In the early years of the Church, a great persecution took place. During that awful period, the apostle John was taken prisoner and sent to Rome before being banished to the Isle of Patmos to die. Patmos was a small, desolate place inhabited by only a few other prisoners who had been exiled there.
When John disembarked at Patmos, he was left stranded, forsaken, isolated. He would later write, “I am banished to Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (see Revelation 1:9).
Why was John, a disciple of Jesus, given such a sentence? And why was Rome, the world’s ruling power, desperate to isolate him from civilization? Clearly, Rome considered him a threat, as he was obviously renowned among both Jews and Gentiles.
Now, John would be looked upon as a failure. If he were measured by the current standards of success, he would be considered worth nothing: he had no congregation, no church building, no money, no vehicle, no house, no decent clothes.
But how wrong everyone would be! Something incredible happened to John after his first few days on Patmos. He made a decision that impacted the entire church world for eternity. Simply put, John died to all his own plans and thought of ministry. As far as he knew, his exile on Patmos was his final lot but he determined to worship God. “I’m going to walk in the Spirit and give myself to seeking the face of God. Now I have time to get to know him as I never have.”
John’s life was reduced to a single focus: Jesus Christ alone. And he said, in essence, “All I will ever need is prayer, worship and communion with Lord.” It was there on Patmos that John learned to be dependent on the voice of Holy Spirit. And the good news is that later, John was given his freedom and his writings became an anointed light to the world.
You don’t need to be isolated in order to give yourself wholly to communion with the Lord. God will meet you right where you are, at any time of day or night, if you will just call out to him.