Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 8)

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.  As we are looking to learn from the life of Jesus, we have looked at John chapters 5, 6, 8, and 12.  Today we go back to chapter 12.

(John 12:44-50 ERV)

47 “I did not come into the world to judge people. I came to save the people in the world. So I am not the one who judges those who hear my teaching and do not obey. 

48 But there is a judge for all those who refuse to believe in me and do not accept what I say. The message I have spoken will judge them on the last day. 

49 That is because what I taught was not from myself. The Father who sent me told me what to say and what to teach. 

50 And I know that whatever he says to do will bring eternal life. So the things I say are exactly what the Father told me to say.”

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

1.  Ambassadors are reliant on their home nation and not the host nation.  

Jesus was an Ambassador of heaven, assigned to the earth.  I can say the same about you.  Why is this important?  Let’s talk about it.

Let’s say you were assigned as the Ambassador of the United States to Nicaragua (this is hypothetical, so don’t take offense if you are from Nicaragua).  When you arrive, you are informed that there is some sort of virus breakout is affecting the local food sources.  In addition to COVID (in all of its variants) attacking humans, there is a virus infecting the local food source.  Food is scarce, and so are vaccines.  You are not concerned about the local vaccine shortage because you already received your vaccinations from your home nation (the United States).  COVID tests are in short supply locally, but the embassy has a stockpile of tests for all the Americans assigned there.  So that is not an issue.  Lastly, you are told not to concern yourself with the local food infestation because food is USDA approved.  It is shipped in from the United States every few days.  Your food supply is safe and abundant.  

You then get a briefing on the local economy.  You are told that Nicaragua is in the middle of the worst recession in 50 years.  While you have compassion for the people, the local recession does not affect you at all.  Your pay comes from the United States.  Finally, you are told that foreigners are being kidnapped for ransom, but you are not to worry because you have a personal security detail.  The United States Marines protect the Embassy and your home.

If you can understand that, then you will be able to understand how much peace you can have in this world when you know God is your source, heaven in your home, and you are assigned to this world as an ambassador.  Jesus knew He was assigned to this world, but He was not from it.  Many times He said, “I am in this world, but not of this world.”  He knew He was from heaven, and heaven was His source.

2.  Ambassadors don’t get to come up with their own agenda or message.  

Jesus said, “The Father who sent me told me what to say and what to teach.  And I know that whatever he says to do will bring eternal life.  So the things I say are exactly what the Father told me to say” (John 12:49,50).

We have looked at several scriptures that support the fact that Jesus only said those things He heard the Father say.  Jesus only did those things He was led of the Father to do.  Jesus was not on this planet carrying out His own agenda.  He was here to do what the one who sent Him to this planet assigned Him to do.  This is how we are supposed to live.

Ambassadors don’t get to come up with their own agenda and they don’t carry their own message.  Their message comes from the leader of the home nation they represent.  Jesus was representing the Father.  He was simply saying whatever the Father told Him to say.  So if the people rejected His message, they were not really rejecting Him, they were rejecting the Father, and there would come a day when they would be judged for that rejection.  Jesus said, “I am not the one who judges those who hear my teaching and do not obey.  But there is a judge for all those who refuse to believe in me and do not accept what I say. The message I have spoken will judge them on the last day” (John 12:47,48).

God has called you to be an Ambassador of heaven, assigned to this world.  This means that He is obligated to give you the message He wants you to deliver.  Once He does, your job is to deliver it, knowing that the “weight” of the words you are sharing does not come from you.  Ambassadors carry the message, but the weight of the message comes from whom they represent.  When people reject you, they are not really rejecting you, but rather God Himself, and they will have to give account for it one day.  So simply say what God tells you to say and let God deal with what happens next.  

