Summary: Learn from Jesus, solitude with God rejuvenates. Communion with God nourishes our spirit. Times with God clarify our priorities.
Many things in life can drain us of energy – relationships, people, work and even ministries.
• We are tired because there are so many things that needs our attention, and so little time. So much work to do and so few people doing them.
• There are many expectations we need to meet – from our superiors, our parents, from teachers, and also from our pastor.
• How do we find the way to combat this draining effects of mounting and unending tasks, unmet needs and expectations?
We need to take a look at Jesus. He died premature at a young age of 33; worked only for 3 years and He was able to say at the end: “It is finished.”
• He died a fulfilled man, a happy man. In His last prayer with God in John 17, Jesus said, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (verse 4)
• I like that. I want that. Jesus did well despite the demands placed upon Him.
• Let’s look at this account in Mark 1:29-39. My theme today is, how we can stay replenished in the midst of the demands of life.
Jesus had a long day on Sabbath.
• Verse 21 tells us He started the day preaching in the synagogue. And verse 29 says when they left, they went to the home of Simon because his mother-in-law was sick. Jesus went to pray for her.
• And that evening after sunset, the people brought the sick and demon-possessed to the house.
I believe Mark tells us specifically that they brought ALL the sick and demon-possessed and that the WHOLE TOWN was there at the door – to highlight to us that it was a huge crowd.
• It wasn’t a small group seeking a GP at a clinic. It was a big group of people with needs, and many grave needs, “incurable” needs medically speaking – those tormented by the demons.
• I was likely a long night. And Mark noted Jesus healed MANY and also drove out MANY demons.
What a day. Jesus started preaching in the day, went for a home visitation, and then ended the day with a big healing service.
• Everyone was tired. I am usually very tired on Sundays. Preaching alone is mentally draining. I need to catch a nap in the afternoon before I return for the night service at 7.00pm. A few occasions when I did not get that chance to rest, I struggled to stay awake during the service. A pastor can also sleep in a service.
• Jesus must be tired. In fact, we have an account of Jesus sleeping in the boat right in the midst of a storm. That’s how tired he can be.
Yet the next verse, verse 35 tells us “very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and left the house…”
• Why does He do that? Why don’t He sleeps in a little longer? I expected that. I won’t fault Him for that, after a long and tiring Sabbath.
• But Jesus got up early and went off to pray. He went out to talk with His Father. That was His habit.
Now I know why He needs to pick such time and place. This is His only chance to be quiet and alone with His Father.
• He is a public figure. Everyone recognises Him. He has few private moments. He needs to seize every opportunity He has to be alone with His Father.
But why such a pressing need? Hasn’t He been “talking” to the Father?
• He did that just yesterday – on the Sabbath – in the synagogue, in Simon’s house when He prayed for Simon’s mother-in-law, and at night during the “healing service” when many of the sick were healed.
• He has been praying all these times. YET He finds it necessary to commune with His Father again, early in the morning.
The significant word here is SOLITARY PLACE. It was between the two of them.
• It wasn’t intercession but communion. It wasn’t about ministry, but a relationship. It wasn’t about getting things DONE, it is the sharing of hearts.
• To Jesus, prayer is more than getting things done. It is more than the calling a help-line to get help.
• Prayer is ultimately about a relationship. Such communion time replenishes us. It refreshes our spirit. It helps us see the BIG picture. It restores our confidence and strength.
SOLITUDE WITH GOD REJUVENATES
Jesus needed a time-out with God. We too need time-out with God.
• We are too busy not to pray, Bill Hybels says correctly. There is so much at stake that we need to chat with Him.