“Embrace the process.”
It’s something you hear a lot in sports and in the development industry.
It’s what high performers do day in and day out.
I mention that because I talk to a lot of guys who are double-minded. They're not sure of where they are in life. They go one step forward, then a couple steps backwards. They don't have clarity and feel stuck.
They know they're called to greatness. However, they're still struggling. They're still trying to get clarity and something's missing.
What's missing is an understanding of God's process and where you are in it.
Once you know how God operates in your life, how he has operated in the lives of men we see modeled throughout Scripture, then you can start to reframe things and submit to God's process for you.
The High Performance Habits of Jesus
All high performers have certain traits, skills, habits and practices, rituals, routines they do that enable them to walk out life at a high performance level. Jesus, the Son of God no less, is a high performer.
He shows up and he shows out on the things God his father calls him to do, and he doesn't do it by accident. He doesn't do it by chance; he does it by consistent daily habits.
Jesus is Man as God Intended Man to Be
I realize that's a loaded statement and full of so much that we could discuss. But what does that mean?
If you want to know the process that God uses, we need to look at the life of Jesus to see the process that God puts his only begotten son through.
In the New Testament we have the documented ministry of Jesus, which is about three and a half years. He went into ministry at age 30, and died around 33. There's thirty years we don't really have a lot of documentation on.
We know what he was doing at age twelve in the temple (Luke 2:41-50), and we know that he entered public ministry at age 30. What's interesting about that is 30 is the age the rabbis entered their ministry.
Jesus wasn’t waiting passively on the sidelines waiting for his number to come up so he could fulfill that and be officially a rabbi at 30 years old. He was very aggressive and proactive in doing the work that his father called him to do, and he had to cut a path forward.
Before Jesus ever stepped into public ministry he was a man of prayer. This is a cornerstone in his life. He was building a habit of accessing his father through unbroken fellowship throughout his whole life long before he ever stepped foot in the Jordan river and got baptized. Later in Matthew 6, he says, when you pray, go into your prayer closet, shut the door and speak to your father (v.6). He was speaking from experience, not theory or book learning.
Jesus Was Shutting the Door His Entire Life
Jesus was enrolled in the school of life. What do I mean by that? He was a builder who worked with his hands. He was a blue collar guy, and that means he started as an apprentice. He didn't go right into the position of master builder.
He would've come up through the ranks. Joseph, his earthly father, would've taken him on and showed him this trade in this humble town, this small town of Nazareth.
This was a humble beginning. This was a small place, and Jesus would've started making really humble objects. He would've started making tools, maybe some furniture, and eventually some humble homes. And this work would've been done in his humanity, in obscurity out of the public eye.
For years, he would've developed this. He would've punched that clock, showed up, developed his skillset and submitted to the process, embraced his work ethic. He followed the leading of the master, and he would've worked his way up into building and furnishing and stepping into the title of being that master craftsman.
But it didn't start on day one. So we see even in Jesus' life that he humbled himself and embraced a certain process.
Jesus Was the Head and Provider of His Household
I know what you’re thinking: Josh, what???
Think about it. Did you know that the gospels never make any mention of Jesus' earthly father, Joseph, during the time of his public ministry?
He's not present.
We can see that Mary and his siblings are there. In fact, Matthew 13 mentions Jesus' four brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (v. 55), and references to his sister.
He came from a big family, but we don't see Joseph mentioned anywhere.
Tradition has it that Joseph died early in Jesus's youth. He never made it to see the ministry of Jesus. What I've found suggests Joseph could have died when Jesus was anywhere between the ages of 15 to 18.
There's possibly eight siblings, eight children, of which Jesus would've been the oldest. So it's at this point, if Joseph's out of the picture and the family's a family of eight, Mary's a widow and Jesus becomes the man of the household.
We don't hear a lot about this, but Jesus would've had to man up and provide for the family. He would've been there for his brothers, his sisters, for his mother who's now a widow, and he worked for the family until they were all of the appropriate age to earn a living for themselves.
What We Call Mediocre, God Calls A Process
Picture this: Jesus is working hard in the small town of Nazareth. He's getting up early because he's gotta put food on the table because he's gotta provide clothing. And in addition to that, he's walking into his calling.
He's exercising this prayer life. He's meeting with his father, and he's exhibiting this dependence on God in obscurity as he's in the process.
So can you imagine the late night meetings that Jesus would have had with Mary? Maybe after the brothers and sisters are in bed and they would be discussing what they have.
What do they have to pull their budget together for? Who needs food? Do we have enough clothes? Do we have enough resources right now? What about their education? What about the way we're bringing them up? Are we bringing them up according to the right traditions and Jewish customs?
If you think about it, this sounds like a regular blue collar, mediocre life!
Hebrews 5:8 says Jesus learned obedience from the things which he suffered. Jesus was living in obscurity. He was living in mediocrity. He was living a normal life and he was exhibiting self-sacrifice. He was demonstrating leadership and he was submitted in obedience to the process that was chosen for him by his father.
I'm sure he had a desire in his humanity to be with the rabbis as we see a glimpse of at age 12. I'm sure he had a desire to reason with them, to step into the scene, to engage in the education that other rabbis were getting trained in.
But that wasn't what God had in store for him; the cross was being formed in Jesus' life by his self-sacrifice well beyond and before he got to the cross.
Mediocrity Reframed Looks like Consistency
It looks like showing up when you don't feel like it. It looks like being content with where you are; being faithful and steadfast with the circumstances that God has you in.
Many men are out there trying to forge their way without the grace of God on their life without understanding the process. Pushing too early, half stepping, being double minded, unclear and stuck because you don't understand how to access the unfair advantage.
And if you get into that challenge, and if you look under the hood, you're going to find out that number one non-negotiable is that every man of God has and that Jesus models perfectly as the perfect son.
So I encourage you, sign up for that training. It's 11 days. See if you can submit to it. See if you can take it.
I challenge you to take it because it's going to help you step into understanding who you are and more importantly, understanding God's process.
And you're wondering, where am I? Am I in the will of God? What's happening? I want you to know there is a secret that's available, and I share that with you, and I show it to you, and I model it for you, and you do it in participation with us in the Unfair Advantage challenge.
So check that out, because that is a key to the life of Jesus as he's living in obscurity.
I told you I wanted you to reframe and rethink about the way you see yourself and your circumstances. So do that right now.
Start to Reframe: Where are You?
- How can you start viewing where you are?
- Can you see God's hand?
- Can you see him developing faithfulness, consistency?
- What fruit are you bringing forward right now in your life?
- You should be bearing fruit. Even if you feel like you're in a dry place, you still should be showing an increase in your character and the fruit of the spirit and what God wants to see in your life, and that's what qualifies you.
That's what appoints you. That's what gets you ready for acceleration to step into your assignment. Because when Jesus steps into his, it happens fast, guys. It happens suddenly. So years and years can be collapsed into one moment when you are positioned for promotion, when your attitude is right, when you're humble, when you're submitting yourself to God's process.
So, embrace God's process!
Discover Jesus as the Standard for Masculinity in The Bible App
This week our YouVersion Bible reading plan that I put together based on my book, The Standard went live.
It’s a six day devotional you can get it on YouVersion. The theme is self-mastery and it's all about submitting to God's process. Jesus gives us a template and a blueprint for how to do that; he modeled sacrificial living.
Make sure you get it on Android or iPhone.