Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God ~Mark 12:24
Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. Mark 1:12
It seemed a strange proof of God’s favor. Immediately after what? Immediately after the heavens opened up and the Spirit descended to Him like a dove, and God said, “You are my beloved Son; in whom I am well pleased.”
The same spirit who descended on Jesus at His baptism now drove Him into the wilderness where He was tempted by satan for 40 days. It is no abnormal experience.
We, too, have passed through times of desert after a mountain top experience with God. God shines on us to make us fit for life’s desert-places……for its Gethsemanes, for its Calvaries. Testing that marks and mightily enriches a soul’s spiritual life is anything but ordinary. Although it can be a time when it seems all hell has broken loose, it ends in certain triumph for those who have committed themselves to Him. We become a greater “help to the helpless” and come away with a fire. Jesus’ ministry on earth began just after His days in the wilderness. How exciting to know….and if we would just keep that in mind during our own “sending out” times.
God has not left you. In fact, anointed one, He strengthened you for such a time as this.
Even when He is busy, high in demand and hyper-focused on His work, what does He do? What’s the secret to being a powerful, sought after leader with stamina? What can we learn and do in our own lives to be that person too? Let’s lean in and take a look in a day in the life…..
Jesus’ ministry had just begun. He’s in Galilee, preaching the good news. As He walked along, He gathered Simon, Andrew, James and John and they went into the town of Capernaum. Right away Jesus preached a sermon that blew their minds, and then drove out a demon. As soon as they left church, He went to a friend’s house and collapsed on the couch exhausted and took a nap because He was done for the day. WRONG…..he healed Simon’s mother-in-law, who then, in turn, saw to their needs.
That same evening, after the sun had gone down, the WHOLE TOWN came pouring in with their various sicknesses and demon possessed loved ones. Because He had already done His daily deed of preaching a knock-out sermon, gone the extra mile and drove out a demon AND healed that sick woman, He informed them of His office hours, prayed for them and said He would see them then. WRONG….He ministered, He healed their sick, and demon-possessed loved ones.
Whoa…..pause! Can you imagine the exhaustion? I’m a crisis counselor, and I know when I’ve had a “big” day filled with a few heart broken, abused, and hurting people, I am worn out……and I don’t have the whole town at my door…..all in one evening (some days it feels that way). When I’m finished traveling and speaking somewhere, I’m ready to kick my shoes off, and hang loose for a while. And if it’s really late when I’m done, I look forward to sleep.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark (around 4AM), He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. (Mark 1:35)
The very next morning, He didn’t sleep in. He knew to energize wasn’t by sleeping in. He didn’t say, well, God knows I did all that fantastic, powerful, life changing stuff yesterday and will understand that I’m exhausted and sleeping in. He kept His focus. He knew that was the first step to complacency.
You see, that time with the Father is what gives us what we need to do…what we are called to do….when we are called to do it
It’s our power pack. Remember, His desire….ABOVE ALL ELSE….is to spend time with us.
When Jesus was busy, in demand and focused on His work, what does He take time to do in this verse? It inspires me to focus on first things first…..powering up with the Giver of supernatural power. I don’t want to be complacent. I want to be on fire! I want to be a mover and shaker….a person who impacts and changes the lives of others. I don’t want to sit in the stands….I want to be right in there, leaning into all He has for me. I want to encourage, equip, and empower others to do the same. I want to make Kingdom differences. I want to walk in power with the King. I want to be like Jesus. May it be so for all of us reading this, Father, for Your glory!
How does it impact you?
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
God’s laws are not burdensome. They can be reduced down to two simple principles:
Love God and love others
Love is the primary affection with which we are to relate to God–and do it with our total being…everything…..no holds barred….ALL……
……All is a keyword here. Life is so busy and sometimes we are partially focused on God. He wants all of us, not just our leftovers……
…….There are no “ors” in this, it’s all “ands”…..grouped together with no room for partial pieces. All always means all!
Love Him with all your heart (affections) and with all your soul (spirit) and with all your mind (intelligence) and with all your strength (will).
This Christmas season, give Him your heart and let your spirit dance a love song with Him. Allow Him to refresh and renew your mind into right thinking and focus on Him. Say to Him, not my will but Your will be done.