“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” Mark 1:35
People are creatures of habit. Nearly everything we do is the result of training or repetition. From our first breath we’re learning and learning and each and every decision trains us for future decisions and the longer we live the less we have to think about the most common of the decisions we have to make. Habits, resulting from training, guide the majority of our actions. We’re most conscious of the new decisions we have to make because these are not habits and are, in fact, new choices.
Jesus, in most respects, was just like us. He had, in the course of his childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, so nurtured his nature that the pursuit of the Father was habitual. His first priority was to secure his day’s foundational connection to God.
Notice how our focus text says that he arose long before daylight. How long is your time spent pursuing God each day. Five minutes? Fifteen minutes? Thirty? Sixty? While it’s true that time doesn’t necessarily equal quality and sincerity; it’s also true that we don’t realize how much time is required to securely connect our sin damaged hearts to the heart of God. Because of this we take shortcuts in our devotional lives and then wonder why we don’t have the spiritual strength and vigor we need to meet the demands of our lives.
Also, notice that Jesus departed to a solitary place. When we seek connectedness with God we need to, as far as is possible, remove ourselves from the distractions that surround us. Distance isn’t the requirement only solitude. Quietness. Aloneness. In this we can devote our hearts to seek our Savior and listen to him as he quietly speaks to our souls.
Jesus sets the example for us. In the purity and perfection of his untarnished character he still needed this time spent one on one in the presence of his Father. If our unfallen redeemer needed and prioritized this time of intentional solitary pursuit of God how much more do we, who have partaken of sin, need to make the hour of devotion a habit every morning?
Take the time. Make the time. As each day deepens the habit the heart will increasingly open to receive the light from heavens throne and we will drink more deeply of the springs of righteousness the Holy Spirit will cause to flow in our hearts.