Behind the declaration “Everyone is looking for you!” is a host of expectations. It can feel like the demands are coming from every direction with more expectations than we can fufill.

How did Jesus respond with such clear purpose and direction to all the demands and expectations people had of him? How did he not get flustered? The verses just prior share his secret. Jesus had risen early that morning and found a solitary place where he could be alone with his Father and pray. Jesus didn’t disclose the intimate and private conversation he had with his Father, but the result was he knew his purpose and he knew it was time to move to nearby villages.

We, too, have many demands made of us. Our boundaries are constantly challenged. We also need to know our purpose and receive direction from our Father. We will often have more placed on us than we can handle without disappointing others or even ourselves. Jesus knew the secret — find a solitary place to pray in private. Seek the face of the Father and ask for his will and direction.

Like Jesus, you will not meet all of the needs and expectations from people around you but you can be sure the Father will lead and guide your life and your actions when you seek his will in prayer. It is an open invitation to pray. Emotional bondage can come through the constant demands and expectations of others. God calls us to please only him!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the freedom of following you wholeheartedly. We seek your will and direction for each day of our lives. Help us respond to your invitation to get alone with you and pray and seek your face. Direct us in your purpose and your plans for our lives. Lead and guide us moment by moment through your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Go Deeper — Find a solitary place to pray today. Bring decisions you are wrestling with to God, asking for the Father’s direction and will. Then allow him to respond. Do this daily. Take note of how he leads you in the paths you should take over the next week or month.

Tags: The Gospel of Mark Mark 1
Photo Credit: Peter H