Links Daily Devotional

Unwanted Intrusions

…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, NIV)

You have to hand it to Bubba Watson. He has embraced the distractions that inevitably follow a major championship win.

Since capturing the Masters four Sundays ago, Watson has visited his high school, his college, and the Florida state senate. He has given social network shoutouts to Drive, Chip & Putt and Michelle Wie. He has gobbled up at least one victory meal at the Waffle House—no idea if it was one of Phil Mickelson’s establishments—and kept up with his weekly “Bubba Talk Live” on Twitter.

Yet while the guy may be a social whirlwind, he’s no fool. He also politely stepped out of last weekend’s Wells Fargo Championship, having learned from his first Masters win that a breather is a very good thing.

Unwanted intrusions into our daily routine are not always a bad thing. They may come as the result of great accomplishment or joyous windfall. Still they are intrusions, threatening to knock us off our steady kilter. This can be acceptable for a little while—after all, God mandated routine-bashing seasonal celebrations for his Israelite people. But, like Jesus, we should guard in the midst of the madness our time with God.

The accounting of Luke 5 is especially informative, for the busy crush in Jesus’ life came in the form of ministry. People wanted his words and his work. And they may similarly want yours.

That’s fine. The work God gives us in the gifts and purpose he dispenses according to his grace is something we should fully embrace. If you’re “sold out to Jesus,” as the expression goes, you will be busy doing one thing in particular: working with people. The principal work of God, no matter the time and place, is a work in the hearts and minds of people. You cannot be engaged in this work without taking the time to listen, lending a ready hand, and speaking truth in love. All this takes time and energy. What it should not do is take you away from God.

And so Jesus went to the private places to secure private time with his Father.

These many ministry encounters are just like all the busy activity of your life—they can come between you and the Lord, or they can press you up against him. To be like Jesus is to walk among the people God has given you to care for, and to do that caring. But the fuel for that work comes from walking away from the crowds—often!—to pray to the Father.

Jeff Hopper
May 7, 2014
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