Sanctify Them In Your Truth

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Standard;We talked a little bit about this high priestly prayer of Jesus last week. Remember? This prayer was prayed after he had washed the disciples feet and instituted Lord’s Supper and before He headed out to the Garden of Gethsemane.

As we pick it up in verse 9, we know that He is praying specifically for these eleven. These  were the ones that were given to Jesus by God while he was visibly in the world.

He says “I’m not praying for the world” Well why not? Because the world here is taken as anything opposed to God and His purposes. It is that kingdom that is headed up by the devil himself. He cannot pray on one hand that God would “keep” these disciples from the evil one, and on the other hand that the world could have some success with them.  A house divided against itself cannot stand.

These verses should serve as a strong reminder to us that there is a very serious and intense battle going on between the Prince of heaven, and the prince of this world (the devil.The world is mentioned a total of 19 times in this prayer! )  He is praying for the eleven because they will soon be up against this world without the visual presence of Jesus.

Make no mistake about it, the devil wants to pull as many souls as possible away from Jesus and Jesus wants to pull as many as possible away from the devil.  It is a cosmic struggle of epic proportions.

There is no neutral ground in this battle. Jesus said in Mt 12:30, “He who is not with Me is against Me!” There is no room for the lukewarm in the kingdom of God. In fact we are told in Rev 3:16 that the lukewarm will be spewed out.

Think about that, because all the devil and the world have to do is “cool us down” a little and they’ve got us! Well thankfully the Lord has a remedy for us and He’s not afraid to use it. He says in Rev 3:19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore (because of this rebuke and chastening,)  be zealous (get hot) and come back to Him.”

To rebuke here is to “confute.” New word. It means to overwhelm with an argument. Jesus loves you and when He sees you backsliding, cooling off, He’s going to bring arguments against you. You are going to start losing arguments with Him about the way you live. The way you’ve been ignoring sin and worldliness.   (David)  

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.! (2 Cor 10:4,5)

To chasten is to take to the woodshed. Yes sometimes the Lord will allow trouble into our lives to get our attention, to discipline us to turn back to His ways instead of our own. E. M. Bounds says that trouble is God’s servant.

We must never confuse punishment and chastisement. Punishment for sin will take place in the next world. God’s dealings with people in this world are of the nature of discipline. Corrective processes as we see here in Rev 3:19)

The key for us is to recognize these arguments against our way of living and chastisements in order to take the necessary action to become zealous again for Him. ” And they are recognized as we spend time in His Word, honestly allowing the Holy Spirit to examine us.

So Jesus is praying for His initial 11 shepherds here. The world is mentioned 19 times in this prayer! It is mentioned as a place where Jesus was sent to live and do battle, and it’s mentioned as a place where the 11 will be sent to live and do battle.

These 11 would win soldiers to their cause and we can be counted among those soldiers. We too are sent to live and do battle in this world. We are at war! And we must fight back with the weapons of sacrificial love, truth, unity, and prayer!.

These are traits common to all soldiers. Willing to fall on a grenade to save your comrades. Using the truth as it concerns your current position, fighting as a unit, and utilizing prayer, calling in air support where needed!.

If we would just use the weapons that He has placed at our disposal the enemy wouldn’t stand a chance. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper ( Is 54:17)

In v11,12 the theme of keeping these disciples rises to the top, and it’s the theme of keeping the unity the oneness that they experienced while walking with Jesus. What kind of one ness, unity, is he talking about?

The same kind of oneness He had with the Father. Again a reminder that the devil will do everything in his power to try and separate you and I from God. If that don’t work, He will try to separate us from each other.  

The devil (diabolos) in the Greek. His very name means  to cast asunder to divide. The devil is his name and division is his game. What God has joined together whether union with Him through Jesus or a congregation, or a marriage or a family, the devil seeks to cast asunder.

He’ll do anything to cause that separation. He’ll get you to sin, he’ll get you to compromise, he’ll lure you away with the things of this world, he’ll persecute you, he’ll get you preoccupied with other things, all in an effort to pull you away from God.

In this prayer Jesus is asking God to thwart the enemy on every front of division. He is asking the Father to supernaturally intervene and keep His followers together. Remember in chapter 16 Jesus had told the disciples that they would “scatter,” In this prayer He asks God to bring them back in again.  And He did!

