The Next Morning

"The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray."

I've always loved Mark 1:35. It motivates me to seek God early in the morning. But I never fully appreciated it until I examined the phrase: "the next morning." So what happened the day before? The context is the key to this text. Jesus had a long day the day before. He preached a sermon. He cast out a demon. And he healed a multitude of people. As a pastor, I know how exhausting it is to simply preach an anointed sermon. It's a tremendous expenditure of physical, spiritual, and emotional energy. Can you imagine how much spiritual energy it took to cast out a demon or heal the sick. Jesus had to be absolutely exhausted. But "the next morning" he got up early to pray.

In baseball terms, Jesus hit for the cycle. In hockey terms, it was a hat trick. In horse racing terms, it was the triple crown. An anointed sermon, exorcism, and healing in one day?

So what's my point? Well, what would most of us do the day after a day like that? I'm guessing we'd sleep in. We'd kick back. We might even let down our guard a little bit. Not Jesus. He was up and at it early the next morning.

Success is a dangerous thing. For so many people, it is their undoing. They don't steward the success. They don't steward the blessing. They let down their guard and give the enemy a foothold. And that's when the blessing turns into a curse and success turns into failure. They either get satisfied or smug. They stop seeking the source of success.

Here's the bottom line: when God uses you in a powerful way, you better get up even earlier to seek Him. When God blesses you, you better pray even more. And any measure of success God gives you better result in seeking Him even more.