Every military movie I have ever seen seems to have at least one scene where people are marching through enemy territory. And, it never fails that one brave leader is given the job of taking “point”, heading up the procession and another is given “the rear” to keep a watch that no one slips up from behind.
I thought of this as I read Jesus’ prayer in these verses where He asks God to sanctify and protect those who belong to Him. Sanctification is leading us on the path to holiness. We don’t know the way because we are not holy, but God does. Our job is to follow, He has the lead.
But Jesus doesn’t just ask Him to lead us into sanctification, He also asks Him to take the rear and protect us as well. In my life at least, this seems to be where evil and temptation lurks. It doesn’t confront me head on as I’m marching forward with God at the lead. It tries to sneak up and nip at my Achilles’ heel. It comes up behind me and whispers a passing comment, or just lurking causing a sense of fear or dread or doubt.
Remembering and repeating this prayer is important to me. It helps me with the image and acknowledgement is not just at the head, but He can be in multiple places at the same time and can be leading and taking the rear. He can encase me from harm front, back and on all sides.
For protection, to keep them safe, to sanctify them by the truth, to have them be sent into the world (as Jesus was)
Pentecost – that although persecuted, they came together and were indwelled by the H/S and spoke boldly to those gathered and brought many to faith that very day.
For them, eternal life had already begun. They were no longer shackled by sin, they had been set free because of faith
To be made holy, set apart for God, chosen, a treasured possession, a gift, to not conform but be transformed, a new self, a new creation, to be disciplined, to arise out of the destruction of the world, to be without fault and a great joy