If you are a follower of Christ, you are a leader of others. In one way or another, there are people under your sphere of influence, people following you. The work you are assigned to do in the middle of everyday life for the glory of God is important. With that said . . .
Perhaps you’ve asked yourself the question I’ve pondered from time to time. Why can’t I ever seem to get away from His kingdom work? I know it’s a fleshly thought, but my guess is that more than a few of us have had a notion to run away from what God’s called us to do. I can’t run fast enough to score in a family game of whiffle ball, but boy, can I sometimes try to run away from that call to kingdom work as a leader.
Can you relate? Deep down, it’s not that we really want to get away from what He’s put before us to do. We just get distracted. Sometimes, discouraged. Other times, drained.
Today the prayer offered by Jesus Himself in John 17 poses us a reason as to why we as believers can’t ever get away from His work. And ultimately, why we never really want to. This reason is a powerful reality. And I hope we catch it so we can live out of it. In verse 21, Jesus lifted up to the Father the following request:
“That they all (all those who will believe in Him through the words of the apostles) may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” ~ John 17:21
The reason why we can’t, don’t want to or won’t ever get away from His kingdom work is that we are one with Him. One with the Father and with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit resides in us, this Spirit whom Jesus prayed over His followers in John 16 is here. Today. He who has called you not only comforts you, convicts you, and leads you into righteousness, He continuously guides you to His kingdom work.
There’s no running from that. My friends, it’s the greatest work ever and two things are at stake: the world and His glory.
The world: Did you catch in verse 21 (and 23, 24, and 25) that “the world” is the benefactor of the believers’ oneness with God? That the world may believe. This is kingdom work, the Great Commission that Jesus would later give to His disciples, to go out into all the world—was and is so that they may believe. And it all begins with oneness.
His Glory: Look with me at verse 22. “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them. . . “ The second result of our oneness with the Father through Jesus Christ is the Father’s glory. It’s given to Jesus and then passed on through the Spirit’s work in us. Because we are called to this oneness before the world, those around us are blessed to behold this glory.
When I, as a leader of others, want to run, I am, quite simply, reminded of one. The One. Might you do the same?
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Ephesians 4: 4-6