In yesterday’s article we began to finalize this teaching on how God wants to encounter us in times of crisis to not only restore us to our true call and purpose, but also to expand us in ways which we’ve never experienced before! We talked about how God and the bible are just as practical as they are spiritual, and how God is trying to get us to see the practical steps we need to take to engage the call of God on our lives. In today’s article we will continue to draw practical insight from the story of Peter being restored by the Lord found in the twenty-first chapter of the gospel of Saint John! We will begin with a refresher of the seven practical insights which we’re drawing from this last portion of scripture which we’ve been reading in John the twenty-first chapter, as well as a refresher of the scripture itself. I pray this is a blessing to you.
- Define Your 1 Divine Purpose With Love & Fruitfulness
- Define Your 1 Divine Purpose with 3 Goals
- Use the Power of Repetitive Words to Reinforce Your Divine Purpose and Co-Create Your Life With the Lord
- Do Everything Else Before Breakfast
- Get a Clear Vision for the Future
- Set Genesis Deadlines
- Identify Distractions You Are Most Vulnerable to and Come up With a Productivity Plan to Overcome These Distractions
12 “Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord.
13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.
14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
Yesterday we went in-depth into practical insight number one dealing with defining your one divine purpose with the love and fruitfulness tests. Let’s continue with number two.
- DEFINE YOUR 1 DIVINE PURPOSE WITH 3 GOALS
When Jesus clearly restored Peter with absolute clarity concerning his divine purpose He also spoke that divine purpose over him three times. Peter was perplexed by this repetitiveness. The bible says Peter became “grieved” (vs.17) by this, possibly because he thought that Jesus did not believe him to be sincere when He affirmed his love for the Lord. Peter must have been feeling insecure and unsure about the Lord’s perception of him since He was still dealing with the guilt of his betrayal. But I believe there is a hidden mystery as to why Jesus affirmed his call three times in this story. There is a divine mystery in how we choose to engage our divine purpose in “threes”, which I’ll explain, but here is the idea:
Any calling must clearly be defined in one statement of divine purpose, and this divine purpose must find expression in threes everyday, every week, and every year.
Peter’s divine purpose was defined as “feeding God’s sheep” and it was given three expressions all pointing to that singularly focused divine purpose. After breakfast Jesus spoke this to him, therefore after breakfast for the rest of the morning, the afternoon, and into the night He was to have one purpose, one direction, one focus, and one intent. I believe this to be a master key for accomplishing anything at a high level that God has called you to.
GOD IS 1 IN 3, & 3 IN 1
The bible is clear that the Lord our God is one God (Deut.6:4). This is one of the unique things which separated the children of Israel (being monotheistic) from all the other pagan nations of the world in biblical days (who were polytheistic). Many people of the ancient world thought it to be a sign of weakness to only have one god. They believed they needed many gods to perform many different roles in their lives and all of mankind. But to Israel, the Lord their God, Jehovah, was everything. He was everything they needed and He provided everything they required and was all powerful as one person and as one God. But for some reason, when you get into the New Testament, a fuller expression of God came forth in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which was not as clearly revealed in the Old Testament when the children of Israel were under their tutor, which was the Law (Gal.3:24-25). There is a mystery here.
In order for God to start the plan of redemption in the earth He needed one form, Jehovah. He needed one nation, Israel. He needed one seed, which was carried down through the loins of Abraham by faith (Gal.3:16). But when it came time to complete the plan of redemption with the death of Jesus Christ there needed to be a mature expression of God working in three forms, clearly revealed to mankind in the life of Jesus, who was the fullness of this Godhead made manifest in human flesh (Col.2:9). Jesus spoke and communed with the Father often and fully relied on the Holy Spirit for empowerment, help, and guidance. Yet to look on Jesus was to literally look on the Father because they were one in the same God (Jn.14:9). This is a great mystery.
I feel that the Lord has shown me this 1 in 3 and 3 in 1 beautiful mystery in the story of Peter’s restoration in (Jn.21). To begin (or restart) God’s plan for Peter’s life there was just one word needed, just like with the plan of God for redemption there was just one expression of God needed in One True Living God, Jehovah. There was clarity provided for one divine purpose, for one call, and that was for Peter to feed God’s sheep. But then Jesus had to repeat that statement, or express that calling in three statements which were essentially the same statement repeated three times, just as God is one Word in three forms. Here’s the message I hear the Lord saying here:
Define your one divine purpose, then define three expressions <or> functions which advance <or> fulfill this divine purpose for the rest of your life. Many people would call these functions or expressions “goals”.
Three functions, three goals, but still one purpose, just like we serve 1 God who has chosen to reveal himself in three unique expressions that make up the Godhead.
OTHER BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF 1 IN 3 & 3 IN 1
Daniel prayed three times a day when He was in Babylon (Dan.6:10-28). Daniel’s divine purpose at that time was to be a prophet to Israel and a counselor to kings, and that divine purpose needed the action of prayer in order to be fulfilled. That expression of prayer worked its way out in three times of daily prayer (which generally corresponds to the three times of day being morning, afternoon, evening). Daniel didn’t pray fifty times a day, He prayed three times a day. This is where people fall short in fulfilling their divine purpose many times. They try to do too much, and most of the time it’s things that don’t even matter or aren’t truly pertinent to fulfilling their divine purpose or calling. Get focused, get simple, and express it in the divine simplicity of threes. You have your morning, your afternoon, and your evening essentially in the days that God has given you. Do three things everyday, focus on three goals everyday that advance your one divine purpose and watch what God does!
