Engage & Withdraw

John Danganan


But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. - Luke 5:15-16


A rhythm of engaging and withdrawing. That was the ministry paradigm which Jesus engaged in kingdom mission. Whereas we keep striking while the iron is hot and bulldozing forward when there is fruit, Jesus withdrew. Though he himself was the literal messiah, he did not have a messiah complex. There were families with infirmities, fathers with leprosy, daughters dying but he withdrew to pray. He didn’t see every need presented to him as the will of the Father so he rested. His rhythm was very different from ours. He rested while others worked and worked while others rested. Maybe it’s because this paradigm of engage and withdraw. He didn’t wait till Sabbath to rest but continually found this rhythm of work & respite all throughout the day.


I need to be courageous with Jesus’ paradigm of withdrawing especially when things are going well and ministry is rockin'. Often times when there’s momentum I ride that sucker till the tires are bald and wheels fall off. Find pockets in the day to withdraw not to be lazy but to pray. Be silent before God and let him speak instead of me talking all the time. Be intentional of resting my anxious thoughts and wandering heart.


Jesus you are the head of the church. You lived in and embodied grace and truth. Please give me the courage to say no ministry needs that I’m not supposed to meet. Guard me from idleness in rest and laziness in respite. Maranatha! I love you.

Devotions for September 22

Daniel 9,10
Psalms 123
Luke 5

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