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Withdraw into the Wilderness

Get alone with God
and
He will get along with you

Scripture

Luke 5:16 "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed."

Text

Luke 5:16 "…into the wilderness…"

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Withdrew to himself to Pray

Luke 5:16 "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness…"

When it is time to walk with the Father
it is time to be alone.

Jesus went to the wilderness
away from traffic, to get by Himself
away from the telephone, to get by Himself
away from children, to get by Himself
away from TV, to get by Himself
away from reading, to get by Himself
away from hobbies, to get by Himself

Not just for the quiet time
but, for the opportunity
to tell the Father all about it and hear the Father's reply
to plead with the Father about the day just gone by and the day yet to come
to address the Father with the needs of the people and obtain the power to see them through

It is time, right now, as we speak
to get to the wilderness of the cares of this world
to get into the presence of the Father
Give up on garnering assistance from the Father for what you want done, open your heart to the voice of the Father and hear what He wants done.

Luke 5:16 "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed."

Jesus withdrew into the wilderness to pray
This was not a rare thing for Him

Luke 6:12 "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."

Jesus is our example

Col 4:2 "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;"

We ought to be like Jacob
Wrestle all night with the Lord that He should bless us.

We ought to be like Joshua
Pray through the night so that we might meet the Captain of the Host.

We ought to be like Moses
Ask to see the Lord's face and be hid in the cleft of the Rock as He passes by.

We ought to be like Paul
Paul dreamed about the Lord when the Lord told him, don't go to Asia, but into Europe.

Withdraw into the Wilderness
Not from the Lord but to Him.
He waits out there in the dry and hot.
Having Withdrawn there Himself.

Illustration
Sadly, in our nation there are many good young people, who are brilliant,
who are open, who have the right character, but who do not have a cause.
They do not have a purpose, objective, goal.
They are like the Athiest in the coffin, all dressed up, but no place to go.
Nothing grips their heart, imagination, desire.
But there is one thing that is even more sad than this …
Most of them do not realize it.

They need to withdraw into the wilderness
where there is no entertainment.
See the real things of life.
See the suffering of others.
See the love of Christ for them.
See themselves as servants to a loving Christ.

There are some
who have become feverish and selfish clouds of ailments and grievances, complaining about the world's not having devoted itself
to their happiness.

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The Power is Present

Now lets see the proceeds of having withdrawn into the wilderness

Luke 5:17 "And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them."

Jesus was in a building
teaching whomever would listen and there were present a few Pharisees and a few Doctors of the Law that had come from some neighboring towns and sitting in the house with people all around but in actuality they had withdrawn themselves into the wilderness
not to meet God, but to fulfill their mission of separation from the people.

There as nothing as damaging
as the haughty piousness of "I am more separate than you"

The singular sin
that has done more to destroy the work of God in the Church is the pride of separation.

Don't get me wrong
I am for separation but it should be separation from sin to God.
Not separation from sin to another sin.

Nothing runs off people who need Christ the most
than the withdrawal into the wilderness of
"I am better than you are"
"My hair is longer than yours"
"My skirt is more modest than yours"
"My family is bigger and better than yours"
The only thing wrong with any of those statements are the words, "than yours".
Whether it is ever stated or implied.

But none of that
means a thing when the person uses his separation
as a whip to get everyone else straight
as a pry bar to put the rest in line
and when they don't,
withdraw fellowship to teach them a lesson.

And even then
the Church can put up with a lot until people are being run off by it

If folks are turned away
by the sin of the immature I can't help it.

If folks are turned away
by the sin of the perceived mature, by the sin of the pillars of the church,
it can't go on.

Go to the wilderness
and walk with God.

Illustration
The writer, Robert Burns said once, as a tourist standing on a balcony of Warwick Castle, he looked down on one of the most beautiful scenes,
he has ever seen. There was a winding river at the base of the Castle and fields of green grass and yellow mustard stretching off into the hills and stands of ever changing green trees wedging themselves in between the fields. Present also was another tourist, who never added a single brick in the building of himself or country, made this single comment, "Isn't it terrible that there is such a scum floating on the river?" He thought himself to be an improver on the scene before him. But, he actually proved to all present, What and Who he was.

It is always good
to have some folks present that are willing to hear, but it is much better, to have already withdrawn, to the wilderness before-hand, so that, the Power of the Lord will be present when others are present to hear.

It is more important
that the power be present
than the people be present
If the power is present, the people will be, too.
The Pharisees were there.
The Doctors of the Law were there.
The People were there.
The Lord was there.

He was back from the Wilderness
back to teach the people
back to preach to the people
back to bring the Power of the Father to the people
He didn't stay in the Wilderness

It is more important
that the soul winner be impowered than the people
be impressed.

Power awaits to the Saint of God
But it is had by those that Withdraw into the Wilderness.

The wilderness of
the flesh denied
the world denied
even the good things, that are not done for God, should be denied.

Tip toe out to that Wilderness
while it is dark
while everyone sleeps
while it is yet wilderness
because in a few hours
it will be as busy as Greyhound Bus Terminal.

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The Paramedics

Luke 5:18 "And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him."

Thank God for friends like this
willing to haul their friend around in a bed or a cot, willing to take him up, sickness and all, willing to seek a means to bring him before the Lord.
2, 3 or 4 men carrying around this afflicted man
trying to get in the front door
trying to get in the back door
trying to get in through the window
trying to get their friend laid down before the Lord.

