“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” – Mark 1:35 NASB
Three o’clock in the morning. That’s when my “Holy Spirit Wake-Up Calls” come. Most of the time it’s just a soft nudge. Sometimes it’s an urgent jolt. Every time, though, I marvel that He cares enough to wake me for our communion. Me. With my history of self-centered rebellion, yet He still chooses to work with me. Amazing. So my response is to immediately steal away and begin our discourse. Sometimes I move to another room in the house but most of the time He has me stay put in my bedroom. I praise, I ask for forgiveness of my sins, I worship. I petition on behalf of my family, my friends, my enemies. I consecrate myself and my day to Him for His use. I ask that He show me who needs to hear of Him from me and that He strengthen and embolden me. Then the Holy Spirit has His say. He never lays out His plans from start to finish. Sometimes I get to see first steps and sometimes only the final picture. I hear a lot of “I got that” to the things I voice anxiety over.
God wants to hear from us so badly that not only did He ensure that the examples of Jesus pursuing His solitude in prayer made it into the Holy Bible, but He lovingly taps us “awake” to speak to us. For some of us it’s the morning wakefulness, for others it’s God’s Voice we “hear” in some of our circumstances. Either way, again, it is amazing that an all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present God loves us that much.
Finding Jesus missing from the house He was sleeping in, the ever dutiful Simon Peter went searching for Him and when he found the Master, told Him everyone was looking for Him (Mark 1:36, NASB). Simon hadn’t realized Jesus was receiving confirmation from God. I wonder if Jesus was feeling “antsy” after performing so many miracles in Galilee and ready to move on to bigger things–the re-education of His people about The Kingdom of God. I wonder if He shared His feelings with His Father, Who lovingly agreed that yes, it’s time to be about His purpose.
What if Jesus only checked in with God once a week (like on the Sabbath)? What if He only called on His Father when times got hard? How would the passages on Jesus’ prayer life change? Time and time again, He is reported as rising and getting alone, or praying right there on the spot. In other words, He and God had a regular channel of communication. And as His Believers, so should we.
I wonder if Jesus responded to Peter with a smile on His Face when He said, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” (vs. 38) As wonderful the good times of life can be, nothing compares to the joy inside when you find yourself ON MISSION!
Praise be to God.