Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 9)

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 over into chapter 14.

(John 14:5-10 NIV)  

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 

10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.  Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

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

1.  We are supposed to develop the “ONENESS WITH GOD” mindset Jesus had.  

I will address this point now, as we are looking at John 14, and then again later when we get to John 17.  The ultimate goal for the believer is not just for you to see yourself as someone who WALKS WITH GOD, but to see yourself as ONE WITH GOD.  Those are not the same thing.

In Philippians 2, Paul taught us to develop and put on the “mind of Christ.”  The NIV reads, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”  What was the mindset Paul was talking about?  Paul went on to say that Jesus knew he had the very nature of God, and He saw Himself equal with God.  Now, I am not telling you that you should think you are God.  I know there is a God, and you are NOT Him.  But what I am saying is that when you: 1) know you are a carrier of God because you are filled with His Spirit, you 2) gradually die to self to the point where your life is no longer about you, and you 3) allow God to literally live through you every day, then coming in contact with means people are coming in contact with God!  This is most certainly the mindset the Bible teaches us we should have.  It is the mindset Jesus had.

2.  The goal is to be ONE with the Father.  

Jesus told His disciples that looking at Him and looking at God the Father were the same thing.  Jesus established His identity in His relationship with the Father.  Jesus is our example.  He modeled how we are supposed to live.  As a Born-Again believer, God wants you to:

a) Establish your identity in Him.

b) Become ONE with Him to the point where He is free to live through you and make the impact He sent you to this planet to make (notice that I put the spotlight on God making the impact through you and NOT you making the impact on your own).

c) Develop confidence in the truth that God is ON you, IN you, WITH you, and FOR you.

d)  Give up the life you thought you wanted for the life He planned, so the life God planned becomes the life you live.  Believe me; you won’t lose anything in the process.  Whatever you give up for God will be well worth it in the end.

As you prepare for 2022, say this to yourself, “Self, at the beginning of other years, I have made resolutions, formulated plans, and mapped out what I thought the year was going to be like.  I did this all on my own.  I did this with my human ability.  I then tried to live out my plans in my power.  You and I know how that turned out.  This year will be different.  God is no longer just a part of my life.  God now IS my life.  I am IN Him, and He is IN me.  I am ONE with Him.  He is ONE with me.  There is no separation between me and God.  All I want for this year is what God already planned for me to have and to do.  I yield to Him in everything.  My life is His life.  I am dead to self.  I am a dead man walking.  The life that I live now, I live as a human conduit of the divine.  When people come in contact with me, they come in contact with God, because I am ONE WITH THE FATHER!

3.  The Father will provide you with the words, and you must have the faith to speak them.  

Jesus said, “The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.”  Jesus was not the originator of the words He spoke, He simply provided His mouth, and God filled it.  Similarly, back in the Old Testament, after telling Jeremiah that He had ordained him to be a prophet before he was formed in his mother’s womb, God told a young Jeremiah that He would put His words in the prophet’s mouth.  God did it for Jeremiah, He did it for Jesus, and He will do it for you.  

You provide the mouth, and the Father will provide the words.  You provide the voice, and the Father will provide the content.  And when God’s words flow through your lips, you will experience the supernatural because His words will also come with His power and authority.  

— God is not obligated to back up your words, but He will surely back up His own words, even when they flow from your lips!

— Angels will respond to God’s words when you give God’s word a voice in the earth (Psalm 103:20).

— When you have the faith to say what God is leading you to say, and you allow God to use your mouth in this world, you will speak words that far exceed your education and experience.  I am a witness.  You will speak words you never heard before (you may have to write them down) because you are simply allowing God to use your voice for His glory in this world.  

— Jesus said things that baffled scholars.  He made statements that often caused an uproar.  But by His own admission, He did not come up with the words He spoke.  He simply gave the Father His mouth, and the Father filled it for His glory.  Guess what?  God will do the same with you if you have the audacity to speak the words He puts in your mouth!

— Let this be part of your prayer for 2022, “Father, I yield myself over to you every day, in every way.  You give me the words to speak, and as you do, I will have the faith to say them.  As a result, people will hear You through me.  Your love and power will flow through my lips, and through my personality.  Amen!”  

4.  The Father will perform the work, but you must have the faith to attempt what He leads you to do.

Jesus said, “It is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”  Jesus provided the body, and He provided the willingness; God did the rest.  The Father provided the words, and the Father provided the work.  I am glad it happened this way.  Because if God had allowed Jesus to perform the supernatural out of His perfection, then none of us would have hope.  None of us are perfect.  However, Jesus did not operate in His perfect humanity.  Jesus simply provided the human conduit through which the supernatural flowed.  Why did He do it this way?  The answer is simple: so we can do the same.  

— You provide the body, you provide the willingness, and you provide the faith.  God will provide the words, and He will do the work.  Not because you are worthy, but only because of His grace!    

— The day you die to self and fully yield to the grace of God that is on your life will be the day the Father is free to flow His words and perform His work through you, and your personality, on this planet, for His glory!  This is #TheGraceLife, and it is how we are supposed to live!

I hope you are enjoying these life lessons from Jesus.  I know I am!

Declaration of Faith

Father, Jesus became ONE with You.  My goal is to do the same.  When I came to You, I came with a heart full of desires, hopes, dreams, and aspirations.  But honestly, not all of those came from you.  There were many things in my heart that were birthed from me and not You.  The more I grow in You, the more You lead me to die to self and lay my selfishness at the altar.  I release my old life so I can fully embrace the life You destined me to have before the foundations of the world.  As I die to self, I live for You.  I now provide You my body, and I become a conduit of Your grace and power.  I give you my mouth, and You fill it with Your words.  Your words, that flow from my lips, have the same authority as they had when Jesus spoke.  I give You my body and my faith, and You perform Your work through me.  As You live through me, I believe an indelible mark will be left on this world.  I believe souls will be saved, burdens will be removed, lives will be changed, and dead organizations will be turned around because You live in and through me.  I am a human conduit of the divine, and GREATER IS COMING FOR ME because I am NOT the one doing it!  I declare this by faith!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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

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