As we entered 2017 the Father spoke to me these words,
“2017 will mark a significant time in history where the prayer of My Son in John 17 will manifest in the Church like never before.”
The prayer of Jesus in John 17 is a prayer for God’s people to come into the unity and oneness that is shared by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”
The answer to this prayer is key to bring in the lost and open the eyes and minds of the world so that they will believe in the good news.
The tensions and divisions on the world stage are creating a backdrop for what will display a clear manifestation, in the body of Christ, of unity and oneness. This will be a beacon of light to many who will long for truth.
One of the ways that the Spirit of the Lord is ushering in unity is through the gift of repentance that breaks down fences of offense.
The Lord showed me boundaries of offense that were limiting both unity and authority. Offense has been one of the enemies easiest tools to divide relationships. He began it in the garden and it continues today. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil this is what Adam said,
The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
There it is; blame that leads to offense which leads to division.
We all have moments of offense that grip our souls. Though the cause for these offenses may be justified, we must take them to the cross of Christ where He took all the penalty of sin and injustice upon Himself. We do not have the right to hold offense which merely results in building fences of division. We must forgive and bless our enemies (and our brothers and sisters in Christ).
Boundaries are different than offenses. There may be individuals in your life that you have had to set healthy boundaries with but your heart must be clean in doing so. Holding onto offenses will not only harm you but will cause a resistance to being a of the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
God is longing for His family to come into the beauty and pleasure of what is experienced within the unity of the Godhead. He is also longing for the “world to believe” as they view this unity. It is the most attractive and beautiful sight to be viewed. Everyone loves to see a couple in oneness and a family that walks in unity. It’s the desire of every person. It is the true meaning of family.
The gift of repentance comes from the kindness of God. When true repentance comes, it takes the person from a place of guilt, regret and being sorry to the place of change and to the relief of captivity. Repentance is the key to every prison cell. It is the grace that gives freedom. Do not shy away from repentance because, to do so, is to hide in the corner of a prison cell when the key to the door is being offered (even if you are guilty). This is amazing grace.
If you have fences of offense built in your life; ask for God’s kindness to bring to you the key of freedom. As you get free the fences will fall and your boundaries lines of authority and freedom will greatly enlarge.
You can begin to be the answer to the prayer that Jesus prayed in John 17 by letting go of all offenses. You may still have different opinions, different theological beliefs and painful past experiences but as you let go of offenses you can be set free and set the ones that you’ve held offenses against free.
May the wisdom in Luke 17 lead us to the answered prayer in John 17,
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you,saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Living in forgiveness and the truth of Luke 17:1-4 will bring you into greater authority and faith. Let us be like our God and forgive. I believe it was Bill Johnson that I once heard say that when offense grips his heart he will only allow eight minutes before it must be dealt with (not an exact quote). It may take a few minutes to work through, as emotions (the soul) are the foundation of offense, but you can quickly move from the soul to the spirit and move from holding offense to releasing forgiveness. Pain may remain and need a touch from the Holy Spirit but pain is healed in the place of purity and forgiveness. Holding offense will block the way to your emotional healing.
It’s time to receive the key to your freedom. It is time to see God break down the fences of division and it is time to see the prayer of Jesus in John 17 fulfilled. Now is the time!
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