By Bunni Pounds
I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth." John 17:13-19
We live in the world as believers, but we are not supposed to be OF the world. I am not just talking about being cross-cultural, weird, or "different," but walking in a level of holiness (separation) unto God.
Ephesians 1:4 - "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
1 Peter 1:15 – "But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,"
Ephesians 5:27 – "That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."
1 Peter 1:16 – “Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
I love that Jesus prays for us that we would be kept from the evil one. He is not praying that God would "rapture" us out of the world or that we would live in communes away from society. Rather, He prays that we could live in the middle of our culture as a sanctified people.
The fact that Jesus is praying for the disciples (and US) in this passage means that He truly desires it for us. It is HIS WILL for us to walk in sanctification and holiness. He has set us apart to know Him, and when we “know Him” His character rubs off on us. We should be different when we walk away from a meeting with Jesus, or else we should wonder: what are we doing? Did we not just meet with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Did it not change us?
I love it that God has called me to live in the midst of a nation (America), in the midst of a political field, and in the midst of a city (Dallas), yet has called me to walk with Him as set apart unto Him.
Remember, He is praying for us. He is praying for YOU. For "our sakes" He lived a sanctified life. Jesus showed us the way forward. He is faithful to walk with us day by day into His holiness and sanctification.