READING: Judges 7-8, Luke 5:1-16
“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”
I’m really busy. It’s by my choice, I know, but I’m nevertheless really busy. I love preaching the Word of God. I get energized when I train others for the work of the gospel. God has been incredibly kind to me to open doors around the world, and I don’t want to miss any opportunity. I must confess, however, that today’s reading deeply convicts me about my busyness.
Jesus was growing in popularity, and the crowds were gathering around Him. They couldn’t wait to hear Him teach, for He taught like no others had ever taught. He worked miracles like they had not seen. Demons fled at His word. Illnesses disappeared. Winds stopped. Waves ceased. Death turned to life. It’s no wonder that “large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses” (Luke 5:15). Had I been in Israel in that day, I would have wanted to be in that crowd. Had I or a loved one been sick, I’m certain I would have been among that number. After all, He apparently had all the answers.
But, the same text tells us that Jesus didn’t always hang out with the crowds: “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Luke 5:16). The tense suggests that this was His regular practice; He consistently found time to get alone with the Father. He did that even if doing so meant He pushed away from the crowds wanting to hear Him – and that’s where I’m most convicted. I fear that I would minister first and pray second if the people were gathered to listen, the sick were lying at my feet, and I had the ability to heal their lives. I fear I’d respond that way because I too often act before I pray now, and the crowds are nowhere to be found.
What I must admit today is that I too often turn to God out of necessity rather than out of relationship. I teach against prayer that is only reactive, but I still too often practice it in my own life. In the midst of my busyness, I need to slow down, push away from the work, get alone with the Father, and spend much-needed time with Him. Pray for me.
- Evaluate your own life as I have mine through this devotion. Be honest with yourself and with God.
- Plan time today to get alone with God.
PRAYER: “Father, draw me to Yourself today so I deeply desire to be with You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Judges 9-10, Luke 5:17-39