July 22, 2020
“Yet the news about Jesus spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:15-16
Imagine, if you will, a teenager who would willingly give up television, the internet, and even their cell phone for an entire week in order to spend time praying, worshiping God, and listening to his Word. Well, that is exactly what 22 youth from Mesa Christian Fellowship did last week! They spent five days unplugged from their everyday lives and all the distractions of this world in order to attend a Christian camp here in Colorado. Each year, when they make the commitment to do this, God does incredible things in their lives. Every year I get to hear stories of how God has spoken to them, directed them, encouraged them, and strengthened them. This time away from the world and dedicated to God is often some of the most formative times in their young lives.
The discipline of unplugging and getting away to simply be with God is one of the most important disciplines in the Christian life. The Bible tells us that even Jesus often withdrew from the crowd, from his work, and from his friends in order to simply be with his Father. With that in mind, understand that whatever excuse you come up with to neglect this time is no excuse at all. You may be incredibly busy with important work, but I seriously doubt you are giving sight to the blind or making the lame walk; and I am positive you are not taking the sins of the entire world on your shoulders. You may say, “well, I pray continually. I talk to God all day long.” But no matter how spiritual you are, I’m positive you are not the One and Only Begotten Son of God or the Word become Flesh. So, sit down, look at your calendar, cut out what you need to cut out, sacrifice what you need to sacrifice, and intentionally set aside time to do nothing but be with God. Turn off Netflix, stop surfing Amazon, and leave your cell phone behind. You will be amazed what peace, strength, and clarity can be had when you do this; especially through the chaotic times we currently find ourselves in. If Jesus needed it, so do you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the fact that we have access to You at any moment through Jesus Christ. But please give us the wisdom to know that access to You at any time does not mean we don’t need time with only You. Fill us with a desire and bless us with the discipline to leave this world behind to be with You.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon