Series: Old School Faith
September 06, 2020 | Mike Solorio
IN LONELY PLACES
Every now and then we need to get away just like Jesus did because if we never spend time disconnected from the external, we will always be driven by agendas that come from the outside.
We can operate from a place of peace, not pressure, when we live from within...
LIVIN ’FROM WITHIN
Jesus models for us the importance to live from within – to get up early in the morning and get alone with The Father to Recharge and align ourselves with His purpose.
Popularity and purpose do not usually go together…
Jesus refused to conform to popular opinion or external agendas.
I’m finding during this pandemic that it is more difficult than ever before to be alone…
Like Jesus, we too need to have a quiet place and get alone.
Jesus was at the height of His popularity yet he chose to be alone. Jesus focus was on the eternal not the temporal!
Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt.6:33)
And Jesus responds to Peter “ –let’s go to the other villages because this is what I came for.” (v.38)
Maybe the reason that in this season, many of us feel so stressed out is because we have been so busy chasing popularity, likes, status, and achievement but Jesus chose to retreat to a lonely place in order to achieve alignment with his assignment…
ALIGNMENT WITH ASSIGNMENT
What did Jesus come to do? Not what others expected him to do. Jesus came to glorify God!
(v.40) - “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
QUESTION: Did the man come to Jesus or did Jesus come to the man?
The concept of social distancing was in Mark 1 and Leviticus 13.
The new challenges we face are nothing new to God!
According to local Jewish law, if a leper gets within 50 paces of a healthy person, the clean had a right to throw a stone at the unclean –
We know nothing about this man…we only know him by his issue.
It’s a horrible thing to be defined by your issue and then have your issue enter a room before you do – this is what it was like to be a leper. A leper had to cry out “unclean” (at least two times) when approaching the clean – not announcing yourself by your name but by your issue…
Jesus was known by his gift while the man was known by his issue.
But the man was compelled to press past his issue to be touched by the Savior!
SPOTS ON THE SKIN, SPOTS IN OUR SOUL
For some, it is not what is on our skin that is the issue - but rather what is in our souls!
This man broke through all of the excuses and shame & bent down at Jesus feet (posture of worship) –
A risky move – Levitical law said that if a priest touched an unclean person they also become unclean.
Jesus could’ve healed the man with just his word – however Jesus did not just speak it - he showed it!
I think we all have spots and we all have insecurities – we don’t wear them on the outside, we hide them on the inside. But Jesus is willing to touch us at the depth of our infirmity
Jesus feels what we feel! And maybe today you feel lonely.
The cure to a lonely heart is to be alone with Jesus.
The places of your greatest isolation often become the places of your greatest revelation!
READ: Leviticus 13:45
(v.44) Jesus knew the man was going to be disobedient but He healed him anyway!
When the passage started the leper was in a lonely place – but when the passage was over - Jesus was in the lonely place! (v.45)
TOUCHED PEOPLE, TRADED PLACES
Not only did Jesus touch the man, He traded places with him!
Jesus chose his loneliness but the leper did not choose his.
God tells us that He will meet us in the lonely places. He is near to the brokenhearted…
This is a picture of the gospel. Jesus went outside of the camp in order for us to come in. He traded places with us. He who knew no sin became sin so that we could stand righteous before God!
MAKE IT PERSONAL
• Alone time can be a healthy thing. What are some of your favorite ways to spend your alone time?
• If you never spend time disconnected from the external, you’ll always be driven by other agendas. How have you been controlled by the need for approval. (Where in your life are you seeking approval? How have you let what other people think control you?)
• Read Mark 1:35-45. Jesus chose to separate Himself from His surroundings in the first part of this passage. What are some ways you can do that? (Where do you have an imbalance in connection versus solitude, or what priorities do you need to rearrange?) How can that help you in this season?
◦ Time alone can also help us remember our purpose. What is your purpose? (What drives you — what do you feel called to do.) How do you need to get realigned with that?
• Seeking alone time is different than feeling lonely. How have you been lonely lately?
• We all have “spots” that keep us feeling distant from God and others. Why do we feel sometimes like we’re the only ones with spots? (Why does the enemy want us to think that? What are some reasons we sometimes allow our spots to define us?
• God will meet us in our lonely places. What are some ways you can invite God to meet you where you’re at?
Father, thank You for sending your Son, our Savior who understands loneliness and who also showed us the importance of seeking You in solitude. Give us wisdom to see in our lives where we are out of balance with solitude or loneliness, and guide us to decisions that will help us experience Your presence and Your power (in us and through us). In Jesusname, amen.