Families | Leadership

2013: What does this year hold for you?

Kurt and Josh wrote about making a fresh start in ministry and our personal lives this year. I thought what they shared was great—encouragement I needed to hear as someone in full-time ministry.
There is one point, though, that I want to further elaborate on, one that the Father has really been pressing on me these past couple of months.

I have great intentions on everything I set out to do. Sadly, not every goal gets accomplished. One of my biggest struggles is daily connecting with the Father; more importantly, setting time aside for intimate solitude with God. If I’m honest, I mostly rely on my own efforts to get through my “ministry year.” Many times I get overwhelmed with everything and fail to pause during these times to refuel in him. In a twisted way I rationalize, “I can spend time with God later. Right now I have to _________.” What I’m learning is that I need to switch those priorities around.

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All throughout the Gospels, Jesus is seen retreating to a isolated place in order to spend time with his Father. Every time I read those statements, I think, “Man, I need to do this, too.” More than before, God has been responding back with, “And why don’t you?” That’s a very good question.
This year, I hope you join me in making one resolution that will stick …

Luke 5:15-16 tells us that as the news spread about Jesus, so did the demands of the crowds. The more Jesus did, the greater his ministry grew, the more time he needed to invest in people and their various situations. Verse 16 tells us, though, that during this time of growth Jesus would “withdraw to desolate places and pray” (ESV). Many of us are looking forward to March 1-4 to refuel at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. I want to challenge you, however, to set aside other time where you can get away with Jesus alone—no technology, no work, and no spouse…just you and the Father. Let’s be honest: You need this, and God wants this. Maybe it’s a full weekend, or a 32-hour retreat. Whichever…get away, and do this often!

Bible teacher Dr. Ralph Wilson summarizes this passage well:

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The power of [Jesus’] word and healing are displayed in public, but the secret of his ministry is known only to his disciples who see him creep off early into the hills to pray. It becomes a rhythm of his life: minister to the people and then withdraw to pray and talk to his Father. The disciples see his prayer life and remember … they learn to pray the same way. Jesus’ rhythm needs to be our rhythm, too. Pray and do, pray and minister. (http://www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/5_12-16.htm)

Here’s to a great new year!

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