This is part 2 of a 7-part series on Personal Retreats that Brenda wrote for Everyone a Missionary in 2007. We also ran this series in 2016. Click here if you would like to start at the beginning of the series.
The logo WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) became popular in the 1990’s. Adding a twist to that question, I believe it’s also appropriate to ask ourselves, “What did Jesus do?” or WDJD? The answer to this question makes up the greatest story on earth. God intruded into this world and took on human flesh. Jesus lived to do the will of His Father, died a criminal, rose a King and lives now to be our Redeemer, Intercessor and Friend. Additional stories of Jesus’ life are also remarkable. He walked on water, fed the hungry (thousands at a time) and restored sight to the blind.
But Jesus participated in the simpler things of life as well. He attended weddings, held babies, asked questions and made friends. He also regularly sought out solitary places to pray. Jesus took time to be alone with His Father.
The evidence is clear and exciting. Jesus routinely carved out time to retreat to rest and pray in quiet places with His Father. It was a regular part of his life, not an isolated incident. So, with eyes fixed on the Son of God, we have the opportunity to glean valuable insight into the power of personal retreats for mission-minded people. By taking a look at Jesus’ first extended getaway, we see that this 40-day desert retreat played a critical role as Jesus embarked on his public ministry of teaching and healing.
Jesus’ first recorded personal retreat occurred immediately after his baptism. “At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert . . . (Mark 1:12 – also found in Matthew 4:1, Luke 4:1) This extended rendezvous with His Father transitioned Jesus from a quieter, more private life into the arena of public ministry.
Four faith-factors emerge from this account.
1. Jesus went away to quiet places.
2. The Holy Spirit was active throughout.
3. God’s Word was foundational.
4. This getaway launched Jesus into his public ministry.
What is Jesus DOING in your life right now?