“At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place…” Luke 4:42
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” Luke 6:12
Jesus knew how to take timely breaks to replenish his soul. He was the master at balance. He purposefully took time off, not based upon the calendar but for the condition of his soul.
From the above passages in the Book of Luke I see a pattern of health for the Christian believer.
Withdraw…in Preparation for…in the Process of…and Prior to!
First, notice the context in which Jesus withdrew in preparation for ministry to people (Luke 4:42). This happened to be a time when his popularity was growing and his name was catching on. People wanted to be around Jesus – therefore he knew the value of first being with his Father.
Secondly, see how Jesus got away in the process of intense ministry (Luke 5:16). Crowds, sick people, and draining ministry situations are all reasons to step back and quietly connect with God. What are the pressing issues that you are facing right now? Before going any further – go be with God! It will make all the difference.
Lastly: Jesus took extra time with his Father prior to making a large decision (Luke 6:12). Before he chose the twelve disciples he went away for an extended time to get the “mind of God” on that significant issue. He ended up spending the entire night in prayer. Do you have a large decision to make? If so, follow the model of Jesus by getting away to pray prior to making that decision.
I encourage you to take some time to carve out a solitary place with the Lord. It is a great way to prepare you for a season of ministry or hard work to come in the future. If you’ve been in the middle of a trying time, then perhaps a time away to pray and be refreshed is in order. Or maybe you have a large decision that needs to be made and you need wisdom from the Lord…find a solitary place to get his heart for your next steps.
Jesus did it. Shouldn’t we?