Loving Lord, create a redemptive stillness in my soul. Speak to me in Your still, small voice.
Read Mark 1:35–39
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
In a world of relentless hurrying, we need to carefully pace ourselves. Slowing and solitude can be, to quote the old saying, “the furnace of transformation.”
“Everyone is looking for you!” (37). Peter clearly does not understand what Jesus is up to and neither do those with him. They have been hunting for Jesus and have finally managed to track him down. Jesus has been ministering powerfully in Capernaum and people cannot get enough of him. The disciples want to see this ministry flourish.
Their hearts are in the right place. Jesus continues to preach and to cast out demons. However, this ministry goes beyond the local area to which Peter and the gang are trying to drag Jesus back. Jesus knows that he has to preach his message of the imminent judgment of God in more places. Despite the amazing reception of his ministry in Capernaum, he cannot get stuck there.
How did Jesus keep his head in the success of this ministry? Mark may be dropping a hint by noting how Jesus went to pray. Jesus not only prayed but carved out serious time and space to do so. He got up “exceedingly early in the night” (translating the Greek literally); he “went off to a solitary place” (35). He made sure he got away from anyone who was up and about. Jesus protected his time and space with the Father and he prayed. We do not know exactly what he prayed, as Mark does not tell us. However, we do know that he prayed and obeyed. He could have read the signs of success and stayed in Capernaum—it was after all a flourishing ministry. Instead, he spent time with the Father and went where he was called. Whatever our ministry, in the church or at work, we need to follow this example and take time to pray and listen to God.
Do you need to make more time and space to pray, read the Bible, reflect and pray about God’s calling on your life? Formulate some definite plans to make this happen.
Holy Spirit of God, sometimes I seem to just run down, to wear out spiritually. I need You to freshen me up and enliven my parched spirit.
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