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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”—Luke 5:16 (NKJV)
Whenever we see Jesus doing something, it’s a cue for us to sit up and pay attention because it’s probably really important! But when we see Jesus doing something often, it should raise our awareness to a whole new level. If the Son of God does something over and over, it’s beyond important . . . It’s likely something that we need to do, as well!
We get an example of this in Luke 5:16. We’re told Jesus would regularly leave the hustle and bustle of the crowds that were drawn to Him and go into the wilderness to pray. Understand, the crowds were coming for a good cause. They were coming to Him to be healed of various diseases and afflictions.
It would have been pretty easy to justify spending all of your time doing that, right? “More people, more problems, more miracles, more ministry!” Jesus; however, didn’t do that. He stepped away and went into the wilderness to pray, to talk with His Father.
“Yeah, yeah . . . I’ve heard this before, this is the part where you say how important it is for us to pray . . . cue the guilt!” In all honestly, that’s the exact reaction I’ve had to this passage in the past. But this attitude totally misses what we need to see here in the example Jesus is setting for us. Prayer in the wilderness wasn’t a religious box He checked off, it was the wellspring of joy in His life!
Think back to Christmas morning when you were young. You were so excited for the sun to come up and for adults to wake up that you could taste it. Soon, all of your deepest desires would be met on that morning as the paper flew!
Of course, it never lived up to those expectations. But did you ever wrestle with setting time aside to experience Christmas morning? Of course not! Time wasn’t even a consideration; you probably lost all track of time. All you knew was that morning was happening and you were going to be part of it!
So why is regularly spending time in prayer such a “hard sell” for so many of us? Why do we consider a personal encounter with God something less than Christmas morning? Doesn’t time spent with God actually fulfill us in ways that Christmas never did?
Lord, help us to be more like You; especially when it comes to the way You spent time with Your Father. Make our hearts long for those moments alone with Him, that we may treasure them above anything else this life can offer.
DIG: What did Jesus regularly spend His time doing?
DISCOVER: What does this signal to us? How should this effect our perspective of spending time with God?
DISPLAY: Today, get away from all distractions and spend time in deep, purposeful prayer.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.