In our church culture, we do a lot of things. Good things. Feed, clothe and minister to the under privileged and homeless, prison ministry, host health fairs and blood drives, walk or run for good causes, distribute school supplies for those in need and turkey dinners at Thanksgiving. We sponsor children and youth in various activities to make sure they receive well rounded teaching and exposure. We host conferences, concerts, plays and revivals just to name a few. And these are all good things.
But for you, for me, for us are they always GOD things? Are those good things necessarily what God wants us to do at any given time? Are we more concerned about those "good" things than we are with seeking the God things in life?
"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 few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)
Please don't misunderstand Jesus, what Martha was doing was good and necessary. She and Mary had guests and they needed to be attended to - but did it need to be done at that very moment? Didn't she have time, like Mary, to just sit at the feet of Jesus and absorb what He had to say? At least for a little while?
Now, in Martha's defense, the cultural norm of the time did not really allow women to be instructed in scripture. That's one of the reasons Jesus was considered so radical and dangerous by His contemporaries. Martha felt she was just going with the social norm. The disciples were men and guests so they had a right to fellowship with Jesus and hear His teaching. But Mary? A woman and co-hostess of this gathering? She should be helping to make the guests feel welcome! Martha just didn't understand at the time that Jesus was establishing that everyone, even those society deemed unfavorable, should take time to be instructed by Him. He was after all, the Word made flesh! (John 1:14)
I would like to think that if Jesus were here in the flesh today, I would find myself sitting at His feet. But that is probably a lofty thought. I am able to sit at His feet everyday, yet sometimes I have found I am too busy with life and too busy doing "good" to just spend quality time at my Master's feet reading His word and fellowshipping with Him in prayer.
Sure, most days I read the Bible and I pray everyday. But can it be counted as actually sitting at His feet? Am I more concerned with other things like attending conferences, revivals, or writing a blog?
Don't get me wrong, these things are good ... But is it God?
Over a year ago, there was a revival being hosted at my church and I was expected to attend the revival. It turned out though, that God had other plans. The week of the revival, God embarked me on a study of the book of Hebrews. I was only able to study when my loving adorable daughter, who was barely one at the time, was asleep. While studying on that Thursday night, when I "should" have been at the revival, the Lord showed me that I had been harboring some unforgiveness in my heart. Quite frankly, it shocked me because I thought I had dealt with it. Piece by piece, bit by bit the Holy Spirit showed me the evidence.
I was undone.
I got on my knees and repented.
If I had been more concerned with doing a good thing that night and gone to the revival instead of spending quality time at Jesus' feet, I probably would still be walking around with that unforgiveness.
How many times have we been so caught up with the church thing, doing good, that we forget to be caught up with Jesus? And how many more times have we gotten so entangled in our daily lives - family, friends, work, recreation - that we forget about our relationship with Jesus all together?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing any of these good things, but we must be mindful that we don't miss those God things. Those moments when we should be sitting at our Master's feet instead of spending time with others or going to a gospel concert. Our relationship with Jesus should be of utmost importance and guarded from those things we deem good, yet robs us from His presence.
I prayed a prayer, "Lord, remind me to be more like Mary and not Martha." I want to make sure I spend quality time at Jesus' feet so when I endeavor to do the good things, the Martha things, I am sure to know that I am being led to do it, so it is indeed a God thing.
Just Around the Corner,