“But he would withdraw to desolate places and prayed”
So many times throughout Jesus’s ministry he would leave everything he was doing and went to simply be with the Father. Have you ever wondered why he chose to do that? Or did you do what a lot of us have done and just read it without getting the significance of what Jesus was actually doing? I am guilty of being in that category and it wasn’t until recently that i got a revelation and was transformed by why Jesus rested.
Ministry can become not just physically draining but emotionally as well. So often we think,“I just have to keep pushing forward, keep grinding, trust the process!” but God never intended us to live with an “I got this” mentality. Jesus spent time resting and praying because he knew he couldn’t carry on and fulfill the mission without spending time in his Father’s presence.
In John 6:38 Jesus tells his disciples “For i have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Notice how Jesus states that it is not his own will, but rather the Father’s will. See because if it was his own will then he could have done it on his own strength, but it was his Father’s will so he had to rest in his strength.
Here are a few reasons why resting and praying is absolutely important to fulfilling the mission.
He wants to bring you rest
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 ESV
So many times throughout our days we catch ourselves becoming physically exhausted and what is the one thing we always resort to? Removal. We remove ourselves from our current situations and go to a place of quietness where we can be still and not move a muscle. Our body might be getting the rest it needs but are our souls? The beautiful thing about Jesus is that all he asks of us it to do one thing, Come. He invites us to step into his presence where only he can bring the rest and peace our souls desperately desire.
Bearing pure fruit.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 NIV
Often times we can easily forget that we are someone’s first encounter with Jesus, imagine if what they saw and tasted was the exact opposite of who he is? Jesus gave us a clear picture of how we are to bear pure fruit, remain in him. Fruit trees desperately need to be watered and cared for. Without it’s source of life then what we will see when it’s harvest time is going to be nothing but rotten fruit. The same goes for us believers. Constantly being in his presence allows you to not only display his image clearer but it allows him to purify those parts that have been tainted by life’s trials.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
Want to know a little secret? Jesus knows every part of you the good, the bad,the ugly and all he wants to do is be with you. One of the many things i have learned since following Jesus is that i don’t have to put up a front when i am with him. We can get so caught up in trying to put up a great image of our lives as followers of Jesus. Have you ever checked your heart and wondered why you tend to do that? Is it fear of others seeing that we don’t have it all together? Or maybe you are subconsciously doing that in hopes God will give you a round of applause and a pat on the back? I’ve been there and let me tell you that we are only deceiving ourselves. The beautiful thing about the Gospel is that no matter what we do, God’s love and approval of us will never change.When we step into his presence we get to leave behind all the weight of the person we try to be and freely get to come undone before him. You get to say “here i am Lord, broken, bruised and i know you aren’t disappointed with me” Let me remind you that he is not disappointed with you. He is proud of you!
As we continue to fight the good fight and we continue to live out the Gospel, let us never miss a opportunity to rest and be with Him. All he wants to do is be with you.