A new life, getting old?
Do you ever find yourself thinking of where your life would have been if you never made the decision to follow the Christ? I do. Sometimes I am extremely thankful and grateful for the redemption that has been given to me so freely, and yet other times, well, I wonder if I would have a free-er schedule, or more flexibility on weekends etc. I find myself thinking and desiring a schedule that is totally and utterly at God’s disposal- reality is that not every day do I offer my own selfish schedule to the Lord. Perhaps you relate? For me, I usually have an idea of what my morning is going to look like, and what I am going to eat for lunch and what I am going to make for dinner, what I need to pick up after work, who I am going to meet with, etc… . I believe each of us have a rough sketch of what of our schedules look like each day- and what you are going to be faced with this day. It’s straining to participate in all things that you have already committed yourself you to. Each of us can fill in our own blanks. Now is the time to un-attach ourselves with these things (worldly or not) and to re-invest ourselves in the Lord.
I do have a question though: What time is left for the Lord to speak or work through us, or just for us to take a moment and be with Him privately during the day? I don’t mean your 20 minute or 2 hour devotion in the morning or in the evening. I am not talking about the church services you attend on Sunday or mid-week. I don’t mean the bible studies, the college groups, the Christian groups, or even fellowship with other brothers and sisters! Looking past these “holy” fillers- I am talking about a heart to heart with our Maker.
Please understand what I am trying to say- isn’t it pathetic that we have to ask the Lord to interrupt us because we are too busy (even busy doing works for Him)? God should never be the person waiting in line to speak with me; I should be patiently waiting on HIM! A common story we are all very acclimated with (at least I am and have been very much so lately) is written of in Luke 10. MARTHA! It doesn’t matter how much we deny it, our “American” society embraces this lifestyle and labels it as successful. Our schedules are evidence that we are all busy Martha’s! Maybe some of you are more of a Martha than the rest, but nonetheless – a MARTHA!
Luke 10: 38- 42 introduces us to the (almost) B.C. Martha…take a look….
“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.”
EXPOSURE OF FLESH IN SUPPOSED “SELFLESS” SERVICE…
The first thing I was thinking when I first read this portion of scripture was MARTHA, what are you thinking? Complaining about your sister to -above all people- Jesus, the Messiah?!? He has soo much more important things to do – like rescuing all mankind from hell! This was a legitimate thought for me at first, but now I have to say there is more depth than judging the surface.
I realized that God wants us to bring the little things that urk us to Him, that He might expose our un-bowed hearts, and sinfulness. You see, to most people Martha was doing what was better, she was preparing a meal, welcoming Jesus, serving Jesus, and being an all around excellent host…BUT to Jesus she was a wreck. He saw right through her motivations, right to her heart. He knew that she was worried and troubled. On the outside, to you and me, she would have appeared that she was loving and such a well-put together servant! BUT, Jesus begs to differ. Looking at her heart, He recognized that she was doing this with a bitter heart towards her sister, and being more concerned with the external and temporary, than the spiritual and eternal. I can just imagine her banging pans in the kitchen to draw attention to herself! Do you ever feel like that?
Jesus wants us to be unflinching in our walk (I Corinthians 15:58 “ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”). We are to be focused fully on the goal (Philippians 3:14 “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”) and our motivation to live in this world- Sweet Jesus. Have your eyes been taken off of Him today? this week? this season? You see (and I am often guilty of this) we can fill our schedules with fellowship, church, bible studies, Christian groups, discipling, or being discipled, that we don’t take a moment to allow the Lord to see right through our hearts to see our motivation for living and doing those “Christian” activities. I guess the bottom line is that, all of these activities are great and wonderful, but beware to let them crowd out the opportunities you may have to just sit at His feet quietly. “But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life [strong’s: rest, cease from labor. Also, used in context of those who are busi-bodies = gossipers (hence the next part!)], to mind your own business…” 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11. Does this make sense?
AT HIS FEET
As long as this planet keeps spinning and we are alive, our lives will be full of “worries” and “service” very similar to Martha’s. You may be in a trying time right now, or even a time that you sense that God has abandoned you, or you haven’t heard from the Lord in a while and your walk is getting dry and rusty. I hope you hear that our God has promised that He “will never leave us nor forsake us” or abandon us as orphans (John 14:18 “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you”- speaking of the Holy Spirit) – He keeps His promises and is faithful even while we are faithless! (2 Timothy 2:3 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”) We know that the Lord has presented us with this command “therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. Are you wholly living out this request from God? What is your response?
I believe it is time to get back to the basics, and recognize the work that God wants to do within your own heart – beginning with your schedule. Sit at the feet of Jesus- even if you have to schedule additional un-traditional time to lay yourself at His holy feet in complete adoration and submission to HIM- it is worth it. Each of us (at times) can confess that we have been guilty to filling our schedule with soo many “good” things, but truly to please God is to be right at His feet where Mary was…are you at His feet today? I may have been this morning – but work, church, family, chores, errands, finances, stress etc…has shifted my temporal focus off of Him.
Set your face like a flint “For the Lord God will help me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” Isaiah 50:7. “Be sober (holy!), be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8.
Be watchful; be careful the enemy is creeping in…this is his mission…we need to be on guard (Put on your armor Ephesians 6)!
Be mindful of God. Be respectful of His deity. Be personable with His Holy Spirit. Be living in His Word. Be submitted to His Will. – Be all these things as you lay yourself at His feet. Today -choose what is better!
…..its not time wasted.