LUKE 5:12-16 – While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”
THEME OF THE DAY: TOO BUSY NOT TO PRAY. Today’s account in the life of our Lord Jesus is a familiar one. It is about the leper who struggled not with belief in Jesus’ ability to heal him, but in the belief of Jesus’ willingness to heal him. Many, if not all, Christians have experienced this battle of unbelief in their walks with the Lord. The devil actively strives to create a false picture of the Lord Jesus to create fearful doubts in the timid believer towards God’s amazing love. He knows if we begin to question God’s heart toward us, the Christian life becomes joyless, restless, and ineffective, but that isn’t the lesson in today’s nugget. The lesson is the last sentence. However, I want to leave a word of encouragement to help us overcome those seasons, like the leper, when we are tempted to question the loving and willing heart of the Lord toward us. Meditate much on these words – The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Now the “real” lesson for today.
After the healing of the leper, things got really busy for the Lord Jesus. We read “But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.” Jesus was in high demand. Busy, engaged, and constantly flocked by many people, our Lord, as fully Man and fully God, felt the pressure from human need. And so do we. Who has not felt overwhelmed by the near constant demands upon us from the world, family, job, church and other areas of responsibilities? It is often relentless draining us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. But here comes the needed lesson modeled by Jesus, and what we must believe, embrace, and practice. If we don’t, the demands will drown us and we will shipwreck our spiritual lives. Oh, we won’t lose our salvation, but we will lose the joy, and when the joy of the Lord and salvation is gone, so is our power and influence as Christians. And what is the needed lesson? Do what Jesus did. He said, “no”, withdrew to a solitary place, and prayed.
Friends, life challenges us to busyness, and we cannot allow it to remove prayer from our lives. Not just “God help me” prayers, but those seeking the Lord for fellowship and refreshment. When it comes to the Christian life, the most important spiritual discipline is prayer. It is also the chief area the devil attacks because of its importance. The type of prayer most opposed is that seeking fellowship with God. Should we allow busyness in life, even Christian service, crowd out unhindered quality time of prayer, we may accomplish much but with dry, barren souls. Even our ministries of God’s Word will suffer. They will be true words lacking true life and power because of prayerlessness.
So, the model of Jesus when tempted to busyness? Prayer. Don’t fall prey to saying, “I am too busy to pray” instead say, “I am so busy I must pray.”
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I allow busyness, even in Your service, to crowd out prayer in my life.”
QUOTE: “When we are too busy to pray the message we send to heaven is ‘I am too busy for You, Lord.”
Because of Him,