To Stay or to Go?
Today's Reading: Psalm 110-112; 1 Corinthians 5
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. John 17:15
After reading the prayer of Jesus, I realize how far I am from understanding the truth of His message. Jesus prayed that we not be taken out of the world but that the Father would keep us from the evil one. There are times when some of us want to be taken out of this world as soon as possible just to be in heaven with Jesus. When you love someone, you want to be with them, and as Christians, our hearts yearn to be closer to Jesus. Other times, life here on earth is so hard and such a struggle that we want to be taken out just to get out of here. Admit it; we all have felt this way at times. But these feelings are no surprise to the Lord.
Jesus' prayer to keep us in the world was truly based on love. He has provided everything we need for life and godliness, despite our circumstances. He has given us creation to see His handiwork and understand His unlimited abilities. He has given us His Word that sanctifies us and sets us apart for Him. And He has given us His own testimony as Jesus, Son of God, who walked on this earth and lived in this world. He prayed that the Father would not take us out of this world but to keep us from the evil one. Jesus prayed that we be made one with Him while remaining on earth. At times, it seems impossible to walk against the pattern of this world. We can take comfort in knowing that Jesus understands what we are going through. Our only hope is to depend on Him, which is exactly what He wants in the first place.
Where are you today? Do you secretly desire at times to be taken to heaven? Only you know the reasons why you feel this way. But know today that Jesus has a plan for you being right here, right now. He loves you and has a plan for your life. Ask the Lord to give you strength in times of trouble, peace in times of struggle and hope when the world seems to be hopeless. Only in Jesus can we stay in this world and experience heaven on earth.