We live busy lives. We move, we shake, we are going, going, going. Even in a “church” culture, we are busy with this ministry or that ministry, we are doing our best to serve and please the Lord.
The problem comes when we allow this busyness to consume our soul and spirit. The “what we are doing” has replaced the “why we are doing it” in our motives, in our lives. Working FOR God becomes so front and center that we forget to take time to stop and listen TO God.
Luke 10:38-42 tells the story of the what vs. the why in the lives of Mary and Martha. Jesus was good friends with the sisters and their brother, Lazarus, and they invited Him into their home to visit. They prepared a meal and were gathered together and something interesting happens. Mary had done her share of the work in the kitchen and then had gone to listen to Jesus as he talked and taught. At this, Martha felt neglected after Mary left the kitchen, and she began to complain and to suggest that neither Jesus nor Mary really cared!
Warren Wiersbe reminds us “few things are as damaging to the Christian life as trying to work for Christ without taking the time to commune with Christ.” Remember what Jesus said in John 15:5, “without Me you can do nothing!”
So Mary chose the better part, the part that could not be taken from her. Maybe, today, many of us can identify with Martha much more than we can Mary – in all of our busyness, we have been ignoring Jesus. Martha’s problem was not that she had too much work to do, but that she allowed her work to DISTRACT her and pull her apart! If serving Christ makes us difficult to live with, then something is terribly wrong with our service! The most important part of our walk with Christ is the part that only God sees. Unless we meet Christ personally and privately – CONSISTENTLY – we will soon end up like Martha…busy but not blessed. But if you look at John 12:1-2 you see that Martha must have learned this lesson, because she prepared a feast for Jesus and his disciples and her brother and sister and did not complain at all. She had God’s peace in her heart because she had learned to sit at the feet of Jesus. She became an undistracted listener so that her service was no longer a chore but a blessing!
So begin to seek times of listening to Jesus in your life. Spend time with Him at His feet (in His Word). Don’t just do a bunch of stuff for Him. The time that we spend with Him gives purpose to the things that we do for Him. I had a pastor friend that constantly reminded me to “keep the main thing the main thing!” When we give Jesus priority, the work and all other things will make much more sense! So let me encourage you to stay focused and don’t get distracted!