The Word of God is what God uses to bring us into unity. This whole Book is about restoring oneness with Him. The oneness that was lost in Eden has been won back through what Jesus did on the cross.  And so Jesus prays in v14 , “I have given them Your Word. It is God’s Word that keeps us together with Him.

In v 13, Jesus prays that He will be coming back to the Father and what He is praying right now is for the benefit of the eleven. “I speak these things that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. “

What things was He speaking? He was speaking about oneness with the Father. This was the joy of Jesus and the joy that he prayed for His disciples to experience. This joy is available to you and to me….but where is it?

Most of us know of that initial joy that comes from surrendering to the Lord and knowing that our sins have been forgiven, what we fail to realize is the real source of that joy is the re-establishment of our oneness with the Father.  Oh the joy of that moment! Because at that moment you are so full of God, that there is no room for the world. It’s not about your forgiveness, it’s about your unity with God! A fruit of forgiveness.

But what happens? We slowly allow the world in and our joy is pushed out. Fullness of joy is directly related to the amount of the world we allow into our lives. More world…less God….less joy. More God….less world…..more joy.

We lack joy simply because we have allowed that oneness with the Father to slip away. The fullness of our joy is dependent upon the degree that we are willing to be conformed to the image of Christ, and that willingness is directly measured by the degree to which you allow the Holy Spirit to shape you through God’s Word.

Jesus says in v 14, “I have given them Your Word . It is this Word given to us, working in us, that sets us apart from the world and the world hates it, because the more Word in us, the more Jesus in us and less room for the world.

And in v15 He prays, “don’t take them out of the world, just take the world out of them, that’s what it means to be kept from the evil one. To be kept is to remain one with God, and as we have seen, that oneness is maintained to the degree that we allow the Word to rule in our lives.

V16 – Fact. We belong to Jesus. Jesus is not of this world . Therefore we are not of this world.

It’s like crude oil and water.  They don’t mix. Oil will rise to the top. Think of yourself as a container. There is only so much room for water  and oil.  The more water in our container the more the crude oil will be pushed out.

Let the oil represent the world and the water represent the Holy Spirit. Now listen to the words of Jesus in Jn 7:38,39, “He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.”

The more room we make for the Holy Spirit in us, the less room for the world. It is the Word that sanctifies us….separates us from the world. That pushes the world out.

By allowing God’s Word to mold us and shape us, we can push the world out of our lives. We don’t need to get drunk, we don’t need to curse, we don’t need to abort, we don’t need to fornicate, we don’t need to divorce, we don’t need to view pornography, we don’t need to put other things before God in our lives. .

But it’s not going to happen unless we pick up the Bible. I must get into the Word of God and allow the Word of God to get into me. . Our sanctification, our separation from the world is important to Jesus or He wouldn’t have prayed this prayer for His disciples, and in v20 He also prays for us to be set apart from the world and experience the oneness with the Father.

It was in the early 80’s. By the grace of God, this prodigal came home. We were living on 33rd St in Two Rivers at the time and an incredible thing happened. Other men in the neighborhood were believers and we would often gather for Bible reading and prayer in the early morning hours.

It was the sweetest time of fellowship I have ever experienced. I wished it would last forever, but the Lord had other ideas, and one by one we left the neighborhood, but I remember the Lord speaking to my heart before we left, as if to say, “Take this experience with you wherever you go.”

Well, I didn’t. Until now. This week, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit my daughter and I began to meet here at church at 6 in the morning. We bring our Bibles, our journals drink a little coffee and meet with the Lord as we study His Word.

We share what the Lord is teaching us, and then we pray it back to Him and then head out the door to face the world. Oh, I had forgotten how sweet it is to start your day with a God appointment. In fellowship with the Lord and other believers.

I extend the invitation to you to do the same. We will be here every Monday thru Friday morning from 6 to 7 a.m. There is an extra sense of urgency to this daily prayer meeting as we really don’t know how long we will be able to keep the doors open here at Living Word.

I do know this, whether the doors remain open or not, this is a good thing. It is part of God’s plan to set us apart from the world and keep us apart, and if you can’t make it at this hour then I encourage you to find another time and place to get together with at least one other person for the purpose of getting into God’s Word and allowing His Word to get into you.

For the purpose of pushing the oil of the world out of you so that the Living Water of the Holy Spirit will reign in your life.