This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”, by continuing with our mini-series entitled, “Focusing on Dying To Self”. A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to the following passage and we began to walk our way through it. Let’s get back to it today and continue.
The Apostle Paul said, “The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one person died for everyone. So all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for him. From this time on we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we don’t think that way now. When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new!” (2 Cor 5:14-17 ERV).
After learning not to think of anyone the way the world thinks of people, we learned yesterday that we used to think of Jesus that way. Paul said, “It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks.” Allow me to give you an example, in scripture, of this very thing.
In Matthew 16 we find Jesus and His disciples in Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say I am?” We have already learned that there are two ways to relate to people. We can relate to people after the flesh, as this world does, in a completely carnal (earthly) way, or we can relate to people after the Spirit, the way God does, in a supernatural way. Of course, God wants us to relate to people the way He does. Let’s see how the disciples answers. They said, “Some people say you are John the Baptizer. Others say you are Elijah. And some say you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Jesus’ ministry was so impactful, so supernatural, so unexplainable, that people thought was he the ‘second coming’ of someone else. Even people who did not believe in reincarnation were thinking Jesus was the reincarnation of someone, because His ministry was so beyond humanity. That said, the answer of the people was somewhat foolish. So Jesus wanted to know what His own disciples thought. They had been with Him every day for three years. Surely they knew who He was, didn’t they?
Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” This was the big question. Jesus wanted to know if His own disciples were relating to Him after the flesh or after the Spirit. He wanted to know if they thought of Him the way the world does, or the way the Father did. As the disciples were thinking about the answer something supernatural happened. Simon received a revelation. Simon received a download from heaven. The Father opened Simon’s eyes and he was able to see Jesus for who He really was. So Simon replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah. No one taught you that. My Father in heaven showed you who I am.” And because Simon got a revelation of who Jesus is, Jesus turned around and gave him a revelation of who he is. Jesus said, “So I tell you, you are Peter.” Simon the Fisherman became Peter the Apostle after properly relating to Jesus.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- The church of God is built on getting a revelation of who Jesus is. When you come to God you must do so by coming to Him through His Son.
- When you discover Jesus, you get to discover yourself. When you get a revelation of who Jesus is, you will also get a revelation of who you really are.
- The world relates to Jesus on a carnal/earthly level. Therefore, they cannot receive from Him on a Spiritual level.
- Since you SEE Jesus in the Spirit, properly discerning Him to be the Son of our living God, you can receive from Jesus in the Spirit.
- As you properly relate to Jesus, He will properly relate to you, and your life will never be the same.
- Once you settle the issue of who Jesus is and you make Him the Lord of your life, you are in position to become the man/woman you were born to be.
- When you properly relate to Jesus He will teach you to properly relate to yourself. You will walk in divine power and the limits of this world will no longer be limits for you.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. I bring my life into focus in 2016. I spend time recalibrating my focus. I strip away anything and everything that is not conducive to my life’s assignment. I live my life with laser-focus and divine clarity. This clarity comes from You. It began when You revealed to me Your Son. The revelation of who Jesus is brought clarity to my life. Once I discovered Jesus, I discovered myself. Once I came to know Jesus, I came to know myself. I now receive from You, through Your Son Jesus, Spirit-to-Spirit. I am empowered to be just like Jesus in the earth. As Jesus is, so am I, in this world! I enter this day empowered to live out my life’s purpose, by Your grace, and for Your glory! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.