Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 21)

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

If you have been following this series, you know that we have covered passages in John chapters 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 15, and 16. This morning we cross over into chapter 17. In this chapter, Jesus prayed to the Father, His disciples, and all who would come later. In essence, this is a prayer Jesus prayed for you, and in my opinion, if you want to call any prayer “The Lord’s Prayer,” it should be this one. The prayer covers the entire chapter, so it is too much to cover all at once. We will study the prayer in bite-sized chunks.

(John 17:1-5 NLT)

1 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 

2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 

3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 

4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 

5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.

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

1.  The Holy Spirit will lead you to discern the timing of God.  

In chapter 16, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would reveal things to us about our future. In other words, when God’s Spirit leads you, you will know what is coming next. Chapter 17 opens with an example of this.

Jesus said, “Father, the hour has come.” Jesus was referring to the cross. He knew He was born to die, but He also knew He had to accomplish many things before He went to the cross. As He walked with the Father, being led by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was able to discern when He had finished his course and when the time had come for Him to die.

Paul is another example of this. After doing all He was able to do, by the grace of God, Paul was able to discern when he had finished his assignment and when the time had come for him to die. The Apostle wrote over half the New Testament, but in his last letter, he penned these words, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7).  

— When you walk with God and you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will be able to discern God’s timing.

— Not only will the Holy Spirit reveal things to you about your future, but He will also reveal the timing associated with His revelation.  

— The promises of God have a timing component. So discerning WHAT God said is only part of the equation. You must also discern WHEN it will come to pass.  

— The right thing at the wrong time becomes the wrong thing. This is why you must set your watch of expectation to God’s clock of manifestation.  

2.  Walking with God will help you develop confident humility.  

Jesus prayed, “Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone.”  

— Jesus knew who He was and what He was called to do.  

— He had no problem acknowledging and accepting His divine assignment.

— In like manner, when you identify yourself in God, and you wholeheartedly connect with your divine assignment, you can be completely humble and very bold at the same time.  

— It takes humility and boldness to fully embrace the grace for your assignment. Humility comes in because your assignment will be too big for you. So you must humbly accept something you cannot do unless God does it through you. But it will then take boldness to become it. It takes courage to exercise the faith required to operate on levels that exceed your limitations. When you put this all together, you have someone who: 1) is humble enough to know they can’t do it without God, 2) is crazy enough to believe God can do it through them, and 3) is willing to embrace the grace to walk in the fulness of his/her calling. When you get to this point, you can pray like Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify me, that I may glorify thee.”

3.  There is only ONE WAY to eternal life.

Jesus prayed, “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” 

— I know we live in a society today that is very tolerant, accepting, and seemingly open to just about anything. Our society does not like absolutes. It does not like “rights” and “wrongs.” There are a lot of “what abouts” and “maybes.” But Jesus was very clear. He said His Heavenly Father was the only true God, and He was the only way to eternal life.

— I don’t know how you can be a Christian and believe there are multiple ways to heaven. People today get unconformable when you say, “Jesus is the ONLY way.” Uncomfortable or not, I can’t change the Bible. All I can do is preach it.

— The Bible says, in unambiguous terms, “This is what God told us: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life, but whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11,12 ERV).  

— I respect what other people believe. But my respect for their beliefs does not make me question or change my own. I know what I believe. Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No man can go to the Father, except by Him!

4.  You bring glory to God in the earth by FINDING, FOLLOWING, and FINISHING your divine assignment.  

In His prayer, Jesus said, “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” Jesus was saying, “Father, I came to the earth, I did what You sent me here to do, and as a result, I brough glory to your name!” This is the mindset we are supposed to live with.

— Do you want to bring glory to God with your life and living? Do you want God to be pleased with what you accomplished during the years He gave you? If so, then your focus is simple: FIND, FOLLOW and attempt to FINISH your divine assignment, by the grace of God, before you die.

— In God’s eyes, you cannot achieve success any other way.

— When you stand before God, if He were to ask yoy, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” The only right answer is, “Becuase I accepted Your Son Jesus as my Lord.” That’s it. There is no other reason.

— After you get past that if God were to ask you, “What did you do with the ONE LIFE I gave you?” He will not be looking for answers like how much money you made, how many degrees you earned, what you drove, or where you lived. He is going to be looking for purpose! Divine success is tied to divine purpose. It’s that simple. Either you did what God sent you to this planet to do, or you failed to do it. Jesus was clear, “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”  

5.  Be ready for what is next, when the time for “what is next” comes.

I will close with a quick thought.

Jesus prayed, “Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”

When Jesus was done with His work on the earth, He was ready for what was next. Our God is a God of progression and not regression. He is always moving forward. When you finish one task, keep your heart open to the next. This is a year of progression for us. Our progress will have no limits (Prov 4:12 TPT), becuase we are ready to walk with God and live OPEN to the NOW and the NEXT!

That is enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for the example You gave me in Christ Jesus Your Son.  Jesus lived the way I am supposed to live.  While He was the only perfect human ever to live, Jesus minimized His humanity, and He focused solely on You, on Your divine assignment for His life and Your grace.  I live the same way.  I minimize me so that You can maximize You through me.  My singular focus in life is to FIND, FOLLOW and FINISH your predetermined purpose for me before I die.  I am not focused on money, I am focused on You, and You will see to it that all the money I need to complete my assignment comes into my hands.  I am not focused on fame; I am focused on You, and You will make my name great.  I humble myself before You, and at the same time, I walk with divine confidence and supernatural boldness as I pursue my purpose.  I respectfully ask You Father to glorify me, that I may glorify thee in the earth.  Living this way, 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.

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