Posted by: randydunning | January 17, 2008

Day 17 | John 17

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Text: John 17

Key Verse: 12
“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”

Reflection:
I’ll bet the disciples had no idea how they were being protected while they were with Jesus. We get a little insight in Luke 22:31 where Jesus says to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” From this we can assume that the disciples were regular targets of evil. Since Satan could not touch the Lord, he desires to strike Christ’s followers. Not much has changed in 2000 years!

Most days I too walk through life oblivious to the protection of God. I flat-out take it for granted. I’ll occasionally pray for protection or, if my emotions get a bit sideways allowing me see my vulnerability, I’ll seek God then. But I dare say that if the physical veil was lifted and I could see into the spiritual realm, I’d be shocked at the danger lurking around me.

Jesus concluded his statement to Peter, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail.” Jesus took an active role in protecting those God had entrusted to him. He still does, undoubtably more than we know. And I am very grateful.

Prayer:
Lord, continue to guard me from temptation, from the affliction of the evil one who would also seek to sift me as wheat. Strengthen me so that I might stand firm and strengthen others too.

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Responses

  1. I agree with your perspective, Randy. Certainly I live in danger constantly, but only occasionally do I recognize the awesome protection I am surrounded with.

    What I also find intriguing is how Jesus prays regarding protection. In v. 15 Jesus prays, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” My idea of protection is removal from a situation. But I think Jesus wants protection within a situation. It seems that emotional or even a little physical trauma with spiritual protection is a good thing. Often it seems God wants to use these situations for good, but we are so quick to attempt escape from these situations.

    I hope that meditating on this will help me to realize there is more going on. I hope I can gain the perspective to know that protection from God is more than escape from a situation.

  2. When Jesus gives us the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6) he says “…deliver us from evil.” We do often tend to view that as external evil, like an hostile army marching against a peaceful land. But the first part of Jesus’ sentence is, “And do not lead us into temptation.”

    The greatest threat of evil is not what occurs externally but that which occurs internally – the implosion which follows a constant yielding to wrong desires. It is from this seed that all external evil grows.

    Yet Jesus believes we can overcome temptation, just as he did. How else could we be in the world but yet not of the world?


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