John 17:14-16 “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.” NKJV
Our Lord now turns His heart upward and prays to the Father for Himself, His present disciples, and all of His future disciples. He is about to accomplish what He was born to do and that is die for man’s sin. Our Lord has been repeatedly reassuring these first disciples that He will return to them after His death, yet their hearts were unable to fully understand all that He spoke to them. He told them that He would leave them His peace, and that His joy would remain in them, and that He would not leave them as orphans, but would indeed return to live in them through God the Holy Spirit.
Now our Lord communes in intimate comforting prayer with the Father for perhaps the final time before His pending death. Although our Lord would later be agonizing in prayer to the point of blood dripping from His brow, He thinks of those first disciples and of us knowing the cost required for anyone to be His true disciple. Our Lord petitions the Father on our behalf to keep us protected from the evil one as we walk in the world bearing His Name a world that has rejected Him, despised Him, and hated Him. It may seem odd to some of us that our Lord had to petition the Father to protect us when He has already told these first disciples that it would be Him who would come back to them, but this is a demonstration of our Lord willingly placing Himself under the authority of the Father (1 Corinthians 11:3 & Philippians 2:6-9) though in reality He was and is equal to the Father in every aspect.
This our Lord did for the sake of the world’s sin that every one of His elect would be saved by His Blood. Our Lord knew from first-hand experience the relentless and merciless attacks that He had undergone at the hands of the evil one and He also knew how the evil one continuously requested permission from Him to sift Peter and the other disciples (as well as us today) as he did with Job long ago. Our Lord knew that the whole world still lays under the sway of the evil one and that those under his sway would hate all of His true disciples because it is our Lord Jesus who has taken us out of the world and recreated us internally making us not of this world anymore just as He is not of this world (John 17:14, 16 & 1 John 5:19). As we are able to look back upon what we know from the record in the Book of Acts, we may wrongly conclude that the Father did not do such a good job of protecting the early disciples as we see James get his head cut off by king Herod and Peter thrown into prison to receive the same death and many other beatings and imprisonments the Apostles endured for Christ sake.
However, our idea of protection from our Heavenly Father is marred by our remaining earthly, sensual, and carnal humanity because we associate protection with that of how a human body guard would protect his client from physical harm or injury. Our Father in Heaven’s protection of us is for our souls keeping us from the lies so commonly spoken by the evil one through his messengers, human and demonic (1 Timothy 4:1 & 1 John 4:1). Our Father’s protection is to keep us from becoming Apostates by buying into the prosperity gospel and by turning His grace into lasciviousness as the false godless people that have crept into the visible Church have done (Jude 1:4). We are the sheep of our Lord’s pasture sent out amongst wolves and this is why we need the protecting hand and grace of our Father in Heaven. We do not do warfare against flesh and blood but against principalities and rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
As Peter and Paul encountered witches, wizards, and sorcerers along their journeys so will we disciples today and those of every generation, but our weapons are not from ourselves but in God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:15). Our Heavenly Father has the evil one on His leash and he (the evil one) can go nowhere without our Heavenly Father letting the leash out or yanking it in. We should be comforted by what the Apostle Peter learned (and wrote about it) after his grievous sin of denying our Lord Jesus Christ he wrote from his heart and from his personal experience as he was led by God the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:3-9 & 1 Peter 4:12-14). We can rest that our Lord’s prayer is heard and being carried out by our Father in Heaven through God the Holy Spirit even when things don’t make sense to us we can know we are protected every moment of our sojourn from the evil one.
Psalms 121:7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. NKJV
Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. NKJV
Galatians 1:4 “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” NKJV
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. NKJV
1 John 4:4-6 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. NKJV
1 John 5:18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. NKJV
Revelation 3:10 “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” NKJV
“Those that receive Christ’s good will and good word must expect the world’s ill will and ill word. Gospel ministers have been in a particular manner hated by the world, because they call men out of the world, and separate them from it, and teach them not to conform to it, and so condemn the world.” Matthew Henry
“Put very simply, satans power in the world is everywhere. Yet wherever men and women walk in the Spirit, sensitive to the anointing they have from God, that power of his just evaporates. There is a line drawn by God, a boundary where by virtue of His own very presence satan’s writ does not run. Let God but occupy all the space Himself, and what room is left for the evil one?” Watchman Nee
“I would not utter what I believed to be a falsehood concerning the Lord, even though the evil one offered me the bait of saving all mankind thereby.” Charles Spurgeon
“We must recognize how the evil one is working in this world and take a firm stance against him. It means we take careful thought concerning what we put in our minds - what we listen to, what we watch, and how we use our time.” Chip Ingram
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…