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. (Luke 10:41-42)I hard this phrase this last week and its truth rung true in my heart as I heard it: "If the devil can't make you bad He will make you busy". Never in any age of the church of Jesus Christ have we been so frantic and busy, yet really busy doing nothing. When I see a person rushing or driving the car fast I think to myself "they are busy going nowhere!'. And that is the sad state for some in the church in our day with impressive programs, packed schedules, speaking tours yet this busyness does not equal godliness nor the kingdom of God being built.We have to realize we are in a daily spiritual battle and to be ignorant of this will not make it go away. The devil is always looking for opportunities to make us ineffective in our work for the Lord and to void our lives from being a vibrant testimony for Christ. One of the main things that will rob us of our vibrant walk with the Lord is losing our intimacy with Christ. "Not now Jesus I need to go fix my car", "Not now Lord I need to watch this television program", "Not now God I need to check my Facebook updates" and the list goes on. Making a priority in our lives to cater an intimate relationship with the Lord is vital for our spiritual walks and fruitfulness (John 15:1-5). I have heard this story shared before but I feel it would be suitable to be heard here: Satan called a worldwide convention. In the opening address to his evil spirits he said, We can't keep true Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from having conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience with Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, read their Bibles, and have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time so they do not have time to have an intimate fellowship with Christ. This is what I want you to do: keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds.'When we neglect our personal communion with the Lord for serving the Lord in the end the service of the Lord suffers greatly. There is a principle that if grasped can keep us always focusing on what is right it is this: We are more important then what we do! Our spiritual health of our inner man effects our resulting spiritual work we do. The most important thing for each worker and co-worker in the kingdom of God is their personal accountability before the Lord (Romans 14:12). It is not how much we have done but how faithful we have been. It is not the quantity but the quality. It is not was the job done but rather what was the motive and intents behind it (Proverbs 16:2).The Bible says that we are to live by faith and not sight. Spiritual fruit therefore will not always be visible to our understanding and mind. So it is possible to think that we are busy, successful yet in reality spiritual speaking we are barren! Judas was one of the chosen apostles and arguably did what all that the other Apostles did. He learnt teachings from Jesus Himself, was anointed to heal the sick, cast our demons and was in the limelight. Yet in the end he was barren in his soul and sold Jesus for a few bucks. This revealed his true spiritual condition inside, let us not be deceived by ministry leaders that seem very busy. Mary and Martha are an classic example of this problem that our Lord addressed. Martha was very diligent, faithful doing her work in a proficient manner yet in her heart she was comparing herself to others. She wanted to see the work done, the job accomplished, the task completed which is admirable. Yet Jesus said to her that those things can wait, there is no rush to finish them if it sacrifices time with Me! The one great need beyond all busyness in practical life, christian life and ministry life is intimate communion and fellowship with Jesus Christ. The Lord is happy with our work for Him as He leads it. He is happy to see us work diligently yet let us always do our work stemming 100% out of our abiding time with Him. Have you been working hard, yet have drifted apart from God? Has your intimate times with the Lord waned yet your schedule has never been more busy? Consider praying this prayer and taking steps to sit down beside mary at Jesus's feet for a season. Even now to be still in His presence for the next 15 minutes.Lord, I agree that I have been to busy, that my spiritual life has been barren and unfruitful. I never been more full of ideas and plans yet not hearing your still small voice. Forgive me for going off and doing your work without You. Forgive me for being so busy that I don't have time to rest and be quiet in your presence. I come now and sit in your presence at your feet, I love you Lord please let me see You as more important then anything else. Amen.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Brother Greg, the LORD increase you more and more, you, your wife, and your children.Thank you for posting this.pq*
Wonderful! As a new follower of Christ, I am learning that it is very easy to have my eyes taken off Christ. Time spent with Him seemed much easier in the beginning, however it gets very "DRY" in a hurry when I neglect my time with Him. Thank you for this.
He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. Daniel 7:25 (ESV)
_________________SI Moderator - Jeremy Hulsey
Good post Greg.
Thanks for bringing this important lesson up, Greg. One looks to Jesus while the other looks to themself.By pointing out Mary's perceived shortcomings, Martha was really trying to draw attention to herself and showcase her "spirituality" by her efforts. This is typical of religious flesh. Martha is a type of the religious flesh (walking after the flesh, seeking approval of men), because she is engaged in working APART from Jesus and draws attention to herself by pointing out other's lack of works, in this case, "serving". Martha's service was not genuine and from her heart.Mary is a type of walking in the spirit, because she is sitting at Jesus' feet, looking to Him and listening to Him, ready to work and to carry out His will. Mary's source is the Lord while Martha's source is self. Jesus does not commend Martha at all. He just tells her that Mary is doing just fine and it will not be taken away from her. While Martha did receive Jesus into her house, it was Mary that heard HIS WORD. Luk 10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. Luk 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.Many receive Him but never learn to hear Him. And consequently they never mature or learn of His ways, busily engaged in their own works and getting men to notice them. Praise God for the Joy of Rest knowing that I am not responsible for any results, but just to be faithful to what I hear Him telling me. Pilgrim
Excellent elaborations on the article dear brother. May we be Mary's in our hearts and I truly believe there is always grace from the Lord for a Martha to covert and become a Mary!
Yes, there certainly is grace, (overflowing) and conversion is exactly what it takes. Pilgrim
Martha and Mary depicted here are the two covenants.One works based the other hearing and not just listening but soaking up into the heart the word of God.Martha was certainly doing what she knew to do, she is not a bad woman, the law was still active and in force in those days and she didn't have the full scope like we have today.I fear that most of us are a lot like Martha today. We are not working the law, but we demand from others to do what we are doing. We can only tell people the truth, and it's up to the truth and that persons perception to come to some sort of an agreement to sit and listen to more truth.Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.What Martha was doing was probably 'acceptable' but it wasn't the good or the perfect will of God. But regardless of what state Martha was in she had faith.
Great post!I personally do struggle in a different way like I'm not that active in many of the activities that I used to do, except for some few speaking engagement and street preaching. But yes I could relate to that. As I myself become so active and busy before for the work of the Lord that I didn't really know how to become really intimate with Him. Oh He is better than any accomplishment!Gen 15:1 "I am...thy exceeding great reward."