Spend Time With Christ 1
SIX days after promising to give some of His disciples a preview of His coming Kingdom, Jesus took three of them to the Mount of Transfiguration. They had prayed every day, as He had taught them, “Thy Kingdom come”; now they were to have a foretaste of the resplendent glory and excellent majesty of the Kingdom (Matthew 16: 28). It was an uncommon retreat and He knew it was an indispensable part of His training for them. Christ was forming the pillars of His church and He knew just what to do in order to accomplish His purpose. What manner of “pillars of the church” would Peter, James and John have been without this single retreat? (Galatians 2:9). All the teachings of Christ that they heard and all His miracles that they witnessed made them disciples of Christ, but the events of their retreat with Him at the Mount of Transfiguration made them martyrs for Christ. Through all the years that followed, as Peter, James and John reflected back, this singular event became the defining moment of their lives to which all their subsequent usefulness in the Kingdom could be traced. Reading what each of them later wrote about that event, it is impossible to miss its deep impact and life-transforming effect on them (2 Peter 1; 16-18; 1 John 1: 1-3). For Peter, not even the spectacular experience of walking on water was worth remembering compared with this spiritual encounter. It was for them an unforgettable encounter.
As people contemplate times of seclusion or retreat with the Lord, there is always the danger of approaching it in a casual, routine manner. Although people know that the Lord has abundant blessings enough to meet the needs of all His children at such events, yet, expectation determines realization. The law of sowing and reaping applies here too. If we sow real faith, great expectations, earnest prayers and full participation into it, we are sure to reap bountiful blessings, divine revelations and great miracles. If on the other hand we sow a cold, lukewarm attitude, half-hearted participation and lethargic prayers, we cannot justly expect divine visitation.
Times spent apart with the Lord are a special privilege, to enter the highway of the promised land with the opportunity to walk into heaven’s abundant riches, witness the wonders of Calvary, wash our garments in the blood of the Lamb and worship in spirit and in truth. It also enables us move from sin to salvation, from poverty to prosperity, from sickness to sound health and from defeat to dominion. The Lord Jesus recognized the importance of special moments of withdrawal from public activity to have concentrated, undisturbed fellowship with God. He knew that was the source of spiritual strength and extraordinary revelations. Therefore, He constantly drew His disciples away from the activities of a busy life to instruct and impart grace and power unto them. Retreats in Bible days came in various forms, had various venues and lasted for various lengths of time. The personalities involved, the great God and His seeking people, have always been the same. The purpose was always to receive direction, instruction and renewal from God. Retreat is the time to reclaim lost virtues and reach out to God for new blessings; review our lives and return from possible backsliding; rebuild broken altars and renew abandoned consecrations; revive lost visions and receive a new purpose for living; re-examine waning convictions and reaffirm our loyalty to Christ; receive fresh fire from heaven and rekindle old evangelistic and missionary fervours.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 17: 1-8; 2 Peter 1:16-18; Matthew 17: 1-8; 2 Peter 1:16-18; John 1: 5-18; 1 John 1:1-3; Revelation 1: 10-18; Hebrews 2: 9-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Mark 6: 30, 31; Matthew 17: 4-6; John 12: 20-26; Romans 12: 1,2; Isaiah 40: 28-31; 41: 1, 10-16; Ephesians 4:23,24; Isaiah 43: 18-21; Proverbs 23:18; 24: 14; Matthews 17:7, 8; Genesis 32:24-28; 1 kings 19: 5-8; Isaiah 6: 5-8; Jeremiah 1: 9-12, 17-19; Daniel 10: 16-19; Ephesians 3: 16-20; Romans 8: 37-39.
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