RSS

Tag Archives: alone with God

The Place of Clarity

Many people ask how they can get direction and insight from God.  The fact is that God always wants to speak to us; we just need to be in the position of hearing Him.  As we continue in Mark’s Gospel, we’ll see how Jesus heard from the Father.

Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.  After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
Mark 6:45-46

As I read the Gospels, I find that Jesus loved the mountains.  He went there often to seek solitude and to pray.  I don’t think that the disciples ever realized the importance of this part of the Lord’s ministry until after the resurrection.

There were many times where the best thing for Him to do was to dismiss the crowds and to send away His disciples in order to be alone with the Father.  This was one of those times.  He had just ministered to thousands of people.  That can be very draining no matter who you are.

When the Lord took on flesh and blood, He chose to live as one of us.  Because of this, Jesus was bound by the same physical limitations that we are.  He learned that you can’t just keep giving out to others.  You must also take something in that can recharge your own spiritual batteries.

It was in these mountains of prayer that Jesus was able to renew His Spirit.  He would seek the Father’s face and by the Spirit, hear the plan for the road ahead.  In that way, He could fulfill the work He was called to do without burning Himself out doing it.

How do I know that the Lord would hear from God in this way?  Scripture makes it clear.

When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.  He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.
Mark 6:47-48a

I think that we miss the importance of this verse sometimes.  This was a direct communication between the Lord and the Father.

It had gotten dark.  The disciples were a couple of miles away, in a storm, and it was night time.  Yet the Bible clearly says that Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars.  If it were daylight, He might have seen a tiny dot out on the lake.

This was obviously something shown to Him in the Spirit.  That’s what happens in the place of solitude and prayer in the spirit.

What most people don’t understand about this is that being alone in the presence of God is the mountain of clarity in the spirit.  As a matter of fact, if you read through Scripture, the defining characteristic of mountaintop experiences is clarity of vision.

Jesus had to climb to get there.  It involved work.  It’s the same for us.  It’s not easy setting aside a regular time to seek the Father.  But the rewards are a clear view of the Lord’s plan for our lives.

That needs to be a lesson for us.  If Jesus needed this time with the Father, how much more should we be seeking the presence of the Lord in our daily lives?  Take the time necessary today to renew and refresh yourself in the presence of the Lord.  You’ll be glad you did.

Question: What’s the last thing God showed you when you spent time in His presence?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Private Time Insight

Over the last few posts, we have looked at some of the parables of Jesus.  That section of Mark is summarized in the next verses.

With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.  He did not say anything to them without using a parable.  But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Mark 4:33-34

The understanding of this passage is actually very important to us as believers.  It holds the key to a greater depth of insight into the Lord’s work in our lives.

But first, we have to know what is meant by a parable.  According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary*, a parable is a “short, simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth…in which truth is illustrated by a comparison or example drawn from everyday experiences.”

If we want to truly understand our walk with God, then we need to be able to draw spiritual truth from everyday experiences.  This is a big part of getting insight into the Word of God.

This was a big part of Jesus’ ministry to His disciples.  He spoke the parables to the crowds.  They observed the natural world examples.  But in private, the disciples were given the truths that these parables illustrated.

I’ve said it before; the ministry of Jesus to His disciples was equivalent to the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us today.  What Jesus did then, is what the Holy Spirit wants to do now, if we’re seeking and listening.  After all, most of the time the disciples asked the Lord to explain these parables to them.

We go through many different experiences in our lives.  How often do we ask the Lord to explain them to us?  Please understand, I’m not talking about the “Why me!” type of questions.  I’m talking about turning our daily walk into a learning time with the Holy Spirit.

Let me give you an example.  If you don’t already know it, I’m an avid hiker.  I love spending a week or more on the trail.  The fact is that walking is probably the most used illustration of spiritual truth in the Bible.

As I hike, I pray to, worship, and praise God.  I ask Him for wisdom and insight.  Along the way, the Lord has used my hiking experiences to give me tremendous insight into the Christian walk.  Many of the truths of Scripture directly coincide with walking long distances.

