’Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.’ [Mark 6:31-32]
We are often deceived by our sense of indispensability because people continue to swarm around us and make repeated demands on us. This is dangerous because it steals from us the much needed time for personal reflection—a key requirement for personal renewal. We need to fight the mindset that says that “people cannot do without us”—because in reality, they can and they will.
Wisdom from Jesus!
Let’s reflect on Jesus’s instructions to His disciples:
- Come aside with Jesus!
If we will experience continual renewal, we need to regularly come aside with Jesus. Note that not all coming aside is coming aside with Jesus. Let meeting with Jesus be the primary reason for the coming aside.
- Come by yourself!
Come aside alone, not with the crowd. Yes, Group Retreats have a place but they can never & should never replace the place of personally coming aside with Jesus. Aloneness with God is critical for personal freshness.
- Come to a quiet place!
Coming aside needs to be in a quiet place—free from noise, distractions and seductions. Be ware of things that’ll seek to creep into your quiet space when you choose to come aside. Vehemently fight them off.
- Get some rest!
Coming aside should include some rest. If there’s no rest, the soul will be stressed out and the body will war against the spirit. Let your coming aside include times of physical rest. Renewal of the body helps the renewal of the soul and spirit. But rest does not mean destructive and distracting pleasure-seeking. Rest simply means, rest.
As basic as these instructions are, too many of us have failed to include them in our regular life-cycles, and this explains why so many believers are stressed, aggravated, sickly, feeling frustrated and unable to live out the spirit-filled life.
If we want to be fresh with God, it’s time to obey Jesus. It’s time to intentionally “come aside” and make it a regular life practice. May grant us grace to obey Him, in Jesus name. Amen.