In the middle of all the excitement, He was finding a place to be still. While people were desperately searching for Him, asking, begging Him to lay his ministering hands on the injured and bring healing, He was looking for a place to be alone with the Father. It was that important.
The day before had been busy. Maybe He should have slept in, but instead He is out in a desolate place seeking an opportunity to speak the Father. People were looking for Him. Didn’t He know that they were lining up at the door? His ministry was taking off! He could be doing ministry at that moment, but instead we find Him with the Father.
It’s just then that I’m reminded. Ministry isn’t His objective. It’s not the end. It’s the means to the end. Worship is the end. Bringing people to worship is the end. And you can’t bring people to a place where you haven’t been. You can’t lead people to do something in public that you haven’t at least done in private.
He wasn’t on His own in the mission. He had constant contact with the Father. He got up and spent time in prayer. He could have stayed, but He left, the mission required it (Lk. 4:43). He had every reason to stay and be “successful” where He was, but that wasn’t the mission. He had spoken to the Father and obedience to the Father is more important than a seemingly “successful” ministry now.
Healing, calling people to repentance, declaring the work of the Lord were all secondary to worship! Real and authentic worship! Worship not by song or way of lip service, but worship wrought out by obedience! Obedience wrought out by a time of solitude in prayer.
Today I hear you calling. You call just like every day. You say, “Come now and drink deeply from the fountain… come now and drink!” You say, “Jonathan, you drink now from the fountain… before you call others to drink and immerse themselves in Me, you be immersed! Don’t preach with a parched mouth! Don’t attempt to do ministry for Me without seeing Me first.”
I admit O’ God that I am tempted some days to run into the day without seeking You first. Thank You Father for drawing me close to You. I almost mistook the ministry for You and that is a dangerous place to be (Mt. 7:21-23). You have my obedience today and I pray you have it for the rest of the life You have given me. I am yours.