Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mark 1:38)
Take just a cursory glance around you and you can see that there is great need in this fallen and broken world. You’ll also quickly realize that there are far more needs than we could ever meet in any meaningful way. Brokenness abounds, and if we are not sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can head off in a direction of service motivated by sentiment . . . and when we do, it is not long before our humanitarian hunger descends into doubt, disillusionment, and utter despair. That is why need never determines the call.
A word of caution before we go on: we must be careful never to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the needs around us. We must always be compassionate and Christlike as we encounter needs as we go through life. Having said that, however, I will also assert that we must not let anything derail us from the call God has placed on our lives. And we will only maintain that kind of focus when we are clear on what our call from God truly is.
Jesus modeled this perfectly for us in Scripture. Today’s verse records His response to His disciples, who had told Him, “Everyone is looking for you!” (Mark 1:37). And why was everyone looking for Jesus? Because He was healing countless people who had a myriad of diseases, as well as driving out many demons. Jesus was meeting need after need, but never did He let those needs derail Him from His call. The sense of purpose Jesus demonstrates for us here is as profound as it is predictable. Jesus knew who He was and what He had come here to do—to testify to the truth (John 18:37)—and He maintained an unwavering course because of His constant communication with His Father in heaven.
We read throughout the gospels that Jesus frequently went off to a solitary place to pray. Seasons of prayer kept Jesus focused on His purpose; prayer will do the same for you and me.
How is your prayer life right now? How much time are you spending on your knees with God? The more often we are in communion with our Lord, the more certain we will be about His call on our lives. Without consistent communion with Christ, we may very well become distracted by the many voices vying for our attention. Only when we model the prayer life of our Lord will we sense our purpose, hear our call, and respond with these words of the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Remember, need never determines the call . . . Christ does!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!