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10 Days 2015 Devotional, Day 10: At-one-ment: A Movement of Faith for the Fulfillment of Jesus’ Prayer

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Day 10: At-one-ment: A Movement of Faith for the Fulfillment of Jesus’ Prayer

And the Glory that you [the Father] gave me [Jesus], I have given to them [Present and future disciples], that they may be one just as we are one. John 17:22

Unity: The Impossible Prayer

In John 17:20-23, Jesus prays an impossible prayer.  Sometimes we gloss over the full weight of what Jesus is praying, so let’s take the time to unpack some of the implications of this prayer: “Let them [my disciples] be one just as the Father and the Son are one.”

Consider this about God:

  • The Father and the Son have lived in perfect unity from before the foundation of the world.
  • The Father and Son are not created, not temporally bound, and obviously not sinful
  • The inner life of the Trinity is the source of everything that exists! Creation flows from their union
  • God’s unity is essential to His nature—it’s part of His very being!

 

Consider this about human beings:

  • We are created beings.  We are bound by time and space. We are also sinful.  We die.
  • We are not God.  God is infinitely higher than us in worth and glory.

 

Consider that Jesus is praying this for the Church in the midst of this current age, in the midst of the world.  He’s not praying for us to have this Divine unity in some future, perfected state (which would still be amazing and impossible).  It’s a prayer for the world we inhabit, the here and now.  And yet, Jesus is praying, in essence, “let created, sinful beings have the same perfect unity that has existed between US from before the foundation of the world…Let people be one with each other as God is one with God.”  

Responding in Faith to Jesus’ Prayer

Let me share a little secret that I’ve learned over the years: Jesus gets what he prays for.  What He asks of the Father is going to happen.  He gets what He prays for, meaning that His Prayer is a Promise that His people will be one, as God is one with God!  

The Word of God is the ultimate reality in the universe.  You cannot stop it.  It will be fulfilled!  You can bet against it and resist it, but it will come from behind and beat all the odds until, steady and inevitable as the rising sun, it rises in glory for all to see.  But there’s a funny thing about God’s Word—before it is fulfilled, it goes around disguised under the name “Impossible”.   God’s word is like the prince disguised as a frog in fairy tales.  Will we be able to recognize the true, royal name, “Inevitable”, in spite of its appearance to us as the unbecoming frog, “Impossible”?  History is inexorably steering towards the fulfillment of God’s promises, until the impossible becomes reality.  Now is the time to position ourselves on the right side of history by agreeing with God’s word, and becoming part of its fulfillment.

Faith is nothing other than agreement with what God says in such a way that we participate in the fulfillment of His word.  When by faith we say, “AMEN”, we become participants in that word and receive what it promises.  I believe God is looking for a people that will read Jesus’ impossible prayer and say, “It’s going be fulfilled and I want to be part of it.”  On this final day of 10 Days, would you join me in a movement of faith, a world-shaking cry of “AMEN” that will agree with Jesus for His prayer to be answered, for the Body of Christ to be “one as the Father and Son are one”?  

Jesus, we confess that we are in awe because of your great grace toward us, that you would even desire to share the inner life that you enjoy with the Father with us!  How can this be? We’re amazed by your generous promise “I am giving them my Glory…” Let it be, Lord! pour out your awesome and uncreated Glory on us, our families, our congregations, and our cities.  Pour out your Glory, Lord and Let us be one!

Jonathan Friz is the 10 Days National Coordinator.  He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife Cassi and their six children.