Too much of a Martha, and not enough of a Mary.

I’ve been uncomfortable in my complacency for a couple of months now, yet too confused to do anything about it because it seemed that everything I have ever tried in the past has landed me right back where I started in beginning with more wear-and-tear than I bargained for. On Sunday I prayed and asked the Lord to do a work in my life – I laid the fleece out on the lawn, if you will. I prayed that He would reveal Himself to me and grab ahold of my heart.

I prayed that my Prayer Life would become real – not just going through the motions of asking for things when I’m in need, but that I would learn to praise Him when things are taking place that are perhaps unpleasant. I prayed that I would be more concerned with what God thought about my prayer life than what my prayers sounded like to others. God doesn’t care about fancy words and impressive praise — He cares about what’s in my heart.

I prayed that I would learn to take my Bible Reading time seriously – not just reading a few chapters to check off the box; not just randomly opening my Bible before I go to sleep, too tired to even comprehend what I’m reading.

And instead of asking God to “force Himself on me” like I normally do, I asked that He would give me the strength and the will to do it because I WANT to do it, not because I HAVE to do it. I’ve always known that God is a Gentleman and that He will never force His children to do anything they don’t want to do, but I had this idea in my mind that if I asked God to force me to do something, He would be happy to oblige my request – because, after all, I asked Him to; however, He never did.

That is when I realized that I had been praying the wrong way; I had been praying for the wrong things. My focus and wants were going in the wrong direction, though I had good intentions.

I’ve always had a will of iron and a stubborn persistence to do what I determined I was going to do. So from there it was very easy to forge ahead and serve God in my own strength, all the while thinking that it was God who was helping me. I think instead He was sitting back waiting for me to realize I was doing it all wrong. After all, I never asked for His help – not really, anyways – so why would He help me? Perhaps that is why I have faced ministry burn-out time and time again.

Yesterday was the first night of our Spring Revival Meeting at my church. Pastor Tony Shirley is our special speaker for the meeting; however, due to storms and other bad weather, his flight was delayed 3 times, cancelled, and then rerouted – so he wasn’t even in Detroit by the time the service started last night. Therefore, my Pastor preached a message titled “At The Feet of Jesus” to start off our meeting. The message was exactly what I had prayed for — it was no accident that Pastor Shirley was stuck in an airplane somewhere, late to our meeting. God had orchestrated it to be just so because He had given my Pastor a message to preach that was a direct answer to my Prayer. I’m so thankful He did.

Luke 10:38-42 says: “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

My problem is that I’ve been too much of a Martha, and not enough of a Mary. I’ve been spending too much time serving and not enough time sitting at the feet of Jesus. The points of Pastor’s message about sitting “At the Feet of Jesus” were that…

  1. It’s a Place of Stillness
    a. A place where we can forget our cares
    b. A place where we can feed our souls
    c. A place where we can focus our priorities
  2. It’s a Place of Supplication
  3. It’s a Place of Service
    a. Give your best
    b. Give your all

Pastor stated that “while Martha laboured, Mary listened.” I need to learn how to listen — really listen — not just hear what I want to hear and go about with whatever I want to do.

I’m thankful for this answer to prayer, and I’m thankful for my Pastor being sensitive to the Lord’s leading and instruction. I’m also thankful for a church that is loving and gracious. I’m looking forward to the rest of the meeting this week and watching as the Lord works in my heart and the hearts of others who will also be in attendance.

Are you too much of a Martha, and not enough of a Mary?

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Posted on April 11, 2013, in Christian Life, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I like what your pastor said. Best wishes!

  2. But … in church if it wasn’t for the Marthas then the Marys would not be able to sit at the feet of Jesus. The challenge is achieving a balance between serving and spending that precious time in Jesus’ presence.

  3. Hi Heather! I hope all is well, I know it’s been a long time. I want to share the link to the Jeremiah Summer Lecture if you’re interested or know anyone who is interested in hearing about church history and the scriptures from the book of Jeremiah: http://www.thewayofthelord.venintl.com/ Th event is starting next Monday fyi. Take care! God is on your side!

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