As I continue these posts addressing the life Jesus lived in the flesh, I want to address the power of relationships in our lives. Our relationships have the power to heal us, and they have the power to unravel us. This is equally true in our relationship with God – it has the potential to heal, and the potential to harm. So what is our relationship with God intended to accomplish? We see the answer in Jesus’ earthly life. He lived a life rhythm that gave Him time to consistently remain connected with His Heavenly Father.
“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. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’” Mark 1: 35 -37
This scene is so simple and yet so profound. Jesus escapes to a solitary location in order to talk with His heavenly Father. The earlier part of Mark chapter 1 informs us that Jesus had been very busy in the earliest days of his earthly ministry: declaring the good news of the kingdom, gathering His disciples, driving out evil spirits, and healing the sick. The press of the needs in this broken world required that His work flow out of a place of empowered, sacrificial love. The place Jesus went for that kind of empowering was into intimate, undistracted conversation His heavenly Father.
Some people might argue that as God in human flesh, Jesus didn’t necessarily need any empowering. I won’t get into that debate, but I will write about what I know. Jesus clearly desired undistracted conversation with God the Father, and the empowering which flowed out of that intimacy. In fact all throughout the Gospels, we read about Jesus’ consistently having deeper and more intimate communication with the Father just before some new level of responsibility or challenge. Jesus lived as if His intimate connection to the Father was the source of His balance, and the source that empowered the work He came to do in our broken world.
Jesus shows us that God’s gift of new life looks like a relationship that empowers us to live a life of love. If we view our relationship with God like a visit with people who drain our batteries, or a visit to the principal’s office – we’re not going to visit very often and we’ll miss out on God’s empowering. But if we view a relationship with God like a visit with a good friend who always makes us feel a little better about ourselves and a little more able to keep on living and loving – we will visit with God often and experience His empowering. Jesus’ intimate connection with His heavenly Father centered Him, and equipped Him to live out a mission of love. What God has made available to us will do no less for us than it did for Jesus. Will you have an enjoyable conversation with your heavenly Father today?