Luke 10:38-42 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
We are human “beings”, not human “doings”. Martha was distracted from “being” by her need to be “doing” something. She wanted to please the Lord, to make Him welcome in her home and comfortable at her table, and there is nothing wrong with that, but there had become an imbalance in her relationship with the Lord versus her serving Him. She had become distracted and had lost her focus on what was the most important in her life. Jesus pointed out that her problem was not that she had too much to do but that she was troubled and worried and that caused her to try to over-compensate by doing. Mary, on the other hand, had learned the secret of “being”. She chose relationship over service. She knew the value of being close to the Lord, of listening to His voice and following His directions. Jesus commended her for choosing that good part of life; that which could not be taken away from her.
Worried – Greek word merimnao – means “to divide into parts”. The word suggests a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress, and pressure.
Have you ever been distracted from your focus on the Lord because of being worried about something? Martha’s need to do something for the Lord caused her to be worried, distracted, divided in her devotion to the Lord. Sometimes the need to “work for the Lord” takes precedence over “being with the Lord” and we get off balance, out of spiritual kilter, so to speak. Martha had reached that place of imbalance; she had run off into the ditch of “works”.
This morning as I was walking…..and praying, the Lord gave me a picture of me up in His lap resting my head on His chest, totally enveloped in His arms, being jostled up and down on His knees, just being a child in her Daddy’s arms. What a relaxing, restful picture that was. Peace washed over me and the thought of everything that I had to “do” faded out of the picture. He reminded me of the scripture in Mark 10:13-15:
Then they brought the little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Jesus said the kingdom of God is like little children coming in total dependence upon their Father. He wants us to come to Him as little children, being who we are, not striving to work to gain His attention or love. He loves us because He is love! He can’t do anything but love us and nothing we can do or not do will change His love for us. We are His children!
As a parent I love for my children to call me or come to spend time with me. That happens less and less since I live some distance from them, and I feel left out of their lives if they don’t communicate with me. Imagine how God feels, as a parent, when we don’t spend time with Him. We become so busy with the details of life, and trying to run the universe on our own so we can work for Jesus, that we fail to come into His presence and just “be” with Him.
Matthew 18:1-5 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”
We can’t even begin to see what God has in store for us in His kingdom without humbling ourselves as little children and being being born again, thus establishing a relationship with Him. All the work that we do for Him does not even compare with the greatness that we have as His children! We can never work enough to earn God’s love and favor, or a place in His kingdom. It is ours for just being His children. We are the greatest in His kingdom, not because of some work that we do for Him, but simply because we are His children! He places all of us on the same level playing field. Our stance in His eyes is simply that of being a child.
Are you trying to please God through works? Has your “doing” taken the place of your “being”? Do you get so busy with your day that you forget to come to the Lord for strength and direction? All of these are indications that life has become out of balance and needs an adjustment to bring things back into their proper places. But it’s a simple adjustment; simply a tweaking of priorities!
Father, I thank You that You love us even when we become out of balance. Thank You for making the way possible for us to come back to You. Please forgive us for getting caught up in “doing” things for You instead of “being” with You. Help us to prioritize our relationship with You and choose that best part like Mary did. Bring us back into balance, Lord. Help us to give You the best of our time, our life and our abilities. As we yield ourselves to You, Father, please show us the important things that you would have us do and how to discard the unimportant things. Open our eyes to see what You see that is important. Give us Your vision, Oh Lord! Thank You, Father, for forgiving us for our failures and weaknesses, and for restoring us to a right relationship with You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.