They were not going to give up easily
Good men
Loving men
God fearing men

I think that these fellows
have just got back from the Wilderness.
Listening to the Lord.
Listening to Him answer prayer
Listening to hear how they might help their friend.

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The Resourceful

Luke 5:19 "And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus."

I love it when someone finds a way
Not daunted by the impossible.
Not dismayed by the unfeasible.
Not intimidated by the hopeless.
Not turned away by the wilderness
but even use the wilderness to find a way back to God

They are driven by faith in God.
If we can just get this sick friend inside.
We won't have to carry him outside.
If we can just get him to the Savior.
We won't have to even carry that bed back home.
If we can just get him in front of Jesus.
It will be up to Jesus to get rid of him then.

They were not to be denied

they just came back from denying out in the Wilderness.
They denied their personal wants and desires
They denied their personal needs.
They denied their personal life.
So that they might be able to minister to a Friend.

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Faithful Few

Luke 5:20 "And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee."

Jesus saw the faith
of the man in the bed
of the men who carried him

Faith born in the heart
because they saw the power of God in His life
because they saw the miracle hand of God on the sick
because they saw the forgiving hand of God on the sinful
because they saw the face of God in Jesus Christ
Conceived of God the Father
Guided by God the Father
Empowered by God the Father
Actually God the Father in the body of men

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Faithless Flock

Luke 5:21 "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"

That is just the point
Jesus is God.
He can forgive sin.
He can cure the palsied.
He can give sight to sightless eyes.
He can create out of nothing.
He can fashion beauty out of chaos.
He can because He is God.

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Perceived Introspections

Luke 5:22 "But when Jesus perceived their thoughts,

I told you
Jesus is God
Only God can know your thoughts.
Only God can know your thinking.
Only God can listen as you think.

Are you glad of that???
I'm glad that no one knows what I'm thinking
I'm glad that no one knows that I don't have much to think with.
I'm glad that I don't have to pray out loud for the Lord to hear me.
I'm glad that I don't have to let the devil know, what I am telling the Lord.

Thank God
He hears
He listens
He acts on what He hears
He works in the lives of people just like us.

"But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?"
Luke 5:23 "Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?"
Luke 5:24 "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house."

Jesus told the Pharisees and Doctors of the Law
Only God can forgive sin, True.
Only God can cure of the Palsy, True.
So, if He cures, He must be God and
If He cures, He must be able to forgive sin.

Well I will be glad to tell you
Jesus Christ cures the sick
and those that suffer the results of sickness
affliction and death.
Jesus Christ forgives the sinful
and those that suffer the results of sin
guilt and death.

You don't have to carry that load of sin another step
You can come to Christ.
You can unload you weight of wickedness.
You can come today,
Accept Jesus as your Savior.
Accept Jesus as your sin bearer.
Accept Jesus as your sickness bearer.
Accept Jesus as your suffering bearer.
Accept Jesus as payment for everything you ever did wrong.

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Cured Invalid

Luke 5:25 "And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God."

The man that was lowered into the house
is leaving under his own strength.
Not only that, but he is carrying his bed with him.
Not only that, he has something in his mouth…
to tell you what he had in his mouth…
It is a SHOUT!!

Luke 5:26 "And they were all amazed,

They were
stunned
in shock
flabbergasted
dazed

Not because they did not understand
But because they were there to see
Jesus forgive sin.
Jesus raise the afflicted.
Jesus do as only God can do.
They were there to see God, with their own eyes.

and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day."

It is a little frightening
to see such things as they saw that day.
To see lives changed as they were witness to that day.
To see the palsied leave with the strength of his own legs.
To see the hard-heads (Pharisees, Doctors of the Law)
still unconvinced
still unconverted
still uncontent.

It is enough to scare a full grown man
back out to the wilderness.
And walk with Jesus a little further.
Then come back
to find another being carried on his bed.
That is what Jesus did.

Come back from the wilderness of prayer
and find another group of friends
trying to help someone in need.

Come back from the wilderness of walking with God
and take up the job
that Jesus left for us.

We are

Rom 8:29 "… to be conformed to the image of his Son…."
Phil 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"
Mat 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
Mat 28:20 "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Jesus said …

Luke 10:37 "…Go, and do thou likewise."
Luke 6:35 "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil."
John 13:15 "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
John 13:16 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him."
John 13:17 "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

The servant is not greater than his Lord
what ever the Lord does the servant must do as well.
If the Lord goes to the wilderness when everyone else goes to sleep, then his servant, not being greater than his Lord, must go to the wilderness, as well.

1 Pet 2:21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"
1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

Illustration
About 400 years ago Courageous pioneers crossed the ocean to settle places like Jamestown and Plymouth in search of Freedoms.
The Freedom of Speech.
The Freedom of Religion.
The Freedom to Own.
The Freedom to be Courageous.
And we still cherish these Freedoms to this very day, to the extent that we are willing to give our lives to protect them.
But there is a freedom we are in danger of losing and without it the other 4 Freedoms have no meaning at all.
This is the Freedom to be the Best You Can.

Christians above all people
ought to hang on with every muscle of their strength, because they alone have the Creator of the Universe to enable them to be the Best that they can be.

But to be the Best that we can be,
We must be willing to exercise the Freedom to deny self and to Freely
Take self to the Wilderness to visit with the Father.

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