This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”, with an emphasis on “Focusing on God’s Finished Work”. For the last few days we have looked at Ecclesiastes 3:15. In yesterday’s message I said the following:
“God reveals things to you about your future and He wants you to find JOY in them. It is the JOY associated with what you SEE in your future that enables you to ‘power your way’ through the process of this present time.”
In the video version of the message I explained that I made this statement thinking about Jesus. Jesus endured the pain of the cross, because He was able to SEE into the future. What Jesus saw in the future brought Him a JOY that blessed Him to ‘power through’ the pain of the present moment. The writer of Hebrews explains this best. He said:
“We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.” (Hebrews 12:1-3 ERV)
There is so much in that passage that I could teach on it for weeks. But I want to tie it back to Ecclesiastes 3:15. So let’s read Ecclesiastes 3:15 and then get into the message. The Bible says, “That which is has already been, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by [so that history repeats itself].”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. Jesus was able to endure what He endured because He could SEE into the future. Jesus’ knowledge of a future that was ALREADY PLANNED made the pain of the present worth it. What was true for Jesus CAN BE true for you. God will reveal things to you about your future (a future that is ALREADY PLANNED), so you can “fall in love” with His plan. If you do, you will have an inner joy that will fuel your faith as you endure and overcome every challenge on the path to arriving at God’s expected end.
2. Jesus endured the cross because of the JOY set before him. The writer of Hebrews said that He “accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.” I see two things there. First, Jesus’ ability to peer into the future gave Him the strength to endure and overcome any pain associated with the present. This same ability is made available to us through the Holy Spirit. Second, Jesus’ ability to power-through the pain of the present empowered Him to fulfill His purpose in the earth. Now Jesus is back in His proper position in heaven. Jesus is able to enjoy His proper position in heaven because He completed His assignment in the earth. Guess what? God’s desire is to be able to say the same thing about us. One day, if we are able to ‘power-through pain’ like Jesus did, and we complete our divine assignment in the earth, we will enjoy our proper position in heaven.
3. The Joy associated with what God has revealed to you about your future does not exonerate you from enduring the process required to get there!
4. Purpose is not manifested outside of the process. The process is actually part of your divine purpose.
5. The process equips you to BE what grace has empowered you to DO. Without the process you will attempt to start DOING before spending time BEING/BECOMING and it will not work.
6. You must be developed to the point where your character can handle your anointing.
7. Don’t despise the process. Fall in love with the JOY associated with your future, but sober about the process. Satan will attempt to do all he can to get you frustrated with the process. Why? Because satan cannot stop you, but he knows that you can stop yourself. If he gets you frustrated to the point that you give up, cave in and quit in the process, you will never fulfill your purpose.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. I have brought my life into focus in 2016. I know my purpose includes a process. I must be processed to BE before I get the chance to DO. My being must precede my doing. You called me to a great work, but now You are processing me, so my character is able to carry my anointing. I declare that I do not despise the process. I will BE, so that You are free to DO through me, for Your glory! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.