For the last several weeks, I have been studying the seven different messages to the churches in the book of Revelations. As I was reading through each of the letters, there had seemed to be a common denominator between all of them- the emphasis of their works for the Lord.
As I continued to reflect upon God’s Word, I came upon this passage in Luke.
Scripture Reading: Luke 10:38-42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I want you to notice some key points from this passages that the Lord had given me.
First, Martha had opened her home to Jesus. She had welcomed Him and the other disciples to her home. Martha wanted to be close to Jesus. How often do we want to be close to Jesus? What is our responsibility of engaging with Him? I believe we need to respond to Jesus like Martha did, invite Him to our home. The first part of developing an intimate relationship with God, is welcoming Him into our hearts, where He will make His home. Ephesians 3:17 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” reinforces God’s desire to dwell and be completely at home within us.
However, there is a warning I believe Jesus is speaking to Martha, just as He did to the seven churches in Revelation. The warning is the distraction of works for the Lord verses being intimate with Him. If we are not careful, our doing can become a deterrent in building an intimate relationship with God.
Luke 10:40 “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” How many times do we act like Martha? How often do we allow the preparations of doing ministry to interfere with our walk with God? How many times do we rely on our service for the Lord to be credited towards our relationship with Him? Please understand my heart, God desires for us to serve Him but not when our service triumphs our relationship with Him.
I started to reflect even more. Lord, have I allowed the works you have called me to do for your glory to interfere with my relationship with you? If it’s not my service of ministry interfering with my relationship with Him, then what other distractions are causing an interference with my walk with God? Is it my job, spouse, relationships, illness, family, and/or my ‘to do’ list? Or have I allowed my own selfish ambitions and goals to interfere with my love for Christ? Listen to the words of Christ speaking to the church of Ephesus in Revelations. Revelations 2:2-4 “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false…” “Yet, I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” How many times have we forsaken Christ who is our first love by placing emphasis on our works and deeds? How many times have we forsaken our first love by esteeming material things verses building quality of time with God? How many times have we forsaken our first love by being political correct fear of rejection?
Didn’t Martha fall into this trap? She wanted to be close to Jesus but somewhere along the way, the priority of ‘serving’ and ‘becoming’ became her focus instead ‘resting’ and ‘developing’.
Jesus spoke to the heart of the matter. He knew she was upset and worried about many things, yet He knew what was best – time at His feet. Here is what we fail to realize – God knows every detail that is occurring within our lives. He knows what is causing anxiety within our hearts. He knows the steps needed in helping a loved one. He knows our worries about our kids or spouse? He knows the emotional and physical stress we endure when a loved one if ailing? He knows every detail. There is nothing hidden from Him.
He also knows the importance of sitting at His feet and abiding in what His Word would bring. So often, we try to handle this situation or that circumstance; yet God is so willing to direct our steps and provide solutions for us if only we would sit down with Him and allow Him to speak to our hearts.
God wants us to learn from both Martha and Mary.
Mary made a decision that would have a profound impact on her life. She chose what was better. She chose not to allow the distractions to interfere with her walk with God. Her fellowship time with God was a high priority in her life. How we too need to be like Mary and not allow the distractions of life to interfere not only with our time with God but our relationship with Him.
I also love the fact that Mary exercised wisdom. Instead of allowing the distractions to overwhelm her, she had learned to take those matters directly to Him. How much better we would be if we would do the same?
So perhaps, God is using this teaching to have you reflect upon your own walk with God. Let me ask you, have you engaged with Him and invited Him into your heart? Or perhaps, He is asking to reevaluate where you have placed your priorities? Or is He asking you to be like Mary and make the Him the choice?
How I pray the Lord will bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.