But probably the most important part of this whole discussion is the fact that this happened while Jesus was alone with His disciples.  The things that were in parable form were hidden from most people.  But the Lord wanted the disciples to understand them.

The word explained, in the above verse means to untie a knot.  It’s something that stays bound up unless you actively work at it.  In this case, it means spending time, in private, with the Holy Spirit.  It’s in those times that we can receive insight into our walk with God.

Do you seek to understand Scriptural truth from your daily activities?  Did you even know that this was available to you?  Spend quality time in God’s presence listening for His explanations of what you’ve been through.  It will open up your spiritual eyes.

Question: What spiritual insight have you gotten from your daily experiences?

*From Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 7, 2018 in Prayer, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Flee to the Mountains!

Mark 13:14
“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

Jesus was giving His disciples a prophetic word concerning what they would be facing in the years ahead.  He was explaining to them about the fall of Jerusalem and the desecration of the temple.  He told them that when they see these things occur it was time to head for the hills, as the city would not be safe any longer.

“Fee to the mountains” is still good advice today.  When sin and the “abominations” of life start to weaken you, you must find a refuge for rest and relief.  You have to find a place to be alone with God.  Your faith and strength need to be restored in His presence.

Throughout Scripture we are exhorted to enter the mountains of God.  We need to seek a mountaintop experience with the Lord.  This is quality time, not just rattling off a list of needs and wants.  It is spending a while just listening to Him.  That is probably the hardest thing for any Christian to accomplish – spending time in silence.  In some cases it may be just as hard as scaling a tall mountain.

It is in the quiet places that your spirit can be renewed and refreshed.  You can put the noise of society behind you and hear the voice of Christ calling you to a higher walk.  Spend that quality time before Him today.  In His presence is all you need for life and godliness.  If you will flee to His side, you will have all the strength you need to continue on and face your battles victoriously.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Integrity

Psalm 41:12
In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.

Here is a concept all but lost in this society.  We have no understanding of true integrity.  It is not an acting role we can put on in front of people.  Integrity can only be seen when the crowds are gone.

For instance, if I were at home, I would never think about throwing a piece of trash on my front lawn.  After all, what would the neighbors think.  But when I am all alone hiking in the woods, miles from the nearest road, it is so easy to just drop that candy bar wrapper on the ground.

Integrity is not how good you appear in front of people.  It is maintaining your same level of discipline even when there is no one else around.  It is the ability to live your life knowing that God sees all.  He is our constant companion.

Upholding integrity and acknowledging the presence of God are two things that must go hand in hand.  It is in these private places that we can cultivate both of these qualities.  When we are alone, with no one else around, we must learn to sense the Lord’s Spirit with us.  This makes it easier to live for Him when no one is looking.

Spend some quality time with Christ today.  Make an effort to acknowledge His presence with you throughout the day.  Instead of asking, “What would Jesus do?”, ask, “What would I do if I saw Jesus walking beside me?”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Burning Bush – Part 2

Exodus 3:4-6
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said.  “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”  Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”  At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

Yesterday I posted about the “burning bush” experience that God wants us to have with Him.  Today I want to take it a step further.  The first thing I notice, is that God did not reveal Himself until He knew that He had Moses attention.

Sometimes I like to go out hiking or camping in the woods.  While I’m there, I usually take the time to pray and seek the Lord.  The reason I love to meet with God in the wilderness is that there are no distractions.

We live in a world where there’s a whirlwind of activity around us.  We desperately need to take the time and get alone with God in a solitary place.  Only then will God have the freedom to speak with us on the level He desires.

The next thing is that God instructs Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.  God wants nothing to insulate Moses from His holiness.  So often we want a buffer between us and God.  We want the Pastor to pray for us and tell us what to do.  The truth is that we need to see ourselves as holy – set apart for the exclusive use of God.

Take the time right now to bask in the holiness of the Lord.  Begin to see yourself as set apart for His plan.  Lay down your desires upon the altar of God.  In that way you are opening the door for a “burning bush” of your own.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,