MONDAY, MARCH 1 | JOHN 17:6-19
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15
Have you ever accused someone of having their “head in the clouds?” They just aren’t listening to what you are saying or paying attention to what is going on. You want them to come down to earth and get in tune with what’s happening here!
Sometimes Christians are accused of this sort of behavior, that is, “pie in the sky” thinking. Some people say that our minds are so fixed on heaven that we’re of no earthly good. Perhaps we’ve been wrongly accused. Or could the critics be at least partly right?
The truth is, Jesus spoke of heaven, but mostly he spoke of God’s kingdom in our world. The mission he entrusted to his followers was not about longing for heaven but about making disciples and growing God’s kingdom here on earth. Just before Jesus was arrested in the garden, he prayed for his disciples. He knew he would not be with them much longer, so his prayer highlighted one of the fiercest challenges they would face: the evil one.
The work of the evil one is the work of undoing. We don’t talk about this ugly truth often enough. But here’s a question to consider: Why would Jesus pray for his disciples’ protection if there were no real threat?
The evil one is real. He schemes to undo God’s good work in our world. And he often targets us, Jesus’ followers. So real is the danger of the evil one’s plots that Jesus asks the Father to protect us.
Yet think about it. Could there be a better protection plan? Jesus himself is praying for us. As we work with the Lord to grow his kingdom here on earth, the power and presence of almighty God is always with us!
Lord, thank you that your power is infinitely greater than that of the evil one. Thank you for protecting me. Keep me from distraction and sin as I seek to know you better. May your kingdom come here on earth, I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
—WRITTEN BY RUTH BOVEN