“But now I come to thee; and these things I speak into the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. And thou didn’t send me into the he world, even so sent I them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves may also be sanctified in truth.” John 17:13-19.
This is an important part of Yahshua’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is getting His house in order as He prepares to present Himself for His final days on earth. We are His house and these words are to us.
The pandemic will soon be behind us. There will be residual controls left in place by governmental authorities that will be presented to us for our own good, but we are to measure everything in light of scripture and in light of our very purpose on earth. So, take a moment to think scripturally about these things that we have been asked to do.
- Wear masks to cover our nose and mouth.
- Sanitize our hands.
- Social Distance, Quarantine, Lock Down
- Get tested.
Spiritually, we should all be extremely carefully about what comes into our nose and into our mouths. Let us allow these masks to remind us to be mindful of the very air we breathe. Let us be mindful that the Holy Spirit is the very air we breathe and that we should be careful to protect ourselves from “bad air” and “diseased intake”. Don’t stop there, however. Let the masks remind us to be sure to communicate the most necessary things.
Since it is more difficult to express words with a mask/muzzle on, we are learning to express ourselves with more effort and accuracy. The Hebrew word for breath is Ruach. When you think of and contemplate the very air you breathe and the system that keeps you alive remember that Ruach is more than breath. Ruach is also spirit and courage.
Sanitizing our hands is important in the natural realm, and we should always be careful to keep our hands clean, but there is also a spiritual aspect to the washing of our hands. We are to avoid touching the unclean things. We are to be ever mindful when it comes to food and drink – as well as what things we are working on. Daily, we should take stock of those things that we involve ourselves in to see if they are “good” for us and for those we love. Let the washing of your hands remind you to do the things that will keep your family safe and prospering.
Social distancing, locking down and quarantining are extreme measures that ask each of us to do that which is quite difficult. We have been asked to stay away from loved ones, especially the elderly. We have been asked to work from home, keep our kids home and to do everything that we can to avoid traveling or gathering in groups. We have been asked to stay home from church. This may be the one instruction that I want to challenge strongly.
Still, I believe that we need to be careful about who we spend time with. We need to be mindful of who we allow to be close to us and who has access to infect us. You see, in the above scripture, Jesus is instructing us that we are not of the world and He is sending us into the world. It is in troubled times like these that we need wisdom to know when to be in the world and when to separate from the world. Still, seeking counsel in prayer as to where you should go and who you are to spend time with should precede every venture.
At this point, I would like to outline the process Jesus is describing in the verses I quoted above.
- Fill yourself with joy.
- Prioritize the Word … make sure that you are hearing the Word taught by someone who believes it and someone who understands the importance of the Kingdom of God — building and expanding the Kingdom by developing people and adding people daily.
- Meditate the fact that “the world” hates you. Many people will not even consider this. If you can’t come to grips with this, then you will always make decisions that allow you to be “of the world” and you will be tainted in your decision making. You will mold the scriptures towards selfish gain and not toward the ultimate spiritual gain that is promised to you.
- You are not of “the world”. Yet you are sent to the world. Jesus has prayed that you are protected from the evil one. Satan is always on the prowl for those He may devour. You are not one of those, if you sanctify yourself with the truth that is the good news of the gospel and that you are called out of “the world”. Again, make sure you are being properly ministered to.
- Sanctify yourself.
Sanctifying yourself requires the last two spiritual applications that we are having to endure from the government mandates. They are mandating testing and they are trying to require vaccinations. Make sure that you are seeing the spiritual meanings behind this. No one likes to be tested. No one likes to discover that they are diseased or compromised in some way. Still we need to test ourselves. We need to be making sure that we are not diseased and we then need to do what we can to vaccinate ourselves from the taint of any disease.
How do we do this? We need each other to do this and we need to do it regularly and daily.
- Fellowship with people who are filling their words with the promises of God. Be careful what you are breathing in. Surround yourself with People who are building and expanding the kingdom. (Mask up — but not with a cloth mask — put on your helmet of salvation — the helmet of victory and deliverance — the Jesus mask — when they see you, they see Him.
- Purge the unproductive things and people from your life. Wash your hands of projects and people that are bringing toxicity and unfruitfulness.
- Separate yourself to Him and to His purpose for your life. Fret not over anyone else’s opinion of you.
- Find someone to hold you accountable for spiritual growth individually and in the Kingdom. You should be adding people to the Kingdom regularly.
- Vaccinate yourself against falling back into sin.
We have tools for all of these.
- Daily prayer call …
- Bi monthly discipleship gatherings
- Two books — My deeper life tool kit and Very Few Fathers
- Upcoming conferences — May 21-23 and Sept. 10-12. Put them on your calendar.
You are being called to commit to a higher calling in Christ Jesus. If you are reading this and have read all the way to the end, make the quality decision right now to connect even more to the work that we are doing together. I look forward to hearing from you.
In His service and yours,
P.S. Check out my recent article -> 2020, A Year Like No Other