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Jesus left the crowd to go up the mountain to pray. In Luke 5:15-16 "But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.


These men were coming to hear Him and they had faith He could heal their sicknesses, but the verses above state Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Many Christians put preaching and sharing the gospel as paramount. However, as Jesus led by example here, putting God the Father is paramount. God will take care of God's kingdom (and surely He does that using us, and other means, even rocks will cry out if there is no other [Luke 19:40]). Jesus example here shows us God is paramount.


Read Matthew 14:13-23, How the 5000 were fed and then dismissed so Jesus could go up the mountain to pray by Himself.


In lieu of this, look at these few versus (Luke 10:38-42) regarding Martha & Mary and you may see them in a new light.


Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:38-42


Martha was working, Mary was abiding. Jesus states "only one thing is necessary". Mary figured it out, as Jesus said, "Mary has chosen the good part". What did Mary do? "Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word.".


I believe the reason people are so worried about accomplishing works is actually rooted in a lack of faith. They feel God isn't sufficient to accomplish His will in their own lives and in the lives of others. Therefore, subconsciously they feel they need to do the work or it simply won't get done. They feel the requirement of God (Matthew 5:48, 1 Peter 1:16) but they don't feel His accomplishing it on their behalf and in them (Matthew 5:17, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 1:6, Ephesians 2:10) which is not recognized by a feeling, but rather faith (Matthew 14:29-30, 2 Corinthians 5:7). A person acting in faith trusts God that He will accomplish His will in the way that He see's fit. Consider this invitation now.


28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30


Weary and heavy-laden of what? Weary and heavy-laden from trying to do what only He can accomplish. Picture what He's talking about here. He's talking about a person who's in a constant cycle of trying, failing, and then trying harder, only to never achieve the end goal which is approval or righteousness before God. No wonder they/we feel weary and heavy-laden. And if we trust in His accomplishment (who really does take care of what's required of us from God (2 Corinthians 5:21) then we find we can truly and confidently find rest for our souls (v29). Instead of working for that which we can't obtain (in our own strength [Matthew 26:41, Romans 3:23]), we can rest in His having obtained it in full for us! Otherwise known as trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (John 19:30).


One would say to me, surely we have a part to do, surely God has works that are required of us. Well, this very same question was asked of Jesus, listen to His response.


28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” - John 6:28-29


The amplified version writes it like this.


28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]

29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].


Not only do we need to trust in His finish work on the cross out of necessity, but God also WANTS us to. He desires for us to trust in Him, to rest in Him, to rely and cleave to Him! God is delighted when people rest in Him (remember the contrast between Martha who was busy with all her distractions and Mary, who Jesus Himself described as having chosen the good part when Mary was seated at the feet of Jesus listen to all He had to say). This psalm I pray has new revelation to you.


10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” - Psalm 46:10


During service one day our church pastor, in a less formal environment, asked the question to the congregation “If you could only shout one thing from the rooftop of your house for all to hear, what would it be?” He then passed the microphone around and people shared with us. Some people gave really good, heartfelt and knowledgeable answers. “God loves you”, “Jesus died for your sins”, “You can't fall beyond God's love”, “It's never to late to come to Jesus”, “God is more merciful than any man”, “Don't listen to the lies anymore”. While I was listening to these pearls of wisdom shared by my fellow members of Christ I was also digging deep within myself for something that would really impress everyone. Some sort of super wisdom that would knock their socks off, maybe I'd even get an attaboy from the pastor. Then the microphone came to this young girl in front of me, maybe 8 years old. I'll never forget what she said... “Thank you Jesus”. That hit me upside the head, and I wasn't the only one. The rest of us pictured ourselves on the rooftop looking down, teaching the multitudes. This little girl is on the rooftop looking up, with an audience of One. Nobody else answered after that. The pastor paused for a long time too, a bit caught of guard but yet rejoicing over the wisdom of this 8 year old girl.

 Let us no longer work according to our strength, but go to Him who works all things in us!


30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 1:30-31


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Have some feedback, insight, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc? Maybe you just want to share what God is doing in your life (I love praise reports), or maybe you can relate to some of the things here and need an ear. I'd love to hear from you!