I was reading in Mark 1:35-38 this morning, and I saw something I had never noticed before. It was early in Jesus ministry, and he had healed many and taught with such authority He was already a threat to the teachers of the law. He was gaining popularity fast.
He rose early and went to a secluded place to pray, and his disciples went looking for him. It seems the crowd was growing already, and they wanted Jesus. They had brought their diseased and demon-possessed for Jesus to heal. When the disciples found Jesus, they told him about the crowd, and Jesus said, “Let’s go to another city.”
All those people had gotten up and gotten their ill family member or neighbor to where they had last seen Jesus and Jesus didn’t go to them. He and his disciples left them waiting and went to another city or town. It seems rude, doesn’t it? He was their only hope. That’s why they were there.
Jesus had a reason for going to another city. He had just prayed. He had just spoken with his Father. He goes on to tell his disciples that he must preach in other towns as well. “That is why I came.” He said.
Jesus came to earth not just to help a few or teach a few. He had a purpose. His purpose was found in God. He is God, but his purpose was found in obeying God. He didn’t sleep in and then hit the ground running. He could have had plenty to do if his mission was to heal people. Crowds came to Him. He already impressed people with the authority He had in teaching from the Scriptures. He was popular with everyone except the teachers of the law.
He had more to do than being famous and He knew his mission. Maybe Jesus had prayed for direction from God. Maybe Jesus prayed every morning for God to guide his day just as we need to do. I would like to know how Jesus prayed. I wish someone would have recorded his prayers in those early morning prayer sessions.
Jesus was known not to go somewhere when he was urged to go. He didn’t leave a place when He was asked to help a friend. He didn’t eat when he was coaxed to eat even though the Scripture said He was tired. He sometimes, maybe most of the time, didn’t do as expected by the crowds or those who followed Him. Yet near the end of his ministry God said, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”
John Eldredge in his many books talks about how we have a role to play. If life is indeed a stage, we have a vital role to play. We have a crucial role to play in God’s plan, in this particular time in history. It may not be doing what makes us popular; It may not be what is expected by those around us.
So what is our role, and how do we play it? That is the question. Jesus rose early and went to a solitary place and prayed. Every day? I don’t know. I do know it is a good idea to spend time with God just being with Him. Madelyn L’Engle used to talk about “just being.” No agenda. No particular thing to do.
How do we “just be” with God? What does that even mean? Gene Edwards suggests telling God you love Him. Quietly make yourself aware of His Presence with you. Sing to Him. It doesn’t have to be a long time, maybe only fifteen or thirty seconds. Just become aware of Him and then pray. Ask Him what He would like to you to today. Or if you already have made plans lay those before Him and listen — Fellowship with the Trinity.
Maybe the reason we don’t know what Jesus talked about in those private prayers to the Father is that our fellowship should be individual. Our fellowship should be from our heart.
How will you fellowship with God in the morning or this evening? What will your song be? It doesn’t matter if you are a good singer. At least I hope not. I have heard a woman sing at the top of her voice in church and she only has one or two notes, and I’m not sure what key they are in, but I love to hear her sing because her song is coming from her heart and she loves Jesus! God loves us as we are and He loves to listen to us—He loves us!.
Do you know your vital role, your purpose for being here in this moment in history? Ask God to show you. Ask God to direct your path