Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 4)

by Rick

This morning we continue our journey into this new year with a focus on making “Intentional Progress.”  I shared with you six steps to intentional progress and I will walk through them over the next few weeks.  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.  For the past few days, we have been looking at John chapter 5.  Today we cross over into John chapter 6.

(Read John 6:22-29)  

In John 6, Jesus fed 5,000+ people with two fish and five loaves of bread.  A few hours later, He walked on water.  The next day, while having a conversation about being the “Bread of Life,” Jesus’ followers said to Him, “We want to perform God’s works, too.  What should we do?”  This is an understandable question.  It is one most of us have had.  

When I first came to God, I saw people being used of Him mightily, and I would sometimes muster up the courage to walk up to them and say, “I see how you are being used of God.  I want to be used like that.  What do I need to do?”  The more you walk with God, the more you should develop a hunger and thirst for the supernatural.  It’s almost like what I shared with you about God’s revelation becoming an invitation for your participation.  When you see something supernatural with your own eyes, it is natural to want to experience it for yourself.

Part of growing, developing, and maturing Christ, is opening your heart to the supernatural and developing a thirst for the power of God to be manifested in, with, and through your life.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand religion.  I am dissatisfied rites, rituals, and routines.  I have developed a distaste for the mundane.  My walk with God cannot just be about singing songs or dressing up nice to go to church.  Our God is a supernatural God, and I refuse to have Him living on the inside of me while I go on living life as a mere human.  Once you are Born-Again, you are not a here man.  You are a man/woman who is filled with God.  You are walking around with God on the inside of you.

I am still talking about Step #1 of the six steps.  This step is about praying and discerning what God wants you to do.  To be clear, God called you to do things that are beyond you!  God’s calling will require God’s involvement.  So, for you to become the man/woman you are called to be, you will have to muster up the audacity to truly BELIEVE GOD!    

Let’s go back to the answer posed to Jesus in John 6.  Jesus’ followers said to Him, “We want to perform God’s works, too.  What should we do?”  Did Jesus say they had to be perfect like He was perfect?  Did Jesus say they had to be sinless like He was sinless?  Did Jesus say they had to work hard to earn God’s Blessing?  No.  Jesus said, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”  This is the type of work the Father requires: He is looking for us to BELIEVE.  Let’s talk about it.

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

1.  God is looking for you to believe Jesus was His Son in the flesh.

Jesus told His followers that God the Father was looking for them to believe in the one He sent.  To be clear, Jesus was talking about Himself.

— Jesus wanted people to believe that He was the Son of God.

— Jesus wanted people to believe that He was God in the flesh.

— Jesus wanted people to believe that He was equal with the Father.

— Jesus wanted people to believe that the works He was doing were works that God the Father was doing, through Him, because He was a human conduit of the divine.

— Jesus wanted people to believe in Him back them, and He still requires the same of us today.  Jesus was not just a good man who walked the planet.  Jesus was not just a prophet sent from God.  Jesus was and is God.  Jesus is God who left heaven and came to the earth so we can go there.

— We must believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, He lived a sinless life, He suffered, bled and died for our sins, He was raised from the dead on the third day, He ascended up into heaven, and He is coming back again, in glory, to judge the living and the dead.  This is what we must believe about Jesus.  

— Jesus preached, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” and of His Kingdom, there will be no end!

— The first step to becoming the man/woman God called you to be is believing in His Son, repenting of your sin, and making Jesus your Lord!  That’s the gospel, and we can never stop preaching it!

2.  God is looking for you to believe that you can do what Jesus did.

The people in John 6 saw what Jesus was doing, and they immediately developed a hunger and thirst to do the same thing.  They wanted to know how they could do what Jesus was doing.  They wanted to be used of God the Father like Jesus was being used right in front of them.  Jesus told them that the key to doing what He was doing was BELIEVING!

— God wants you to see Jesus as, not just an example FOR you, but as an example OF you!

— God wants you to look at the life of Jesus and believe that you can do what He did and that you can live the same way He lived.

— God wants you to look at Jesus and say, “As Jesus is, so am I, in this world” (1 Jn 4:17).

— Jesus Himself said, “The works that I do, you will do, and even greater works than these” (John 14:12).

— Jesus operated as a man who was submitted to the Father in all things, at all times.  This is the way we are supposed to live  As we get ready for 2022, please EXPAND your capacity to BELIEVE God!  All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).

3.  Your work is to believe!

a)  Your job is to believe that God will do His.  Many Christians believe they need to work to earn God’s approval.  But the kind of work the Father requires of us is not performed with our hands; it is performed with our heart.  Our work is to believe.  Belief opens the door of possibility, and faith will lead you to walk through it.  Don’t put any limits on God in 2022.

b)  You must believe that God CAN use you.  Most Christians do not have a problem believing that God can do anything.  Their problem comes in believing that God will use them.  As you receive and embrace the message of God’s undeserved grace, you will start believing that God can use you despite your faults, flaws, and failures.  God does not want you to use you because you are good.  God wants to use you because He is good!

c)  You must believe that God WILL use you.  Once you believe that God CAN use you, and once you settle the grace issue in your heart and you know that God wants to bless you because He is good and not because you are, you are then in a position to expect God to use you by His grace.  Once you believe that He will, He will!  So EXPAND your capacity to believe and get ready to be used of God for His glory!

d)  You must believe that God has qualified you for your life’s assignment by grace.  God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called by His undeserved grace.  Stop allowing satan to beat you up with thoughts of unworthiness.  You will never be good enough to be used of God on your own merit.  The good news is that Jesus made you worthy with His own blood.  Accept God’s grace.  Believe you are qualified for your life’s assignment and pursue your purpose with all your might, knowing that God’s supernatural power will flow through you to do what He has called you to do.  Your work is simply to BELIEVE!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for teaching me how to live the life of faith from the life of Jesus.  Jesus taught me that my work now is to believe.  This work is not performed with my hands; it is performed with my heart.  I EXPAND my capacity to believe You.  I cast down every artificial limit I have ever placed on my limitless God.  There is nothing You cannot do.  I know You can do all things, and I have never had a problem believing that.  But there was a time when I did not believe You would use ME.  Those days are over.  I open my heart to believe and receive Your best in 2022.  There is nothing You can’t do.  You live in me.  Therefore, there is nothing I can’t do!  I can do ALL THINGS through Christ, who empowers me to do what I could never do without You!  I am a believer and not a doubter.  I walk by faith and not by sight or fear.  I open my heart to Your best in this season.  I am OPEN to whatever You want to do, however You want to do it.  Living this way, 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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