SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2015.
‘And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired and they came to Him,’ Mark 3v13.
IT is expected that at the beginning of each day, a child of God should begin with his or her God in the study of the word, meditation and prayer. Such an appointment with God should be kept and nothing is to disrupt or distract it because one needs a great discipline to commune with God.
Jesus Himself gave us an example, as He made it a point of duty during His earthly ministry to always be alone with His father. According to the gospel writer in the passage, He went up on the mountain possibly to pray, meditate and to seek the face of His father. He needed no divided attention and so, He chose a mountain (a quiet place) for this great task.
However, it is revealing that sometimes being alone with God may require us doing that in company of others possibly to a place of retreat. The Bible passage quoted was emphatic: ‘…and (He) called to Him those whom He desired and they came to Him.’ It is interesting to note that at that quiet place, truly, the idea was to draw to Himself and by extension those whom He called closer to the inner recesses of God, His father. We cannot quantify what one can reap in a quiet and serene environment with God.
Often times, we have busy schedules to the effect that sometimes it becomes difficult as believers to have consistent daily time with God. To our amazement and shame, most times we leave early and return very late. In fact, in some homes, the children must have gone to bed before some persons in this mess returns. Therefore, the devil being aware of this sometimes may decide to burden us with the cares and pressures of this world as a way of robbing us of an opportunity to be alone with God. But how long should this continue? Thank God, in this New Year, every child of God should sit up and resist the devil each day and each time, making sure that a good quality time is spent in the presence of God.
John Callahan listed these seven Bible passages as great passages that could enhance being alone with God. They include: Josh. 1v8-9, I Sam 1v19, Lam. 3v27-28, Rom. 12v1, 12v2, Philip 2v2 and Thess. 2v12. They are not just there; they are to be read, meditated upon and prayed over. God certainly speaks to His people in such quiet reflections whether alone or in the company of others in a solitary place.
At this juncture, we need to appreciate the Archbishops and Bishops of Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion), led by the Primate, Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh in their just concluded 2015 retreat at Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. There, they were alone with God. I want to believe strongly in my heart that testimonies and unction they received at this time of the retreat would enable them in their different Church locations to lead the flock of God aright.
We, therefore, enjoin every believer to cultivate the habit of being alone with God. Notice, wherever the opportunity calls for it, let us endeavour to use it judiciously. Remember, Jesus had time to go to the mountain to be alone with the father; you too can do the same today and in this year.Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.