But despite Jesus’ instructions (not to tell anyone), the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Jesus wasn’t using his gifts and powers to build a platform of wealth or popularity for himself. He just was following God’s directions, without adding to or taking from that.
He was using everything in him to love on people.
The people were popularizing him. They thronged him and put him on a stage. He wasn’t asking for it. Either way, popularity has a way of backfiring—when you use your talents to make yourself rich, famous, or powerful, it will backlash and soon you’ll have no friends.
The pursuit of power, wealth, or fame—to any degree—will cost you your family and friends.
So Jesus counteracted what people were doing to him by spending time alone with God in prayer.
When we are alone in prayer, we can drop all our outer shells. We can’t bring wealth, fame, or power into God’s presence. In fact, we lay aside all our baggage and come to God just as we are.
Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness…
To embrace solitude. The solitude of nature, his own inner space, and the grave.
Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Not to be alone with himself, but to be alone with God. Invite the living God into the empty, hungry space in your soul. To be alone with oneself will spiral a person down into a bottomless void of despair.
Meet Jesus alone in prayer in the wilderness. If you have a few minutes, watch this song: Alone, but not Alone.