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 months. Here are the six steps.
Here are the steps again:
3. Wait/Discern God’s Timing
4. Execute/Measure Progress
5. Wait/Faith & Patience
6. Receive When Harvest Time Comes
In this series, we have sought to glean life lessons from Jesus. We looked at John 5, 6, 8, 12, and 14-18. We are now in chapter 19. Yesterday we covered verses 8-11. We are going back to this passage again today.
(Read John 19:8-11)
Yesterday we saw how Pilate questioned Jesus. He asked, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer. This frustrated the governor. He was not used to people not responding to him. He was dealing with a bad situation. An innocent man was standing before him, a blood-thirsty crowd was clamoring just outside his palace, and a storm of thoughts was flooding through his mind. Then add the fact that he was frustrated.
In his frustration, the governor asked, “Why won’t you answer my question? Don’t you know that I have the power to let you go free or to nail you to a cross?” Whoa! Pilate crossed the line there. Pilate attempted to explain authority to Supreme Authority. He was giving a class on power to the one with All Power. Any power or authority Pilate had was given to him by God, and Jesus knew it. Jesus replied, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. God has all power, and He can prevent or permit things from happening in your life.
— To be clear, there are many things you reap in life because of the seeds you have sown. If you sow bad seed, you reap a bad harvest, and it is not God’s fault.
— You are a free moral agent. God has given you free will. You must understand cause and effect and sowing and reaping. That said, God is still God, and He is still sovereign. So there are some things God will get involved in to shield you for your purpose.
— There are many things God has prevented you from experiencing that you will not find out about until you get to heaven. And then again, there are many things that He has permitted. If God permits it, then there is purpose wrapped up in it. Once again, I am not talking about reaping a bad harvest on bad seed. If you make poor decisions, you will get poor results. That’s not what I am talking about here. I am talking about the attacks that come up against you because of your divine purpose. God will prevent the attacks He knows you cannot handle and the ones that will derail you from your destiny. But the ones He permits have purpose wrapped up in them. So if you are facing it, you can take it, you have the grace for it, and God trusts you with it!
— When a believer questions God and says, “God, why did you let this happen to me?” The answer is either: a) you brought this upon yourself, and I had nothing to do with it, or b) you will understand it later. One day you will look back and appreciate everything God permitted, good and bad.
— David said it this way, “I am glad I was afflicted” (Psalm 119:71). David was saying, “Had I not been afflicted, had I not faced the challenges I faced, I would not know God the way that I do. God and His Word became real to me as I faced real-life challenges.”
— When you get to heaven, if you have a conversation with Joseph or Paul, I am sure they will say something similar. Joseph learned some things about God in the PIT, POTIPHAR, and PRISON phases of his life that prepared him for the PALACE phase. If Joseph had not been through the pain, he would not have been ready for the palace because he learned to rely on God through the pain. Paul went in and out of prison, and he was assigned a thorn in the flesh. At first, he wanted the thorn to be removed. But when God explained to Paul that His grace could only flow through Paul’s weakness, Paul fully embraced the challenges. He took pleasure in the pain. He delighted himself in the distresses. Because during these times, when his human power was clearly NOT good enough, the power of God was able to flow through him unhindered because he got out of the way.
— Jesus was facing Pilate, and He was about to be sentenced to death, and he was in the center of God’s will. Remember that the next time you are facing a major challenge. The challenge does not mean you are outside of God’s will. You may be exactly where God wants you to be. He permitted it. There is purpose in it. So embrace the grace to endure and overcome it!
2. When you have divine vision from God, you can have peace in any situation.
Pilate thought he had the power to kill Jesus. But Jesus was not afraid of Pilate at all. Jesus was not moved by the situation He was in because He knew what was going on. Jesus knew there was purpose in the problem.
— When you know you are facing a challenge, but there is purpose in it, you face the challenge differently.
A couple of months ago, in one of the daily messages, I wrote a statement that truly ministered to me. The Holy Spirit put this in my heart. I said, “Vision gives pain a purpose.” I will connect that statement to today’s message.
— Vision is sight, birth from insight, with the benefit of hindsight. When you have vision from God (when the Holy Spirit gives you glimpses of your future), you can see beyond where your eyes can look.
— When you receive vision from God, you can see beyond the problem far enough to see the purpose of it. That’s what Jesus did. He endured the pain of the cross because He was able to see the JOY that was waiting for Him (Hebrews 12:2).
— If you are facing a problem or challenge and you have no vision, you don’t really have a concept of what is going on beyond what you’re able to see with your natural eyes. So it is understandable when a person who has no vision from God buckles under the pressure of their present situation. The situation looks so big that they crumble under the weight of distressing anxiety. However, when you know there are forces at work behind the scenes, you know there is a greater purpose in operation, and you know God is still moving pieces around the chessboard of your life, then you can have peace, and even JOY, in the middle of a situation that would crush someone else.
— Jesus was facing the death penalty, and He had peace. Learn from Jesus. Every second of every day of every month of every year, God is still God! You may not like the circumstances. You may not understand why the “Pilates” in your life seemingly have the power to apprehend you or to send you to and fro, but remember the power behind the power. All authority (righteous and unrighteous) is God-given. God uses the righteous and the unrighteous to usher us into His plans and purposes.
— Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that God is not working in your situation, just because the person with the temporary authority over you is not a Christian. God can use them just like He can use anyone else. Any power the” Pilates” in your life have over you, and any decisions they make concerning your future, are decisions God allowed them to make. If He permitted it, then He has purpose wrapped up in it. Find peace in that!
— I will close this point with a prayer for you that Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus. I will “tweak” the prayer to make it the RPV (Rick Pina Version).
My prayer for you: (based on Ephesians 1:17-19)
I pray to our Father, who is great and glorious, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that He will give you the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. I pray that He would flood your eyes with His divine light. I pray that He would give you the vision He birthed in His heart, for You, before the world began. I pray that as You receive this vision and the revelation of who God is, you will know Him better.
I pray that God will open your minds to see His truth. Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. You will know a hope that comes from above. You will know that the blessings God has promised His people are rich and glorious. And you will know that God’s power is exceptionally great for us who believe. The same mighty power He used to raise Jesus from the dead and put Him at his right hand in the heavenly places is available to you today and every day. May you sense His presence. May you receive His vision. May you tap into His power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, You have all power. You sit on the circle of the earth. You are the supreme authority. And You are my God! Therefore, You will not allow the enemy to destroy me. There will be people in my life, who have authority over me, and who make decisions concerning my future. But I am not afraid of them or their power because You have all power. Your hand is bigger than their actions. Your voice supersedes their little voices. Your limitless authority rules over their limited authority. So my trust and confidence are in You.
Sometimes the people over me make the decisions I want them to make. Other times they do not. But in either case, You are still God, and my trust is still in You. You made plans for me before the foundations of the world, and those plans SHALL come to pass. Not only that, but You reveal those plans to me in glimpses. The glimpses You give me of things that are future to me, but past to You, keep me going through challenging times. I am able to see beyond where my eyes can look. You flood my eyes with divine light, and I am able to see past my circumstances. This vision gives my pain a purpose. Seeing beyond the NOW, not only can I endure the now, but I do so getting ready for the NEXT! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.