Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dad, hear my prayer....

14 I have given them your commands. And the world hates them because they don’t fit in with it, just as I don’t. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from Satan’s power. 16 They are not part of this world any more than I am. 17 Make them pure and holy through teaching them your words of truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world, 19 and I consecrate myself to meet their need for growth in truth and holiness. (John 17:14-19 TLB)

Jesus is just about to leave this earth and he is in prayerful communication with his heavenly Father. As he speaks with him, he recounts several things that I think bear our attention. First, Jesus reminds God the Father that each of us has received his commands - we are not ignorant of his plans or purposes when we have been given the most concise and thorough accounting possible. We have the Word and we have the examples of those who have gone before us - our ancestors in the faith. We are without excuse - we cannot plead we don't know God's plans! 


Second, Jesus reminds us that we might often feel like we "don't fit" in this world. The distress we can sometimes feel by not "fitting in" can almost be our undoing as human beings. If you don't believe me, just go to the mall one day, sit in a place where you can observe the traffic of humans passing by and just watch them. You will notice groups trying to "fit in" by "standing out" in their attire, wearing of body jewelry, and even the body art they display. There are others trying to "fit in" by spending an awful lot of money for something with this brand name on it or that one, simply because it is the "brand" of popular people. It can actually be quite easy for us to get caught up in trying to "fit in" when what is within us make us "stand out"!


Third, Jesus has our best in mind and he is always interceding on our behalf that we would be "kept safe". There is much more to this than words can describe, but suffice it to say we don't know a fraction of what stands against us and how much his intervening power is what keeps us safe! The powers against us are sometimes recognized, but most of the time, we don't even appreciate what is behind the event we might be enduring. We see the display of the power, but we don't always recognize the power behind it - therein lies Jesus' prayer for our safety.


Lastly, we are made pure and holy, not by our efforts to be pure or holy, but because he has consecrated himself to meet every need we have for growth in truth and holiness. Yes, we take steps toward obedience and this is honorable, but it is lifeless if those steps aren't energized by the Spirit of God within. The power within becomes the power to withstand the power without. Just sayin!