Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left [the house], and went out to a secluded place, and was praying there. 📖 Mark 1.35 AMP
It’s safe to say that Jesus was and is as close to God as anyone could ever be. Of course, He was actually God in the form of man or the “God-Man.” And in His divine humanity, we consistently see Jesus’ relentless priority for time with God.
At this point in Jesus’ life and ministry, He’s in high demand (Mark 1.32-34), answering the call of teaching, preaching, healing, and more throughout everywhere He went. In doing this, He was actually fulfilling His call and being about His Father’s business as we often like to say.
But to answer the call that God had for Him, He needed to be close to God and in constant communication with God. He needed to be ready even when life was busy and noisy. To be ready in this sense means I have to put some things away or let other things go so that I can simply be available; so that I can be tapped in amid our noisy world.
Jesus often went to a secluded place, away from the noise, distractions, and business as usual so that He could be with and hear from God. Compared to today, we don’t often think about those old times (33 AD) as busy and fast-paced. But if Jesus needed to steal away to a secluded place during a time in the world that was marked by a much slower pace of life than we know today, before modern technology and conveniences, and almost 8 billion people on the Earth, surely with all of that – it’s imperative to find time and space to just be with and hear from God.
If Jesus, the Son of God and God in the form of man Himself needed to steal away to connect with the Father, who are we to think that we’re too busy for Him? Surely, we need to be even more relentless for this amid our busy lives in modern times.
We need “be still” time with God. Not ‘preoccupied with the next thing’ time. Not rushed time. Not ‘I have to’ time but ‘I get to’ time. A time we actually look forward to and time to just be still and be present with Him. Have you ever physically been present with someone, enjoying the time but they weren’t mentally present with you? That’s hard to enjoy, much less build a meaningful relationship with.
We need intentional time with God, and sometimes, even sacrificially at the expense of other things we could be doing. In Mark 1.32-34, we see that Jesus ministered to the entire city with crowd after crowds of people. But then the next day, “early in the morning,” (Mark 1.35) we see Him waking to go spend time with God. He could’ve easily said I’m going to sleep in and rest, because, after all, He’s been answering God’s call, walking in purpose, doing all of the right things. But He still desired to make time with God a priority. And He knew that He would need that time to hear, be refreshed, and empowered for what was coming up.
The busyness of life never really tames down by itself. And if the enemy can’t stop us, he’ll without question busy us with distraction. And not just distraction from our purpose and assignment, but distraction from our daily Source. We must intentionally make time and make room for God to be with us, for us to be with Him, and to hear from Him.
A Prayer For Today
Lord, help me to live with a heart, mind, and ear that’s ready to respond to You. Give me a greater hunger for Your presence throughout the hours of our days. Help me to make time with You a priority; not as a checkoff on my to-do list, but as a rhythm and an expectant “I get to” be with the King, my Father. In Jesus’ Name.