With this week representing one of the most sacred times for believers, Jesus’ journey to the cross until his resurrection, I find myself pondering as to what message Jesus was attempting to convey to me in Luke 5:16, But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Countless occasions, scriptures reveal that this is his weapon of choice. Not just when faced with the pressures of his calling but also living his daily life. His response continues to intrigue me as to how the act of withdrawing to a desolate place to pray when faced with insurmountable challenges is so vital to my faith walk. So much so, that during my study time what I discovered provoked some important take-aways for me. But before I share that piece of information, I wanted to make sure we are all in alignment with the definition of desolate.
Thanks to Google, I found out when a person feels desolate, he or she feels deserted, lonely, hopeless, and sad. When a location is desolate, there’s almost nothing there. Therefore, I understand the desire to quickly want to check out, when you merely hear the word desolate. But for a moment, I need you to hold true to Isaiah 55:9, when God lets us know, for just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
From this viewpoint, I recognized that in my desolate place, I am most willing to connect with God. In my desolate position and condition, I am vulnerable and transparent, understanding the value of finding privacy for communing with God is essential. During these private isolation periods, I am able to tap into God’s unique demands for my own soul, and the Father’s purpose and mission for my life is affirmed.
Secondly, in my desolate place, my prayer life is intentional. I have detailed conversations with God where I discover that there will be times when God’s unique call on my life will fiercely clash with the expectations of others and my own self-interests. In my desolate place, I found out that it may be costly, but my willingness to embrace this dynamic will speak volumes about the nature of my obedience and dependency upon God.
Lastly, in my desolate place, I became confident in the fact that God clearly welcomes my persistence in prayer. So, may I suggest to you, don’t avoid the desolate periods of your life. Use those moments to allow God to perfect your prayer life so that it is indeed effective. Don’t allow the stumbling blocks of unconfessed sin, lack of faith, disobedience, unforgiveness, lack of transparency, wrong motives, idols, disregard of others, un-surrendered will and disregard of God’s sovereignty to persuade you that your desolate place is unnecessary.
Most of my greatest assignments would have been forfeited due to my eagerness to avoid the desolate times in my life. I had not yet learned that God would use those periods of my life to prepare me inwardly and spiritually to accomplish his mission. Thank God, I am aware now and quite determined to stay within God’s exclusive and sovereign will for my life, despite the desolate conditions. Love You Real Hard #LURH