritual Alignment Comes First


Have you heard the term spiritual alignment? I am sure you have. The Free Dictionary defines alignment as “the adjustment of parts in relation to each other”;1 for example, bringing forth to a straight line or an alliance where two parts come together arranged in the same form. Therefore, to be spiritually aligned is to be parallel with God as it pertains to His plan and purpose for your life; hence, your assignment. Let me warn you, this process can be painful. Try to straighten up completely erect after spending a long time bent over.

The Bible speaks of a woman who had this kind of experience in Luke chapter 13. This woman was bent over and could not straighten up for eighteen years. The Scripture says that a spirit caused her posture to be as such and afflicted her. Now imagine this woman looking down all the time, unable to straighten up. I imagine how difficult it must have been to wake up every morning misaligned, unable to stand erect. This woman must have endured great pain. Furthermore, the limitations endured and opportunities missed as a result of her condition perhaps caused emotional and psychological distress. This was not a good place to be. Yet many have made distress their dwelling place, as it feels ever present in their lives.

There are women and men who are living their lives crippled by spirits. Depression, anxiety, distress, fears, guilt, and regret, to name a few, have been carefully tucked under smiles, praises, eloquent words, and titles. This is not God’s plan for you! This is not God’s plan for anyone!

The enemy wants your spirit depleted of all that is good, of all that produces growth, peace, love, and passion. God wants you to live an abundant life.

When the darts of the enemy are launched toward your spirit with no mercy, they affect all aspects of your being. What you are dealing with is spiritual! If God is going to manifest His glory in your life, then spiritual alignment must take place. As you get in unison with God and seek to go to a deeper level, the depths and revelation of His Word get into the nooks and crannies of your soul, ridding you of everything that brings to a halt God’s perfect plan for your life.

Remember my story of my being eleven years old and God starting me on a journey to discovering my assignment? Well, those were the days, my friend. I was walking in absolute bliss, happy to know I was special to God. Oh, what a feeling. My posture was upright as I affirmed vociferously, “I am sure of who I am.” But the inevitable happened. I grew up. Seasons changed and life happened. I lost sight of the fact that I needed to nurture my spirit man. I got so engrossed in ministry that I forgot the minister in me needed care as well. In a nutshell, I had missed the mark.

My posture began to change so much that I could not see the greater plan for my future. I allowed all kinds of unhealthy things that may have seemed harmless at first to change my posture and knock me out of alignment. I was not in alignment with God. I got ahead of myself in some areas and fell behind in others. As a matter of fact, I might as well confess that a spirit of idleness came over me like a warm, cozy blanket. For a season I made sure I did not embrace any assignment that would keep me from my cozy blanket.

Let’s face it; sometimes it just feels good to do absolutely nothing. I knew better, though. I knew this was not who God had created me to be. This was certainly not God’s plan for my life, and let me reiterate, it is not God’s plan for you either. The Bible clearly tells us that “the soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” (Prov. 13:4, esv). The truth is, I avoided doing the work.

Funny how sometimes we want all the perks from heaven, yet we don’t want to reach for heaven to get them. Spiritual alignment is going to require you to sit in God’s presence and allow Him to cleanse you of all your impurities and toxins. You are going to have to pray until you are certain that you are aligned with God’s purpose and will for your life. It does not always feel good. You will have to seek Him through Scripture, devotional time, and moments of silence. As a result you will begin to recognize His voice and understand His will and assignment for your life.

Being fit for your assignment requires that the work begin on the inside. For those who have been wounded, hurt, abused, mistreated, and abandoned, the mere thought of having to start here can be extremely overwhelming. Before I go on, let me encourage you, God has a greater purpose and plan for your life. There is more He wants to do in and through you. There are bigger dreams and higher dimensions to which He wants to take you. You must first look deep inside of you and bring out all that needs adjusting, aligning, ridding, molding, and cleansing. Don’t be afraid. God is going to carry you through it. I know it can be difficult, but are you willing to risk watching your life pass by without ever discovering the greatness that resides inside of you?

I want you to know that I too wanted to run and hide the very moment I discovered the truth about myself. “What truth?” you ask. Well, where do I start? First, I discovered that God wanted to do much more, but I was the only one who was hindering and putting at risk all that God wanted to endow me with. I had placed limits and barriers, which I refused to remove. There were doors opening for me to speak beyond the East Coast, yet I allowed fear to set barricades that would keep me from walking onto an airplane and taking flight. Any event that required me to fly, I would ask my assistant to reject.

What was I doing? Did I really think I could close doors that God had opened? Yes, I did! But at that time I did what every good Christian with a conscience would do: I justified my bad behavior. I would say, “Lord, I know You understand me because You created me.” Yes, I used grace and mercy to keep me covered. But if I told you that some of us take advantage of grace and mercy, would you agree with me?

It is so much easier to live in bliss, engrossed in some manmade definition of grace and mercy, than to live by biblical principles. These principles cause you to be governed by God’s truths, which clearly shout out that transforming work begins with you. You must make a decision to accept the changes God wants to provide for your life. The Bible says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2). Reality check: grace and mercy are available to all of us. However, we must gracefully and mercifully move into action by engaging in the process and task set before us.

We have to decide we are going to do whatever is necessary to partner with God as we move forward to becoming fit in all areas of our lives. We are not leaving any internal room untouched. We are going in and we are going to turn the light on, clean out the clutter, and rearrange the furniture in an effort to house the treasures, blessings, dreams, vision, purpose, and destiny God has for us.

The moment I decided I was going to embrace truth and set myself on a path to becoming fit for my assignment, I knew I had to be accountable to someone. It is not easy to let go of habits, faulty thinking, and all the other stuff that hinders our purpose. Who was I fooling? I had convinced myself for years that I was doing well, reaching and achieving all that I had set my mind to do. Yes, deep down inside my soul I knew that there was more. There had to be. I had wasted too many days regretting things I couldn’t finish; hence my overeating, weariness, tiredness, overwhelming fears, and often feeling frustrated with myself.

Thinking back, it was hard to get up at times and face the fact that others were ahead of me, that others had greater discipline, more focus, better plans, and greater resources. Yes, sometimes while on assignment, rather than focusing on what is in front of us and moving toward it, we spend precious moments focused on those around us who are doing better, becoming greater, and achieving more. What a waste of my time that was! Goodness gracious, did I delay the process!

Well, I had made up my mind. I knew myself all too well. As a professional procrastinator and professional at sitting on the sidelines, I knew that at any moment I would stop what I had started and more than likely spend a good portion of my life planning to become fit rather than taking the steps toward activation.

God dealt with me about this, and consequently I created a secret group on Facebook where I began to post my journey. I was going to be accountable to somebody, or should I say, more than 750 somebodies, who later joined me on this journey. I invited women to my secret group (Fit for Your Assignment) and remained real, raw, and relevant, and off I went on my journey toward becoming wholly fit.

As someone once said, “I wish you a very good journey to an unknown you’ve never seen.”2



Reflections


I am convinced there are three kinds of people:

1. Those who know their assignment and are living it out every day, walking in the fullness of joy, and reaping from all the seeds they have sown while on assignment.

2. Those who have yet to discover their assignment and have settled in conformity and routine. They work jobs that are unfulfilling, regret wrong decisions, feel guilty about not contributing, and lack meaning and purpose.

3. Those who know their assignment, yet their lives are such a mess that they spend their days overwhelmed with guilt, knowing they should be doing more but inhibited by all the chaos that surrounds them.



1. Of these three kinds of people, which do you think best describes you? Why?



2. What has God awakened in you concerning this chapter?







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