The Secret Place: In the Likeness of Jesus
Scripture does not leave us wondering how Jesus maintained a relationship with the Father while here on Earth. In fact, Jesus’ life modeled a clear and consistent method of how to abide in relationship with God on a daily basis.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 (NIV)
When life gets busy, and there aren’t enough hours in the week, when I become frayed and frazzled and dry, that’s when I know that I’ve been declining the invitations. The daily invitations to come and sit, to put down the distractions for a while, and hide in the shadow of the Most High. Still, in those moments of weary desperation, I can hear the quiet but familiar voice of my Father saying, “come away, come away and spend time with me once again.”
Merriam-Webster’s says intimacy is, “a state marked by emotional closeness; something that is very personal or private.” I love the word state in that definition because it reminds me that intimacy is an ongoing place of abiding in His love.
The Bible reveals to us that Jesus often withdrew himself to remote places to pray (Luke 5:16). Jesus knew the value and importance of intimacy. He knew when his Father was calling Him to slip away and He responded to it by carving out time to be alone in prayer. Even if it was in the dead of night or the pitch black hours just before sunrise, Jesus understood the importance of creating a consistent state of communion with God the Father and Holy Spirit. I wonder if Jesus would have been able to do such amazing miracles if he had not spent quality time praying and soaking in the love of his Father?
We see Jesus praying for the sick, the needy, and for His disciples all throughout the gospels. We also find Jesus elusively slipping away during the night to pray in solitude: “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God” (Luke 6:12).
We see this pattern again in the Garden of Gethsemane: Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray” (Matthew 26:36). Jesus was not afraid to set boundaries around his private time with the Father and He made the journey to private communion a daily priority.
Perhaps you, like me, have been declining the invitations to come escape and receive the love of the Father. Maybe you’re not sure what this time with the Lord even looks like for you. Thankfully Jesus modeled a few simple but helpful principles in Scripture for us.
+ His actions taught us that it can be anytime, day or night.
+ This vital fellowship with the Lord is not for others, it is a private sanctuary for you and God to commune- whether this is a special room in your house or a favorite spot in nature- this needs to be a place of quiet retreat that is easily accessible.
+ And lastly, it is prioritized as part of a consistent routine.
Thank you Jesus that you didn’t leave me wondering about your walk with the Father and Holy Spirit but you left me with a clear example in Scripture of what it looks like to abide in you. All good relationships require intentional investment and you are continually drawing me to yourself because intimacy has always been your goal with mankind. Please help me to set aside daily time with you, just as Jesus did, and abide in The Secret Place where your grace and love awaits me. Amen.