Jesus had gone out to pray early in the morning. It was still dark. Jesus had snuck off somewhere to be alone while He prayed, before the day had begun. Though He was up late the night before ministering to the throngs of people who lived in Capernaum, fatigue would not stop Him from getting time alone with His Father. Jesus knew the day ahead would not be possible without it.
This is a great model of prayer. The story in Mark 1 tells us that when Peter and the others found Jesus, they exclaimed, “Everyone’s looking for you!” Evidently, the stir from the stir from the night before carried over to the morning. The town was set ablaze and everyone was searching for the Healer.
Jesus was faced with a serious dilemma; should He return to the ‘everyone’ searching for Him in Capernaum or should He continue His ministry on to other villages in Galilee to fulfill the reason for which He came. Either choice held great consequences.
What would you do? Would you go back to Capernaum or would you move on to the other cities? It’s not an easy choice to make. This is a dilemma for all pastors. How do you choose the right thing to do when you’re needed in more than one place? It’s a fool’s choice, it seems, because no matter what you do, the fear is that somebody’s going to be let down.
Jesus knew exactly what to do. Without hesitation. How was this possible? The answer is prayer. Jesus was a praying man. Prayer is the place where wisdom is conceived and wisdom is the gift of always knowing what to do.
Wisdom has a name. It’s the Holy Spirit. But, here is where Pentecostals need to be careful. The Holy Spirit will not receive prayers asking for wisdom because the Holy Spirit doesn’t receive prayer at all. There is no place in Scripture where we are exhorted to pray to the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Scriptures teach the Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus Christ (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit points people to Jesus Christ, never to Himself. Ironically, sometimes Pentecostals can over-prioritize the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and in so doing, because very un-Pentecostal.
The secret to always knowing what to do is keeping Jesus Christ first and foremost in your life through an established, fervent presence of prayer. The very heart of being a Pentecostal pastor is keeping Jesus Christ front and center of one’s being. When Jesus is first, wisdom follows, and with that, the gift of always knowing what to do.