Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 19)

by Rick

This morning we continue our journey into this year, focusing on making “Intentional Progress.”  I shared six steps to intentional progress with you, and I will continue to 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 our way through the Gospel according to St. John chapters 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, and 15, today we cross over into chapter 16.  As Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure, He said, “I have so much more to tell you, but it is too much for you to accept now.  But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth.  He will not speak his own words.  He will speak only what he hears and will tell you what will happen in the future.  The Spirit of truth will bring glory to me by telling you what he receives from me.  All that the Father has is mine.  That is why I said that the Spirit will tell you what he receives from me.” (John 16:12-15 ERV)

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

1.  Jesus put a great deal of emphasis on the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was different from those around Him in many ways.  One of the major differences between Him and the Jewish religious elite at the time was His emphasis on being led by the Father.  I will highlight the words “led” and “Father.”

The religious people of Jesus’ day were focused on an external set of rules.  They saw themselves as slaves or servants of God.  Jesus saw Himself as a son.  There is a huge difference.  They were worshipping a God.  He was being led by a Father through the Holy Spirit.

Paul later explained this well.  He said, “So that we would know that we are his true children,  God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts—moving us to cry out intimately, “My Father!  My true Father!”  Now we’re no longer living like slaves under the law, but we enjoy being God’s very own sons and daughters! And because we’re his, we can access everything our Father has—for we are heirs because of what God has done!” (Gal 4:6,7 TPT).  This tells us a few things:

a)  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Sonship.  In another letter, Paul explained that those whom the Spirit of God leads are “the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

b)  Once we are Born-Again, and we learn to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit, He will lead us to cry out, “Abba, Father!” 

c)  Once we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and we are directly connected to God as sons, we no longer see ourselves as slaves or servants.  Slaves and servants have a much different perspective from sons and daughters.  

d)  Jesus wanted us to know that we are heirs of God.  Later we learned that we are equal co-heirs with Jesus!

This is why Jesus put so much emphasis on the Holy Spirit during the end of His ministry.  He knew He was leaving, He knew He was being led by the Holy Spirit, and He knew the Father would provide us the same Holy Spirit He provided Adam and Jesus.  Please don’t underestimate or devalue the importance of the Holy Spirit in your life. 

2.  The Holy Spirit is IN you to lead you, the same way He led Jesus.  

Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth.”  

— God gave us His Spirit so we could see ourselves as sons and daughters.  And He gave us His Spirit so we could be led from the inside instead of being driven from the outside.

— Part of the role of the Holy Spirit is to lead you in the way you should go.  However, the Holy Spirit will not twist your arm to follow Him.  He will not force you to be blessed.

— The Holy Spirit will do the leading, but you must do the following.  If you refuse to take the time to hear His voice, and to follow Him, then you will be the Captain of your own ship, setting your own course, and you will have to deal with the storms you encounter along the way; many of which you could have avoided, had you listened to the Holy Spirit.

3.  The Holy Spirit will reveal things to you about your future.  

Jesus said this of the Holy Spirit: “He will speak only what he hears and will tell you what will happen in the future.”  

— Many people loosely stumble their way through life.  That is certainly NOT the way Jesus lived.  He knew who He was, He knew what He was on this planet to do, and since He was led by the Holy Spirit, He knew what to do every day in every situation.

— The Father does not want you to blindly and aimlessly meander your way through life.  He gave you His Spirit so you could know…. Know who you are, know what you are called to do, know what God planned for you before the world began, etc.

— As you learn to discern the divine impulses of the Holy Spirit (which are like an inner-witness, an inner leading), you will revelation about your future.  God will reveal things to you that are future to you, but past to Him, because He, being outside of time, has already seen those things come to pass.  He can give you a glimpse of something that will happen in your future, and that simple glimpse will fuel your faith, sometimes for years, until it comes to pass.

— The reason why God gives you these “glimpses” of your future is because He wants you to pursue what He shows you in faith, with bulldog tenacity, all the while trusting Him to bring to pass what He has revealed to you.  This is the life of faith.  

4.  The Holy Spirit is submitted to Jesus and the Father.  

Jesus said this of the Holy Spirit: “He will not speak his own words.  He will speak only what he hears… the Spirit will tell you what he receives from me.”  

God is a God of order.  Jesus only said what He heard the Father say.  Jesus did not come up with His own words.  Jesus was completely submitted to the Father in every way.  In the same way, the Holy Spirit is submitted to Jesus.  Jesus only said what He received from the Father, and the Holy Spirit will only say what He receives from Jesus.  What can you learn from this?  

— One of the things you learn is that God is a God of order, and it is difficult for a disorderly person to receive from an orderly God.  

— God will not bless mess.  As an example, when it came time for Jesus to feed the 5,000.  He had the crowd sit down in groups, and in an orderly fashion.  After they were organized, Jesus then blessed the fish and loaves and fed the crowd.  He was not about to bless a disorderly mob.

— God is a God of order and not confusion.  Sometimes we think we are waiting on God to bless us, but He is waiting on us to get organized.  Prepared blessings come to prepared people!

5.  You can “plugin” to the order and unity of the Godhead.  

— This is the order of God: the Son only says what He receives from the Father, the Holy Spirit only says what He receives from the Son, and since the Holy Spirit is IN you, you are in a position to “plugin” to the order and power of God.

— When you submit to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to flow through you — giving you the words and performing the work — you become an extension of God in the earth.  The Father speaks to the Son, the Son to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit to you, and you to others.  In this way, God can reach and impact the world through you because you are in harmony with the fullness of the Godhead.

— Remember, God is in heaven, and you are the one on the earth.  God wants to impact and influence the earth, but He is looking to do it through you.  When God works through you, giving you the words and performing the work, He is able to change the world.  And what is required of you is not necessarily more trying, but rather more dying!  The more you die to self, the more God is able to flow through you.

That is enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your love, grace, and precious Holy Spirit.  You love me with an everlasting love.  You have chosen to use me by Your undeserved grace.  You placed Your Spirit in me to lead me in the way I should go.  You speak to Your Son Jesus concerning me, Jesus speaks to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit speaks to me, I receive His words, I incline my ear to His voice, and I submit to His leadership.  The Holy Spirit does the leading, and I do the following.  I become the conduit on the earth, through whom You can flow freely, impacting and influencing the world.  I know I am not worthy based on my merit, but I accept the righteousness Jesus earned for me, offered to me by grace, and I receive it by faith.  I want You to use me for Your glory and I now realize that is not a matter of more trying.  What you are looking for is more dying.  Therefore, I die to self, I minimize me, and You are able to maximize You and live through me, for Your glory.  Jesus was led by Your Spirit.  As Jesus is, so am I, in this world.  I am led by Your Spirit every day in every way.  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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