As Jesus neared the end of His earthly ministry, He spent some quality time alone with God. John recorded that prayer in John 17. I have always been touched by Jesus’ concern for we who would trust Him for salvation. He prayed this for me and you … “I pray not that Thou [God] shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).
Jesus was not praying that we would be removed, or isolated from the world, but He did pray that we would be insulated from the evil of the world. I remember one summer when I was fifteen years old getting a job at my uncle and aunt’s home. My uncle was a very shrewd business man. He hired me for one day to put insulation in his attic ceiling. Today this is a little easier job than it was back then in the stone ages! The insulation I was putting up was tiny shreds of glass fibers (exposed on the sides) covered with paper on front and back. The day I put the insulation in between the trusses of his roof it was over 100 degrees in the attic. I was sweating and wiping my sweat with the same hands I put the insulation in. I itched for a month (slight exaggeration) after that job.
The purpose of the insulation was to keep the heat of the sun in the summer from going down into the rest of the house. It was also meant to keep the heat in the house during the winter without it escaping out the roof. You see, the insulation was a barrier to both the heat and the cold. Jesus prayed that you and I would have a barrier from evil in us, but that we would remain in the world to affect the world. Even though many Christians today would love to never see, or be touched with the evil of the world, God’s plan is that we will be used by God to help others see what living for God can look like, even in an evil world! Our problem many of us have today is trying to remain free from the evil (the cold or heat), while maintaining a walk with a righteous God. Jesus desires that you and I remain in the world, and that we make a difference in our world today, while guarding against allowing the world to make a difference in us! Who is influencing who in your life? Are the world and its evil changing you, or are you helping those trapped in evil to see an escape route in your God? Jesus’ plan was to leave us here to be salt and light in the world we live. Salt makes a difference … unless it has lost its flavor. Light makes a difference … unless it is covered over with a dark cover. Don’t miss the plan God has for you today. Remain insulated from the evil and make a difference for God today!