Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 15)

by Rick

NOTE: Before I get into the Word, I need to let you know that this will be the last message for this week.  I will be traveling tomorrow.  So after this message, the next one will be on Monday.

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

After studying chapters 5, 6, 8, and 12, the Lord has led me to take my time in chapter 14.  Yesterday we looked at verse 21.  I want to pick it up from there today and go down to verse 26.  We will look at this passage from The Living Bible translation.  There is so much revelation in these few sentences that I could teach on this for days.  Please read them carefully and prayerfully.

This is one of those passages that you may read and think to yourself, “Wait a minute.  Has that been in the Bible the whole time?  I never read it that way before.”

(John 14:21-26 TLB)

21 The one who obeys me is the one who loves me; and because he loves me, my Father will love him; and I will too, and I will reveal myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but his other disciple with that name) said to him, “Sir, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us disciples and not to the world at large?”

23 Jesus replied, “Because I will only reveal myself to those who love me and obey me. The Father will love them too, and we will come to them and live with them. 

24 Anyone who doesn’t obey me doesn’t love me. And remember, I am not making up this answer to your question! It is the answer given by the Father who sent me.

25 “I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 

26 But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.

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

1.  There may be a reason why you are not hearing the voice of God.  

I routinely get asked, “Rick, why can’t I hear from God?  I want to hear His voice, but I don’t.  Why?”  I’m not God, and I can’t really answer why unless the Lord tells me why, but it may be because of what Jesus said in our text.  Read Jesus’ words carefully.  He said, “I will only reveal myself to those who love me and obey me.  The Father will love them too, and we will come to them and live with them.  Anyone who doesn’t obey me doesn’t love me.”  

— Jesus promised that both He and the Father would love and live with those who love and obey Him.  He and the Father would do this in the person of the Holy Spirit.  While there are many scriptures that make it clear that the Holy Spirit lives inside of every Born-Again believer, Jesus made no separation from the Spirit, the Son, or the Father in this text.  There are other verses that support this as well:

The Father is IN you.  Paul said, “There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.  There is one God and Father of us all, who rules over everyone.  He works through all of us and in all of us.” (Eph 4:5,6).

The Son is IN you.  Jesus said, “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.  Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

— But none of this happens (the Father, Son, and Spirit revealing the fulness of the Godhead to you) if you don’t love and obey God.

— I know lots of people who claim to love God, but Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”  In other words, “If you really love me, you will do what I say.”  

— If you are one of those who are struggling to hear the voice of God, it may be because you are NOT DOING what He tells you to do.  

— The Bible is clear on this: the more you love and obey God, the more He will reveal Himself to you.

2.  The Lord will give you the words if you take the time to listen.  

Jesus received a question from one of His disciples, and He answered the question.  But I like how Jesus came back and said, “Remember, I am not making up this answer to your question!  It is the answer given by the Father who sent me.”  

— Jesus provided the answer but then attributed the words to the Father.

— Jesus provided the mouth, but He made sure the disciples knew the Father was the one who provided the words.

— The Father will do the same for you.  He will give you the words, and He will perform the work when you walk with Him and remain OPEN to the divine impulses of the Holy Spirit.

— No matter what you are facing this morning, no matter how big the challenge, how hard the test, or how much pressure you feel, please remind yourself that God lives IN you.  If you are struggling with the weight of the pressure, it is because there is too much of YOU in the way.  You were not designed to live life on your own.  You were not created to live life as a mere human.  The pressures of this world will chew you up and spit you out.  However, if you learn to yield to the God who lives IN you, you can enter into God’s rest, you can be at peace in your heart and in your mind, and at this point, when you feel no pressure, you will be in a position to hear God’s voice, because you love God and you are obeying His commandments.  You are not living as a mere man.  You are not relying on your flesh.  You are not taking on the pressure to perform.  You are living like Jesus lived — completely at peace, only saying and doing what He was led of the Father to say and do — and the Father will reveal Himself to you like He revealed Himself to Jesus.  As Jesus is, so are you in this world!  

— The reason why I minister with boldness is because my confidence is not in me.  My confidence is in God.  All I have to do is receive what He gives me and then release whatever I receive.  This holds true for ministry, for the marketplace (business), for marriage, my family, and just about anything.  If you are continually in receive-mode and OPEN to God, you will discern what He is leading you to do, and you can simply release what you receive.

3.  God gave you His best when He gave you Himself.  

Jesus said, “When the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything.”  

— God can give you His love, mercy, peace, power, blessing, and many other good things, but He gave you His best when He gave you Himself.  The Holy Spirit Himself lives in you, and He is there to teach you everything.  

— The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say when you don’t know what to say.  He will perform works that exceed your ability when you are at the end of your rope.  He will move on the hearts of others to favor you in ways you could never help yourself.

— The Holy Spirit is IN you, and He is the best God has to offer because He is God Himself!

— Jesus was the Father’s best sacrifice, and through Him, you have eternal life.  Because of Jesus, you are going to heaven.  But the Father does not want you to just make it to heaven.  He wants you to enjoy the ride and to maximize your purpose and potential on the earth.  To do so, the Father gave you the best.  He personally lives IN you in the form of the Holy Spirit to equip, enable, empower and employ you for His glory!  The more you minimize yourself, with all your failures, faults, and flaws, the more God can maximize Himself through you, and the results will be amazing.

— Please don’t walk around with the Holy Spirit and ignore Him.  God literally lives IN you.  Acknowledge Him.  Spend time with Him.  Live with a heart that is OPEN to Him.  Be ready to always obey Him.  As you do, He will continually reveal Himself to you, and you will get to live the life God planned for you from the foundations of the world.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for loving me with everlasting love.  I declare that I love You with every ounce of my being.  I am only able to love You because You first loved me.  I could not even love You without Your grace.  Your grace is amazing, and it has changed me from the inside out.  I now see You as the loving Father You are.  You sent Jesus to die for me, only because You love me, and purely by Your grace.  I did nothing to earn Your act of Fatherly love.  Jesus also loved me by grace, and He willingly died in my place.  The Holy Spirit now loves me by grace, and He lives in me, looking past all my mistakes to teach me how to live.  I die to self.  I seek to DO what You lead me to do.  And as I do, You Father, along with Jesus, come to me, and You reveal Yourself to me, through Your Holy Spirit who lives IN me.  The more I obey, the more You reveal Yourself to me, and the more I become the man/woman You have called me to be.  I appreciate Your Holy Spirit.  He is the best You have to offer.  Because He lives IN me, I know I will maximize my purpose and potential before I die.  Not because I deserve it, because only because of Your grace!  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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