Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 2)

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

We are looking at the first step right now: praying and discerning the will of God.  With that in mind, yesterday, we looked at something Jesus said in John 5.  Let’s go back to this passage.

(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.

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

1.  Your heart must be OPEN and YIELDED to God in order to hear from Him and operate in His power.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself.”  Remember, this was God in the flesh saying this.  This was a grown man who, at the age of 12, baffled scholars who had been studying God’s Word all their lives.  Jesus, in His humanity, was like no other.  But even with all His natural abilities, He refused to operate in His humanity without hearing from and submitting to divinity.  

— Jesus had a yielded heart.  His power and authority came from His level of submission to the Father.  

— The reason Jesus was able to do what He did (operating in the supernatural and releasing heaven on this planet) is because He was NOT the one doing it.  It was the Father, living IN Him, who was giving Him the words and performing the work (see John 14:10).

— While Jesus was perfect, He refused to operate in His perfect humanity.  He did not rely on the flesh at all.  This is great news for us because we are NOT perfect.  The message of God’s grace is that you don’t have to be perfect.  You don’t have to do everything right.  You don’t even have to know everything.  All the Father requires of you is what He required of His Son Jesus: a yielded heart that is open to whatever He wants to do.  

— As we enter into 2022, please renew your commitment to be OPEN and YIELDED to God in all things, at all times.  When God leads you to do something, it may not make sense, you may feel unqualified and uncomfortable, and it may even seem impossible, but if God is leading you to it, it is because HE wants to do it through you.  Faith says, “YES” to God’s grace.  Please say “YES” to God, no matter how crazy it seems, and the impossible will become possible for you!

2.  Revelation is your authorization for participation.  

Jesus said, “He does only what he sees the Father doing.  Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.  For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing.”  Not only did Jesus only say what He HEARD the Father saying, but He only did what He SAW the Father do.

— Jesus sought guidance (insight, revelation, and understanding) from the Father daily and throughout the day.  The Father then revealed to Jesus what He wanted to do for that day or in that season, and Jesus was then in a position to participate in it.

— Instead of doing something that He wanted to do and then asking God to bless it, Jesus sought God first.  Jesus wanted to know what the Father was doing and as the Father revealed to the Son what He was doing on the earth, within His sphere of influence, Jesus was this revelation as His invitation for participation.

— You can come up with things and then present your ideas to God and ask Him to bless them.  This may work, but at best, you may be 50/50 with this approach because God already made plans for your life.  He made those plans before you were born.  This means His plans for your life are already blessed.  So when you come up with a plan for 2022, which may be full of New Year’s resolutions, and you present that plan to God, asking Him to breathe on it and bless it, just know that He will only bless the portions of your plan that align with His.  Whatever portions of your plan do not align with His, He will simply be silent.  If you move out with those plans, you will be doing so on your own, without God’s grace, and you will have to rely on your own power, operating as a mere human.  Sadly, many Christians do this, and they blame God for not blessing their plans.  But God never signed up to give you whatever you want.  

— Jesus said, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want.  You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me.  Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it.  But you who give up your life for me and for the Good News will save it.” (Mark 8:34,35 ERV).

— Frustration sets in when good-intentioned people make a demand on God for something He never planned for them to have.  Many of these people will say that they are “in-faith,” but honestly, they are not.  Faith begins where the will of God is known.

— God wants you to ask Him to reveal to you what He is already doing, what He already planned, and what He is already blessing within your sphere of influence.  Once He reveals it to you, you are then authorized to be part of it because His revelation is your invitation for participation.  

3.  You cannot perform God’s will without relying on God.  

Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing by himself” (John 5:19).  That is very clear language.  In verse 30, Jesus is equally crystal clear.  He said, “I can’t do anything on my own.”  Listen to the words and notice who is saying them.  This is Jesus Himself.  This is God in the flesh.  This is divinity personified.  This is the only perfect human to ever walk the planet.  

— If anyone could have operated without the assistance of the Father, it was Jesus, but Jesus refused to.

— Had Jesus chosen to operate in His perfection, then none of us could have followed His example because none of us are perfect.  Jesus chose to rely on the Father because that is what we must do every day.

— Jesus is both an example FOR us and an example OF us.  He is the picture of what it looks like when a human is submitted to the Father in all things.  This is the way we are supposed to live.

— The Father will use us like He used Jesus, and it won’t be because we deserve it or because we earned it.  It will only be because of God’s undeserved grace.

4.  I will close out the week with a few last thoughts on everything I have shared about Jesus thus far.

— God’s plans for your life, for 2022, are already mapped out.  Success will not come for you because you developed elaborate plans and then asked God to bless them.  Success, for you, as a believer, will come when you take the time to discover and discern what God already planned for you for this season.  Once He does, you must have the faith to believe and attempt what God reveals to you because that is the only way you will experience His best.

— Hearing from God boils down to simply remaining “OPEN” to whatever He wants to say; however, He wants to say it.  God is always speaking.  We have to learn to discern his voice and the impulses of the Holy Spirit.

— When God reveals something to you that He wants you involved in, you must muster up the faith to see yourself doing what He is revealing.  And you must then have the courage to attempt it when God gives you the “green light.”  This is how we live by faith.  This is how we experience intentional progress.  This is how we maximize every season.  This is how we incrementally become the men/women we are called to be.

Get excited.  GREATER IS COMING!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for taking the time to teach me about Your amazing grace and supernatural power.  For years I thought Jesus was used of You in the ways that He was because He was God in the flesh.  But Your Word is teaching me that He operated in the earth as a man, totally open, yielded, and surrendered to You in every way.  Jesus lived this way so I could see an example of how I am supposed to live.  By faith, I declare that I will live just like Jesus lived.  As Jesus is, so am I in this world.  I will only say those things I hear You say.  I will only do those things You lead me to do.  I will listen and be OPEN, for Your divine insight, before I make decisions.  As You reveal things to me, I will see the revelation as my invitation for participation.  I get to be part of what You are doing on the earth.  As I do, I don’t have to ask You to bless my actions because what You lead me to do is already blessed.  I am excited about 2022.  I know 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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