Jesus, His Disciples, & Other Biblical Examples
When Jesus chose his disciples there was a group of five hundred that heard the great commission after his resurrection and were sent to the nations (Matt.28:16-20). There was one hundred and twenty in the upper room to receive the outpouring and infilling of the spirit (Acts 2). There were seventy that were sent out two by two during his earthly ministry (Mark 6:7). There were twelve apostles of the Lamb chosen after He spent all night in prayer on the mount, and there was his elite company, his chiefest apostles of that group at that time who He called the Sons of Thunder. There were three in the elite company. They were Peter, James, & John. These three had special access to Jesus. When the others were only permitted to travel with him so far, He took these three deeper into the garden to share in his prayer time and intimacy with the Father, an honor only granted to these three (Matt.26:36-37). Jesus’ ultimate divine purpose was to go to the cross, and he carried three with him into the garden to complete his surrender to the father and to the death of the cross.
When God delivered Israel from Egypt there were three prominent leaders that he raised up: Moses, Aaron, and Joshua.
When God sent Paul to pioneer the gospel in the Gentile World He could not finish his mission with just him and Barnabas. He needed Silas to come and finish the race with him in order to complete his divine purpose before the Lord. It took Paul, Barnabas, & Silas to complete this divine purpose. One purpose, three vessels.
Even in the creation of man, being made in God’s own image and likeness, we have been fashioned as 1 in 3 and 3 in 1. We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a material body presently. Our divine purpose which we carry in our spirit needs three creative components in order to ultimately be fulfilled. We must receive and carry our divine purpose in our spirits and in our hearts. We must focus on our divine purpose with our minds and our souls, and we must walk out our divine purpose and see it fulfilled with our bodies. Purpose carried in heart and mind alone will not do. It must be acted upon with your body. Isn’t God amazing?!
EXAMPLES OF 1 IN 3 & 3 in 1 IN THE WORLD TODAY
Lately, in my own personal studies I’ve been spending time sowing into my further education on a number of different subjects. In the process of time I’ve come across many very successful people who have a very interesting relationship with the number “three”. For instance, I recently found out that Warren Buffett, one of the richest men on the earth who reads for eight hours a day, takes one day at the beginning of each year to write down all of his goals and all of his desires that He wishes to fulfill that year. Once He writes everything down that He can think of and pours out his heart onto the sheet of paper He then narrows the list down to his top three. Once He has his top three he takes the rest and discards them. Mr. Buffett only focuses on three things per year, no more. Amazingly, when He accomplishes those three goals He takes a clean piece of paper out and begins the process again finding that many of the things which were on his list before, things He previously felt strong about but made himself discard, don’t make the list a second time. He claims this process helps him to understand that many things which we think are really important at the time turn out to be not that important at all, and focusing our sights on what’s really important helps us to realize that (1). In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things that are important are not urgent”. Focusing on a few things helps you determine the difference between the two and proceed wisely. Warren Buffet only focuses on three things for the entire year, and those three things are always in line with what He believes his supreme purpose is.
The number one problem with underachievers is and always will be a lack of focus. Jesus said it best when He said â€œif your eye be single your whole body will be full of light” (Matt.6:22). If you focus all of your attention, all of your desire, all of your effort on one thing, on the thing you were created to do, you will know what it means to tap the fullness of your potential in Christ!
A man named Richard Branson (one of the wealthiest, most successful men on the planet today in many people’s eyes) was once asked to do a speaking engagement that would pay $20,000 for an hour of his time. He immediately turned it down. The conference host upped the offer to $50,000 for an hour of speaking. Richard immediately turned it down. The offer then went up to half a million dollars with the bonus of a private jet picking Richard up, letting him speak for an hour, and then allowing him to get right back on the jet to be flown to any location of his choosing in the world. Richard immediately declined the offer again.
After the conference host offered a blank check and was promptly turned down for the last time He called Richard’s office demanding an explanation as to why His money wasn’t good enough. Richard’s secretary politely explained, “Mr. Branson is focused only on three things this year and if it doesn’t fit those three goals then He does not do it, and no amount of money will change that” (2). That’s the power of focus which very successful people have that most other people do not. How focused are you truly on what you believe in your heart God has called you to do? What you are willing to say NO to will prove whether you’re truly focused and ready for massive achievement in your given field.
I found it interesting that in my studies of late I came across the work habits of Pastor Joel Osteen, pastor of the largest church in America. Joel, interestingly enough, takes three whole days to prepare for his 22 minute Sunday sermon. On Wednesday He takes the whole day to read, study, and pour into himself for his sermon on Sunday. On Thursday He takes the whole day to write out his sermon and then commit the entire sermon to memory. On Saturday He takes the day to go to his church and preach his sermon twice to a closed audience at his Lakewood facility. Then on Sunday Morning He preaches his 22 minute sermon with flawless execution not needing to look at any notes and he reaches millions.
When Joel was once asked what His key to success was He talked about his weekly routine and He talked about focus. He said that when He first started pastoring back in 1999, just a few months after his father passed away, He was wearing himself out trying to do everything. For years He worked behind the scenes serving in his father’s church, just working humbly unto the Lord not desiring to be seen or to be in front of people. But when God called him to preach and be the pastor He realized that He had to focus on what His new role was, let the old identity go, and be the best at what He was now called to and delegate everything else. The church then grew from a weekly attendance of 5,000 to over 52,000 people, and Joel has since become one of the most influential christian ministers of all time. That’s the power of focus. He decided what His one purpose was (22 minutes of preaching every week) and has devoted 3 days every week since to being the best at what he does.
A lot of people have issues with Joel for what he says, or perhaps more so for what He doesn’t say. You may be reading this thinking that someone like Warren Buffett is a liar and a cheat. But I would say that a sign of maturity is being able to learn from others who have admirable qualities, even if you don’t agree with them or they’re not perfect.
We will continue this study tomorrow.
In His Service,
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