Verse of the day.
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.
Jesus set for us a perfect example on how we must live. It was His habit while He walked the earth to depart from the crowds or withdraw from His disciples to spend time alone in prayer. Sometimes into the desert, sometimes to a mountain, other times we are simply told it was “to a solitary place” or some distance away.
Never before had God been revealed in such a personal way as the time when Jesus walked the earth. The people who lived at that time had grown up knowing Him to be this distant Being they had to fear. Jesus, however, showed us what God is truly like – our Father. He showed us that He could be reached. That He wanted to be reached.
It is important that we learn this valuable lesson and make it a daily practice.
Although early in the morning is not the only time of the day we can spend in God’s presence, it is necessary you seek His face before the troubles of the day start to sneak up on you leaving you so busy you struggle to stay mindful of Him.
Silence is an Advantage
The connectivity it affords you- the sense of priority that causes one to sacrifice such a precious part of their time when they could either be asleep or trying to get a head-start on the activities of the day- eventually spills over into the hours that follow. The sense of calmness and purpose you experience as your heart reaches out to God at such times as these (when you are without distractions within and without) becomes so ingrained in your consciousness that you carry it with you everywhere, resisting whatever might try to tamper with it. You guard it because, for you, it has become a lifeline.
Related: Drawn Into The King’s Courts
In many other accounts similar to today’s verse, we find Jesus emerging with a sense of purpose, knowing exactly what to do and where to go. He always affirmed why and how He did the things He did (John 5:19; 12:49). It appears to me that the times spent alone with God gave Him such direction and boldness that He was able to resist anything that was not in the game plan. We see an example in the verse that follows where Peter calls His attention to the fact that everyone had been looking for Him. His response:
But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”
Retreating into God’s Presence
Remember at the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed concerning his trial and crucifixion? He said to His disciples;
“My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with me”
Jesus was troubled. He knew what was ahead, but He also knew He couldn’t back down. We see Him face a common issue with the human nature when faced with adversities or troubles of mammoth proportions. He was distressed and felt like giving up but rather than retreating in fear, He went on to willingly surrender His will to the Father’s.
It is in God’s presence we find the courage to live the Life we’ve been called to live.
Jesus called His disciples, not to be heroes or superstars, but that they might be with Him (Mark 3:14). This is the same call we have received. Being with Him makes us real superstars.
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Dear Father, help me each day to devote my heart and time to seeking Your face, Your ways and Your wonderful will for me. Help me find grace, strength, and wisdom to live well and in line with Your plans for me.
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