When you know you are only saying what God told you to say and only doing what God is leading you to do, then you don’t have to take on any pressure to perform.  It’s God’s message, His agenda, and plan.  All you are doing is representing it on this planet.  Therefore, you can enter into God’s rest.  If it’s His will, then it is also His bill.  You don’t have to stay up at night worrying about whether or not God’s plan will come to pass.  If God led you to say it and do it, and you did, you have to leave the rest in God’s hands.  He will watch over His Word to perform it.

— God will tell you where to go, bring you before the right people, and then tell you what to say.  Jesus was led where to go so he could meet the right people, and the Father then gave Him the right words.  God will do the same for you.  All you need to do is accept the assignment.  

3.  Developing an Amabassor mindset is key to living as a human conduit of the divine.

In 2022, your peace will come from the level of harmony you have with God, His Spirit, and His plans for this year.  If you know you are only doing what He wants you to do, then you have nothing to worry about.  You can trust Him to bring to pass His perfect will for your life.  But if you are a rogue Ambassador, doing your own thing, on your own terms, your own way, you will have to deal with the repercussions of your actions.  You will wake up one morning and realize that since you are living your own life on your own terms, you have to deal with the weight of every decision you make.  Since you came up with the plans and not God, you will have to attempt to MAKE your plans come to pass.  This is not good because you were not designed to live life without God.  

Since you are doing everything, and you are not reliant on God, His grace, or the backing He provides to His plans, you will:

1) loosely stumble your way through life because you are not that smart, and 

2) buckle under the pressure to perform.  

If you try to live your life without God’s grace, the pressure to try to MAKE everything happen will eventually weigh you down, and you will get stressed out because you were not designed to live that way.  You were designed to live as a human conduit of the divine.  When you yield to God and submit to His ways, you can: 

1) enter into His rest, 

2) embrace His grace to do what you could never do without Him, and 

3) know that where your power ends, His power will kick in and the results will be supernatural.  

4.  Life is simpler when you die to self.  

It’s easier to know where you are going when you have someone you are following.  Most of you know I served in the United States Army for 25 years.  When I was in uniform, I had a duty description for my position, I have several facets to my job, but at the end of the day, my job is simple.  I did whatever my boss needed me to do.  That’s it.  It’s that simple.  There were many times when my boss asked me to do things that were not in my duty description, but I don’t concern myself with that.  I simply did whatever he needed me to do.  That made my job simple.  Similarly, life becomes simple when you surrender to God to the point where you simply do whatever He tells us to do.  This may mean that you have to change what you plan to do.  So what?  This happens all the time at work.  Why do we give our natural bosses more flexibility and submission than we do God?  Making plans is good, but if God leads you another way, then go with God.  You can never go wrong following God!   

— You are on this planet to represent heaven.

— You are on this planet to do what the one who sent You here planned for you to do.

— Your life will become much simpler when you yield to the one who sent you, and you commit to doing whatever He wants you to do.

— Just remember that He will expect you to do things that you cannot do without Him, so this will require faith.  Without faith, you will buckle under the size of the assignment.  But with faith, you will see the invisible, believe the impossible, and attempt the supernatural because you are not representing your own agenda.  You are representing a world that far exceeds the limits of this present world.    

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for making me an Ambassador of heaven, assigned to the earth.  You did this by Your unearned grace.  I don’t deserve to represent You or Your Kingdom on this planet, but Jesus made me worthy.  Jesus qualified me by grace and accept the appointment.  I represent You everywhere I go.  I submit to You every day, in every way.  I minimize ME, so You can maximize YOU through me.  You bring me before the right people, at the right times, in the right places, and You then give me the right words to say.  I say whatever You lead me to say, knowing that I do not have to back up Your Words.  You have the power to back up Your Words, and You will never let Your Words fail.  If people reject what You give me to say, they are not rejecting me, but rather You, and they will have to deal with You concerning it.  I simply say what You tell me to say, and I believe Your Words, through me, have the same power they had when they were coming through Jesus.  I am just like Jesus.  I only say what You tell me to say.  I only do what You lead me to do.  My life is simple.  I know where I am going because I know who I am following.  Therefore, 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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