Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 25) – The Prayer Jesus Prayed (Part 5)

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

A few days ago, I introduced you to what I consider to be the actual “Lord’s prayer.” It is a prayer Jesus prayed in John 17.  Today we will look at verses 13-16.  

Jesus prayed, “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word.  And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.  They do not belong to this world any more than I do.” (John 17:13-16).

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

1.  The Father wants you to have joy.  

In His prayer, Jesus said, “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.” Another translation says, “So that their joy may be full.”  

The point of this mini-series is to learn life lessons from the life of Jesus that apply to us today. One of the lessons I keep driving home has to do with the fact that Jesus never stressed over things. He always had joy and peace. I taught a series on “joy and peace” before from Romans 15:13. Both are very important to the life of the believer. We will talk about joy today.

— Jesus wanted our joy to be full. He prayed for us to be in the world (a world that is full of challenges) and still be full of joy!

— One of the major challenges believers have to overcome is fear. Far too many believers allow fear, doubt, worry, and unbelief to get a hold of their hearts and minds. Fear is an incapacitating force. It is impossible to be ‘in fear’ and ‘in faith’ simultaneously.  

— Fear cancels out your faith. But the good news is that faith also cancels out your fear. So when you choose to live by faith, believe God, die to self, and allow God to flow through you freely, you will have and enjoy the life God birthed you to have. This life is full of joy, peace, and divine satisfaction.  

— If you feel like you have lost your joy, it is because there is too much of YOU in the way. It could be that you have forgotten the fact that you are IN this world, but not OF this world.

— Once you are Born-Again, your citizenship is in heaven. You are born from above. You are no longer a mere human. You are filled with God’s Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is your direct connection to the Father and all of heaven.  

— When you know heaven is your home, God is your source, the Holy Spirit lives in you, and He will never leave you, you can be IN this world and not be moved by the challenges of it, becuase you are getting your “orders from headquarters.”  

— Once you are in sync with heaven, you are constantly dying to self, you are not relying on your humanity, and you freely allow God’s divinity to flow through you, you will have supernatural joy, and your joy will be FULL!  

2.  Reading what God said positions you to hear what He is saying to you today.  

Living by the written Word of God is critical to hearing the voice of God. In His prayer, Jesus said to the Father, “I have given them your word.”  

— Jesus’ words have been documented (not all of them, becuase there would not be enough books to contain them). When we read the written Word of God with an open and believing heart, our mind is instructed, our soul is edified, our spirit is recharged. This is all great stuff. But another thing that happens is that our spiritual ears are tuned to the voice of God.

— Reading what God said (in the Bible) helps to position you to hear what He is saying to us today (through the Holy Spirit).

— God has given us His Word and His Spirit. The Word contains the character, attributes, and nature of God. So the more you know the Word of God, the better you will know the God of the Word. If all you do is read the Bible and apply it to your life, you will live a life that is pleasing in God’s sight. However, not only did God give us His Word, but He gave us the author of the book as well. 

— With God’s Word and His Spirit, we are equipped to become and live as the men/women we are called to be.

3.  You do not belong to this world.  

One of the things that made Jesus so different from everyone else while He was on the planet is that He lived with this mindset, “I am in the world, but not I am not of this world.” Guess what? We are supposed to live with the same mindset Jesus had.

In His prayer, Jesus said this of us, “The world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do.”  

Jesus made it clear that He was not of this world, and neither are you. But God has not taken you out of the world. Therefore, you must be here for a reason. With that in mind, I will close with a few final thoughts:

a) You are here on an assignment. You must discover, develop, and deploy into it, with the ultimate goal of completing it before you die.

b) When you were Born-Again, you were literally ‘born from above.’ You are no longer a mere human. You are no longer from this world.

c) You are now a citizen of heaven living in the world, assigned to serve as an ambassador of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

d) As an ambassador, you have access to all the resources you need to complete your heavenly assignment. You live in your host nation (this world), but you get all your resources from your home nation (heaven). 

e) The Father did not send you out alone. He came to you Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, to live in you to accomplish what He sent you to do.

f) The more you collaborate and cooperate with God, the more He will be able to operate through you freely. This is how Jesus lived, and it is how we are supposed to live.

g) As an Ambassador of heaven assigned to this world, your power comes from your submission. The more you die to self, and the more you yield to the orders you get from headquarters, the more the Holy Spirit is free to live through you (becuase you are getting out of the way), and the results will be amazing.  

h) God did not take you out of the world. If all God wanted was for you to make it to heaven (and you are already Born-Again), then you would be dead and gone. But since you are still here, that means God has work for you to do. Ambassadors don’t get to come up with whatever they want to do. They know they are assigned to represent the culture and advance the priorities of their home nation. This is why God left you here (for now). You are supposed to represent His culture and advance His priorities during the short time you have in this world. Because you are IN it, but not Of it!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for taking the time to teach me about Your best for my life.  You want me to have joy and for my joy to be full.  I admit that there have been times when I have allowed fear, doubt, unbelief, and worry to rob me of my joy and peace.  But those days are behind me.  I live by faith and not fear.  I have joy, and I fret not.  I have peace, and I do not allow worry to get a hold of my heart.  

I read Your Word daily, Father.  Your Word is the ruler by which I judge my decisions.  As I read what You said, with an open and believing heart, my spiritual ears are open to hear what You are saying to me daily.  I live by Your voice.  You lead me in the way I should go.  If I am ever frustrated, I know it is because there is too much of ME in the way.  So I die to self, I crave and listen for Your voice, and I follow You with a believing heart.

I am not of this world.  I am born from above.  I am a citizen of heaven and an ambassador of the Kingdom of God assigned here.  I take my assignment seriously, and I know I cannot complete it independently.  I minimize ME so that You can maximize YOU through me, making the impact in this world You want to make, through me, for Your glory.  I represent Your culture, and I advance Your priorities on this planet.  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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