Our pastor has preached dozens of sermons that have been added to my "favorites list," and this one hovers near the top. The Lord prompted him to share these biblical truths with us three years ago, and I have drawn on his words and his challenges countless times since then. In fact, one of my new life mantras is, "Even Jesus took naps!" <grin>
The Lord has given me the privilege of speaking to a Mom's group this evening, and this particular sermon is the backdrop for our discussion. I cannot wait to see what He does with us!
Below are my notes from Pastor's sermon. I hope you find them encouraging and helpful!
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”
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.” And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons. Mark 1: 32-39
Jesus was busy, but not sinfully busy.
His pattern was to work - and withdraw.
➤ ➤ Jesus Paused
He had been working all day, teaching, preaching, healing, and performing miracles.
The following morning He slips into the wilderness ALONE - away from the noise and needs of the crowd. "Be still ..."
When life is busy and ministry is thriving – we need to REST!
Jesus engaged in life – preaching and healing – but He knew that time with the Father had to be FIRST – even when He knew there were needs upon needs: sick people, hurting people, dying people. He left them to commune with the Father!
Engage – disengage – engage – disengage. The rhythm of Jesus.
Being still consistently teaches us to to be receptive to His voice, for He is ALWAYS speaking!
- Retreats affirm the priority of the Spiritual.
- Retreats slow.us.down – allowing our souls to catch up with our bodies.
Time with God cannot be rushed.
It is like a three-course meal, relaxed and refreshing.
When we do not slow down it is an issue of PRIDE.
We think we are indispensable. “If I don’t do/say/plan "xyz" then it will all fall apart.”
Shows a lack of faith. If YOU are not the one "doing" success will not happen.
The focus is on SELF – and therefore, sin.
Is God not big enough to handle things in your time of rest?!? (A humbling question!)
- Retreat affirms God’s help in life’s challenges.
Rest/reflect/recharge (See story of Elijah in the wilderness - I Kings 19. He was about to give up but the Lord starts him up again! A WONDERFUL example of God's care for our personal refreshment in a time of weariness.)
➤ ➤ Jesus Prayed
His significant moments are marked by prayer. (His baptism, Gethsemane, His crucifixion)
There is a NEED to pray.
Jesus IS God. And yet – He understood the importance and need to spend time with the Father in prayer.
He lived as a man – and men need strength, patience, long suffering, wisdom, and rest.
Jesus was in total dependence on the Father. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent me. John 6:38
Understanding our weakness makes us see how desperately we need to seek the Lord in prayer.
When we know how weak we are we will RUN to the throne seeking wisdom and strength.
Amen, Amen, AMEN!
➤➤ Jesus Prioritized
“Everyone is looking for you,” the disciples declared. (for healing and deliverance from demons)
But that was NOT why Jesus came to earth. He came to preach the Word.
He responds: Yep, I know. Let’s move on so I can preach! (Mark 1:38, Michelle's adapted version)
Jesus had to keep His focus – especially once His popularity rose.
Doing the will of the Father was that focus.
Healing/casting out demons were all GOOD things to do, but they weren't the BEST of the good.
Eternal salvation is much better than present healing. (Wow. That's perspective!)
✶✶✶ Jesus DID NOT do it all. ✶✶✶ Neither should we!
There will always be needs – even dire needs – but that does not mean you can, or should, respond to every one.
Love God and love others by saying NO.
You cannot compromise your time with Him or your time of quiet to be refreshed by Him.
FOCUS comes when we take the time to step away and see the big picture.
-push away the non-essentials
-pull the important together
-prioritize what is most important, to the least important
And then, re-engage.
And do it again.
We can do more when we do LESS.