Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus

by Rick

This morning we continue our journey into this new year with a focus on making “Intentional Progress.”  Now that I have laid out for you the six steps to international progress that we will walkthrough, I am ready to get started.  As a reminder, here are the six steps.

Here are the steps again:

1.  Pray/Discern

2.  Plan/Prepare

3.  Wait/Discern God’s Timing

4.  Execute/Measure Progress

5.  Wait/Faith & Patience

6.  Receive When Harvest Time Comes

As I prayed about how to start, for the praying and discerning phase, the Lord told me ot look at the life of Jesus.   Let’s do that.  

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  You are destined like Jesus was destined.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Micah prophesied a leader of Israel with everlasting origins would be born in Bethlehem.  Bethlehem also has ties to David, and Jesus was to come from the house and lineage of David.  As a young baby, Jesus was threatened by King Herod, so his parents took him to live in Egypt.  But this, too, was the fulfillment of a prophecy.  The prophet Hosea prophesied that God would call His Son out of Egypt.  When Herod was dead, Mary and Joseph took a young Jesus to be raised in Nazareth.  This, too, was the fulfillment of prophecy, for Jesus was to be called a Nazarene.  With all that behind him, a young Jesus attempted to live life as a common man.  He was fully God and fully man at the same time.  As a young boy, knowing good and well that He was God in the flesh, it took tremendous focus, discipline, and restraint to wait for the fulness of time before starting His ministry.

When He was 12 years old, His parents made their annual trip to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.  When the festival was over the family returned home, but they did not realize Jesus stayed behind.  It took Mary and Joseph three days to find Jesus.  When they did, they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard young Jesus was amazed at his understanding and answers.  His parents were upset, but He said, “Didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?”  And with that, they took Him away.  He went back to a normal life.  The Bible says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”  He was God in the flesh, but He humbled Himself to the process of evolving and becoming the man He was destined to be.

We don’t hear from Jesus again until 18 years later.  At the age of 30, Jesus started His ministry.  He was baptized by His cousin, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, and He went off into the wilderness to be tested.  After being tested, Jesus came out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit.  See, you can’t walk in Holy Spirit power until you are tested, and you pass the tests.  

Jesus then started preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.  He recruited 12 disciples, and He set up His ministry headquarters in Capernaum.  Even that was purposeful because Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would humble the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, a coastal region later known as Capernaum.

After three and a half years of ministry, Jesus was crucified for us.  Throughout the entire ordeal, Jesus had to exercise tremendous focus, discipline, and restraint.  He never got out ahead of the Father, He never lagged behind what the Father was doing, and He never chose to go out and do His own thing.  For the 33 1/2 years Jesus was on this planet, He knew He was here on purpose, and He was intentional about every step of His journey.

— Your name may not be Jesus, and your book may not be the Bible, but you are destined.  There is a book in heaven with your name in it.  You are destined like Jesus was destined.  You are NOT on this planet to do whatever you want.

— Learn from Jesus.  Don’t get out ahead of God, don’t fall back behind Him, and never go out, on your own, to do your own thing.

— When you are led like Jesus was led, you get to flow in God’s grace.  God’s supernatural empowerment will be all over you to do things you could never do without Him because you will be doing what you were born to do.

— Walking with God and living the life of faith is about praying, discerning, listening, waiting, and exercising tireless restraint until God gives you the green light to move.  When He does, it then becomes about launching out, believing God, saying what He leads you to say, and have the courage to attempt the impossible, even at the risk of looking foolish.  I hope you are ready for 2022.  Greater is coming!  But you will be in sync with God.

2.  Jesus did not do anything before He had a “green light” from the Father.

(John 5:17-19 & 30 TPT)

??17 Jesus answered his critics by saying, “Every day my Father is at work, and I will be, too!” 

18 This infuriated them and made them all the more eager to devise a plan to kill him. For not only did he break their Sabbath rules, but he also called God “my Father,” which made him equal to God.

19 So Jesus said, “I speak to you eternal truth. The Son is unable to do anything from himself or through his own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father.

30 “I can do nothing alone. I judge only the way I am told. And my judgment is right, because I am not trying to please myself. I want only to please the one who sent me.

— Jesus waited 30 years before He started a 3 1/2 year ministry.  This is the type of discipline, focus and divine restraint that you must develop in order to become the man/woman you are called to be.

— Everyone today wants everything overnight.  But our God is not an overnight God.  Your breakthrough will come overnight, but that night will come after 10, 15, 20, and 30 years of preparation.

— When God releases you in your calling, you must be so convinced of what God calls you to do that you are not moved by people.

— There were people who knew Jesus during the 30 years who could not accept Him during the three.  When Jesus started living as the person He was called to be, many in His hometown could not get past the person He used to be.  Unfortunately, it is often the same with us.

— There will be people who do not accept your calling.  They won’t embrace your future because they cannot get past your past.  Oh well, pray for them keep it moving.

— The one who called you will keep you!

3.  God will develop you in your season of obscurity.

— Jesus was developed during the 30 years when no one knew His name, for the three years when everyone knew his name.  

— Think about the type of discipline and restraint it takes to live as a carpenter when you know you are called to be something greater. 

— Jesus spent more time as a carpenter than he did as a miracle worker.

— Jesus had to be faithful to the father no one knew his name so the Father could make His name great.  

— God of develops you in relative obscurity.  

— You are not ready for the spotlight until you’re able to handle the silence.  Let that sink in.

— If you can’t handle the season of obscurity, God knows you are not ready for the season of notoriety!  

4.  God will process you in private before He gives you a public platform.  Let’s close with David as an example.

— God can do anything through anyone.  He is not looking for ability.  He has all power.  He is looking for availability, which is why He takes the time to process us.  God works with us, often in private, to process us for our purpose.  

— Right after his encounter with Goliath, David’s name would be known.  He went from obscurity to national hero overnight.  Crowds were calling out his name.  But God did not prepare David for the national spotlight on a national stage.  David had been preparing all his life, in the fields, on the plains, well before God gave him a platform.

— You must be faithful to God when NO ONE knows your name before God makes your name great.

— David honored God on the plains, tending sheep, well before he got a national platform, leading people from the palace.  This is how God works.

— God will process you in obscurity well before He gives you the spotlight.  Many people want the platform, but they don’t want to endure the processing.

— David had the grace to kill the giant while everyone was watching because he was faithful to kill the lion and bear when NO ONE was watching.

— If you are not faithful over what God has given you in private, you cannot be trusted with public success.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for blessing me to see the importance of being in sync with You at all times.  I am destined like Jesus was destined.  There is a book in heaven with my name on it.  You planned out my life before I ever took one breath.  I declare that I live in sync with the Holy Spirit so I can become the man/woman I am destined to be.  I am so in sync that I am okay with my season of obscurity.  I develop the restraint required to wait on my elevation.  When that time comes, You will release me.  When You do, I will be ready to walk in every level, with Your grace, and for Your glory.  So I embrace every season — spotlight or darkroom –, and I enjoy every step of the journey.  GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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