Friday, December 28, 2018

Father, I Desire - Devotional #6 (John 17:24)

By Bunni Pounds

"Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." John 17:24 

Do we ever take any time to think about the desires of God? What does God desire for our lives, families, nation, and our world?

What is in Jesus' heart for us?

This verse—John 17:24—rocked my world a few years ago because I finally got it. I really got it! And it has held me through persecutions, sufferings, loneliness, and fears.

Jesus, right before He goes to the cross, tells His Father God about His deepest desire. He tells Him, in essence - Father, I am willing to give up My life. I am willing to die, but this is what I really want. This is My heart’s cry. This is MY DESIRE—I want the ones that You have given Me as My inheritance to be WITH ME WHERE I AM. I want them to BEHOLD MY GLORY. I want them to see the LOVE that You have given Me and the love We share with each other. I want them to be surrounded in the circle of our love.

The desire of Jesus is pounding in His chest until He sweats drops of blood. BLOOD! Luke 22:44 says, "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

I finally got it on my couch one day poring over this chapter of the Bible.

It wasn't fear that was causing the agony of Jesus in those final moments in the Garden. It wasn’t that He was afraid of suffering, of being beaten and crucified. He knew what was ahead, but it was not the pain in front of Him causing Him this agony, it was His DESIRE. His desire was so strong that it was causing Him agony because He knew what He had to do. He knew His desire was worth it all—His suffering, His torment, and His death. The desire of His heart would win over the day and it was almost here. This desire was about to be met and He couldn’t wait. The heart of this intercessor knew that what He had been praying for was about to come to pass.

I can just see Jesus crying out in prayer to the person He loves to talk to most—the Father. He was not going to let Him go until He gave Him his ultimate desire—a bride that would willingly love Him and would want to see His glory.

Psalm 2 is a prophetic psalm of the Messiah's triumph and kingdom.

God says, "I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession."
Psalm 2:7-8

Right there, in His final moments, Jesus is crying out, "I am asking,
Father, I am asking for My inheritance. I am asking for My bride from the nations. Here I am giving You everything to fulfill Your Word so I can have what is rightfully mine and what we dreamed up from the beginning together at creation. Now is the time for My desire to be manifest on the earth."

I was stunned that day as I realized the depth of the love of Jesus for me and for His bride all over the earth.

If John 17:24 doesn't make us want to know Jesus in a deeper way, I don't know what will. Pray for revelation of this beautiful passage and ask God to show you His deep desire and longing for you to be with Him.

Jesus is after us with His desire; He gave up His life to redeem us. His blood continues to cry out, "I WANT YOU. I need you. You are mine."

It is time for us to accept His gift and mercy, not only for eternal salvation, but His gift of grace empowerment into His presence, so we can walk with Him intimately each day.

This last year I did the hardest thing I have ever done, I ran for Congress. It was SO hard – constantly speaking, working, asking for money to fund the campaign, and running around seven counties nonstop while on my phone trying to earn people’s support. I felt the weight of the pressure of expectations. So many people were supporting me, my former boss and the incumbent endorsed me, and even the Vice President of the United States tweeted out His endorsement of me.

The experience of running for a national position was incredibly deep in the natural, but I had so much peace and joy walking through the journey. It is impossible to explain. I felt like I was walking on air most of the time and living my purpose.

Every morning, I would whisper to Jesus and remember that the Holy Spirit lived on the inside of me. I would reflect on Jesus walking with me through this adventure, and I would remember His desire and His thoughts toward me. I would keep moving - believing for His favor, believing for His best for me and my family, and carrying - as an intercessor - His love for the people of America. I was “with Him where He was” fulfilling Jesus’ prayer in that moment.

I made it to through an eight-person primary into a two-person runoff and I kept walking in peace. When I lost by 2,600 votes at the end of this intense process, guess what? I was still with Jesus. The deepest part of my life was not gone. I might not be a Congresswoman serving the people that I love in the 5th District of Texas, but I can walk into the next adventure still knowing Him. I cannot underestimate the power of this revelation that our ultimate mission in life is to KNOW GOD in the secret place. This is real ETERNAL LIFE lived out here and now on earth. This secret place is where every success or failure that we experience on this planet does not cause us to be swayed by its importance or disenfranchised by its impact, either positively or negatively on our hearts. JESUS IS OUR GREAT REWARD!

"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
 John 17:3-5


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