“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40-42).
In American Christianity we are very familiar with “serving well”. We serve our enemies and our friends. We are quick to help, quick to step in, quick to get the job done. We plan, form a team, prepare, organize, and exact a method to “get’er done!” We’re involved in our children’s school’s, we’re involved in “clubs” in athletics, or organizing. We’re on the hospitality team, were on the service team, we’re a greeter, a giver, a tither, a “helper”…..we’re frustrated, tired, angry, weak, weary, heavy laden….and we’re EXHAUSTED!
Am I saying we should not help? What do you think I am saying? Yes, we should help. Yes, it is good. But that is missing the point. I hear the Lord saying to His children to just….STOP. To FIRST, seek His face, meaning, His presence. Meaning, ENJOY YOUR DAD. Your heavenly Dad who loves to be with His children. Who loves to impart Himself to you. If you start here you will receive His grace for what’s ahead, His wisdom for the task, His joy for the job, His freedom to make decisions based on love and not guilt! For when we begin here, we will end up where He wants us and not where we feel we should be, or where guilt has led us.
Why are we so quick to serve and yet so slow to listen? Because someone somewhere told us that it is required of us, and that it’s our responsibility to take care of every need that arises, whether we are called, equipped, and qualified or not. It lays on our shoulders alone. THIS IS A LIE! (side note: Also it’s the trap of people pleasing. And the fear of not being liked!)
Now, before I move on I want to quickly add a scripture from Acts just to point out that not everyone is called to do what everyone thinks everyone should be doing! This is a verse some have trouble with, but that’s okay
“It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables“… Peter announces this due to a need which was being neglected among the people, saying “therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty [the duty being to serve tables for the widows who were being neglected in the food distribution]. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:3-4). Enough said. Now back to the core of this post.
Busyness, hurried, planning, organizing, going, going…..going is NOT of the Lord! Isn’t that freeing? Martha thought she was going to be praised by Jesus and then that He would go and rebuke her sister Mary. Jesus turned the tables on her. The Lord is saying to you…”sit at My feet” learn from Me. Soak in Me. Only after that can we know where to go and what to do. Another example of this is the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. Let me start here: The younger son who was willing to be a servant in his Father’s house was beside himself when his Father welcomed him back home with open arms and reestablished his identity as a son, settling any question of his identity by putting on him the family ring, sandals, and the robe and throwing him a gigantic party! Yet, when the older son came in from the field, after “serving faithfully” his Father for so many years, cannot believe that this brother of his who is a piece of trash (in his eyes) was just accepted back just as he is, filthy and all, with the only requirement being a broken and humble heart and a heart of gratitude to his Father (because this is how we all come to the cross. Humble and broken, then thankful) WOW!
You see, two stories. One, a disgruntled, angry sister who thought she was required to serve vs a sister who just rested at Jesus feet, content to be in His presence. She was blessed by Jesus…The second story, a brother who thought he was required to serve in order to please his Father, and was also commending himself at the same time vs a brother who was just thankful to be a ….SON in His Father’s house, celebrated, and free to enjoy the blessings of being a child of his Father. And you know what? Listen carefully. IT IS ONLY FROM THIS PLACE OF SONSHIP, FROM THIS PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE AND FREEDOM TO BE LOVED AS A CHILD OF GOD THAT WE WILL FREELY MOVE TO SERVE OTHERS OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE LOVE WE CARRY AS CHILDREN OF GOD!! Please pass this on Thank you and God bless you for reading!