Luke 5:15-16“Vast crowds came to hear Him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed”
We live in a fast-paced world. Those around us often have expectations and demand our time and energy. Pressures rise. Tensions build. We can only take so much before we…pop!
God hasn’t designed us to go – go – go! So why do we?
We may fill our time with very legitimate activities and worthy causes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should do so.
Luke tells us that even though the crowds went to Jesus for guidance and healing, He would not compromise His need to withdraw from them for times of solitude. Does that mean He didn’t care for them…of course not! He spent much of His time helping others. However He acknowledged the essential requirement of getting alone with His Father for spiritual replenishment and restoration. If Jesus did it despite His busy, demanding life; we should too!
I remember a time when I started a new job. It had been an extremely challenging time in my life. Given my new job was completely different to what I had been used to; I was expending much energy in trying to learn the ropes and cope with the new stresses it brought. The term ‘fish out of water’ took on a whole new meaning for me! I knew in time, as I learnt a multitude of new necessary skills, I would require less focussed energy to execute them; but in the initial phase I found myself becoming far more exhausted than I was previously. On top of that, my roles at church had become increasingly demanding. It was during this demanding period in my life that God reminded me of the essential need for times of solitude with Him.
So from that point onwards, I decided to try and get up a bit earlier each morning so I could spend some time with God in prayer and bible study, journaling what He taught me. It became a habit that was essential in charging my spiritual batteries and keeping me focused during the day. God had reiterated that everything in my life rests on the foundation of my relationship with Him. If I compromise that time for the sake of pouring my energy elsewhere, the ground will crumble and I will fall.
It’s like trying to drive a car without an engine… pointless!
It’s during the times of solitude with God that my worries disappear and my hope and strength is refuelled. Everything is put into perspective as God’s peace and purpose fills my heart. God is our source of strength and if we don’t make time to pull away from the busyness of our life to have solitude with Him, our foundation will crack and this world will swallow us up.
Do you value times of solitude with God?
How can you restructure your daily life, so that you can withdraw and charge your spiritual batteries with God?
What boundaries do you need to put in place?
We mustn’t let this world seduce us into thinking we have to give ourselves to every cause, no matter how good they may seem. Nothing is too important to sacrifice our daily times of solitude with God. If we work that daily habit into our lives, we will have the quiet and restful souls necessary to listen to and follow God in this busy, face-paced world.