Reasons That Jesus Went Into Seclusion
Last time, we looked at finding time to get recharged by finding a place for seclusion and how Jesus often got away to talk with God. Today we are going to look at some reasons that Jesus went into seclusion and how we might be able to find similar uses.
To Hear God More Clearly
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went away from his disciples three times to pray. This is the story where the disciples were suppose to stand watching and praying but fell asleep shortly before he was taken to be crucified (Matthew 26:36-46). In this instance, Jesus removed himself from even his disciples so he could get speak more clearly with God. There are many times when we can’t fully have time with God because we are too distracted by all of the noise surrounding our family. This could cause us to listen to the wrong voice. If we can remove our self from even our closest family members sometimes we may be able to get a better picture of God’s will.
Many times during Jesus’ ministry we would see Jesus slip away by Himself and pray. There are times in our lives as husbands that we find that we are constantly being needed and bombarded to the point that we have no time to pray. Jesus’ removing himself demonstrated that prayer was a priority in His life. We need to be sure to get away and make prayer a priority in our lives as well.
To Recharge Spiritually and Emotionally
In Matthew 14:13, when Jesus had heard that John the Baptist had been beheaded, he left in a boat to find a secluded place by Himself. When we get bad news or something is going on in our family that we are having a hard time processing, we can get stressed and our spiritual and emotional fuel tanks get depleted. It is at these times when we are more vulnerable to make bad decisions. John Ortberg is quoted as saying that “the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it.” We need to make time to recharge spiritually and emotionally.
Jesus took his disciples away in a boat one time to seclude them for a period of time so that they would have time to eat (Mark 6:31-32). Jesus knew that his disciples needed to keep up their physical stamina to be at their best for their ministry. The act of eating can be a great time to have some time with God. As a family this can be a great time to come together as a family and give God thanks. This is also a great time to reflect on each other’s day. The act of coming together to a table as a family is a great way to get away from some of the noise of TV, phones, and computers.
To Adjust Perspective
In John 6:15, Jesus perceived that the crowds wanted to take him by force to make him their king, so he went up to the mountain to be alone. Jesus used this time to get the right perspective. It can be easy sometimes as the leader of a family to get rushed or pushed into an unwise decision. It is important to take some time to take a step back in these situations so that we can get God’s perspective.
To Do Spiritual Battle
Jesus went into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:1-11). What did the devil use to try to tempt Jesus? All of the earthly things one might desire (food, power, glory). Jesus learned to do spiritual battle during his times of seclusion. Our greatest attacks spiritually often come when we are in times of seclusion. You have heard the saying that what is most important is what you do when nobody is watching. This is very true as we live out our lives as husbands. We need to live right 24/7. We need to be able to not let temptations take advantage of us when no one is looking.
To Listen To God
Jesus often went into seclusion to talk to God, but most of the time the important result of his communication with God was His time listening to God. We need to be careful that when we have times of seclusion that we allow God to speak to us. Chances are good that He has some help for our problems and we need to make sure we don’t get in the way and forget to listen.
Next in this series, we will look at what hinders our ability to use seclusion.