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:
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. As we are looking to learn from the life of Jesus, we have looked at John chapters 5 and 6. Today we cross over into chapter 8.
(John 8:23-30 ERV)
23 But Jesus said to them, “You people are from here below, but I am from above. You belong to this world, but I don’t belong to this world.
24 I told you that you would die in your sins. Yes, if you don’t believe that I Am, you will die in your sins.”
25 They asked, “Then who are you?” Jesus answered, “I am what I have told you from the beginning.
26 I have much more I could say to judge you. But I tell people only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he speaks the truth.”
27 They did not understand who he was talking about. He was telling them about the Father.
28 So he said to them, “You will lift up the Son of Man. Then you will know that I Am. You will know that whatever I do is not by my own authority. You will know that I say only what the Father has taught me.
29 The one who sent me is with me. I always do what pleases him. So he has not left me alone.”
30 While he was saying these things, many people believed in him.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. We must remain continually cognizant of our duality.
When we pray to God and invoke His involvement on this planet and in our lives, it is a reminder that we are the product of intelligent design. People who believe in God are people who believe that none of this happened by happenstance. People who believe in God are people who believe that God designed and created us.
The people Jesus was speaking to in John 8 were people who believed in God. However, Jesus’ perspective was different from theirs. He was not just acknowledging the fact that there is God. Jesus was saying, “Not only is there a God “up there,” but I am from “up there.” I am from God, He lives in me, and I am capable of brining what is “up there” to “down here.” I am here to bring heaven to the earth.” That is a much different perspective from those who are simply religious.
We are both citizens of this world and citizens of heaven at the same time. We are human, but the divine lives in us. We are in the world, but we are not of the world (John 15:19). In our text, Jesus said, “You people are from here below, but I am from above. You belong to this world, but I don’t belong to this world.”
— Jesus’ success in this world came from His ability to remain focused on and to receive His marching orders from heaven. You and I are supposed to live the same way.
— The word translated “Born-Again” in John 3 is a word that literally means: to be born from above. Once we are Born-Again, we are born from above. Heaven is our home. We are in this world, but we are also seated in heavenly places, with Christ Jesus, at the same time.
— When you are cognizant of your duality, you can face things in this world with a level of confidence that the average person does not have because your confidence is not based on the power or limitations of this world. Your confidence is coming from the fact that you are in this world, but not of this world.
— As you prepare for 2022, remind yourself daily that you are in this world, but not of it. You are born from above. You have dual citizenship. You can receive your orders from headquarters daily, and once you do, you can launch out to experience heaven on earth. This is the way we are supposed to live!
— You are not limited to the limits of this present world, because you are in this world, but you have been BORN from another world. Heaven is your home, but you don’t have to wait until you die to experience it. You can tap into heaven daily. If you do, you will experience heaven on earth.
2. Purpose restrains you.
People who have no vision, and who do not understand their purpose in life, live unrestrained and they try just about anything. But those who know their purpose don’t do everything; they are restrained and laser-focused on becoming the man/woman they are born to be.
Jesus said, “I have much more I could say to judge you. But I tell people only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he speaks the truth.” Jesus did not say everything He wanted to say because He did not have clearance from the Father to say it. This is a major lesson.
(Prov 29:18 KJV)
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
(Prov 29:18 NIV)
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
— People with Vision don’t do everything.
— Their vision restrains them.
— Their vision keeps them focused.
— Their vision makes their life simple.
“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint…’’ Meaning, if people don’t know who they are or what they are supposed to do, they either do nothing or do their own thing.
Vision gives pain a purpose.
— Those without vision spend their lives taking the path of least resistance as they try to avoid discomfort.
— The second part of this Proverb says, “But happy is he who keeps the Law.” The Law isn’t just something God gave to Moses. It is also the restraint, boundaries, and disciplines we develop around our life to direct us through obstacles instead of around them. The Law talks about the things we should and should not do.
— These obstacles become “baptisms of fire” that forge our character so we can attain and maintain a life of greatness, but we will not be able to understand those baptisms if we do not have a divine vision.
— Jesus was able to go through what He went through because He knew who He was and what He was called to do. This helped Him know what He could say and how He could say it. This helped Him know where to go and then what to do when He got there. The reason why I am starting the year telling you to focus on praying and discerning God’s will for 2022 first, is because this is how Jesus lived. Jesus did not come up with stuff on His own and then ask God to bless it. He only did what the Father led Him to do. Therefore, He did not need to ask God to bless it because God’s will is already blessed. This is how we are supposed to live.
— Paul taught us that while it might seem like we have the right to do anything we want, everything is not beneficial. Therefore, we should focus our efforts on doing those things that align with our divine purpose (1 Cor 6:12).
3. Everyone won’t understand you or your motives in the moment.
When you live “in sync” with heaven, it may seem like you are “out of sync” with the people down here, in this world. And to live the life of faith, you must be okay with that. You have to be so committed to doing whatever the Father leads you to do that you will do it, even at the risk of looking foolish.
While Jesus was talking to the crowd in John 8, the Bible says, “They did not understand who he was talking about. He was telling them about the Father. So he said to them, “You will lift up the Son of Man. Then you will know that I Am. You will know that whatever I do is not by my own authority. You will know that I say only what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me. I always do what pleases him. So he has not left me alone.”
— Jesus knew men misunderstood him, but He also knew that He was pleasing the Father and the time would come when men understood what He was doing. So He did not focus on pleasing men, He focused on pleasing the Father, and He knew His character would stand the scrutiny of history.
— For you and I, this means that when posed with a choice between pleasing God and pleasing man, we must seek to please God every time. When it is all said and done, history will be kind to us if we lived our lives to please God. People will look back and realize what God was doing through us. Think about that as you prepare for 2022. Don’t seek to please men. Only seek to please God!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, thank You for giving me the perfect example in Your Son. Jesus was the only perfect human to ever walk the planet. Jesus was perfection personified, but He refused to operate in His perfect humanity. Jesus was fully cognizant of the fact that He was both human and divine. He was in the world, but not of the world. He operated in the earth, but He received His orders from heaven. He only did what He saw You do. He only said what He heard You say. This caused Him to be misunderstood by many while He was on the earth. But when posed with a choice between pleasing You and pleasing men, Jesus chose to please You every time. I live just like Jesus lived. I will say what I hear You say. I will do what You lead me to do. I will go where You want me to go. And I will restrain myself from doing things that You have not given me clearance to do. I am human and divine. I operate in the earth, but I receive my orders from heaven. This is how 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!