Yahoo!!! This is probably one of my favourite things to do - sitting down to write to you. Every time I do, I get so blessed because I can picture you in my mind and heart; and as I write, I can feel the Holy Spirit minister life to me too! So let's get straight into what I believe He has for us this week!
You may recall, I have been giving you my account of a mini-book I've been reading by Kenneth Copeland, called "Only 1 Thing". It's a real treasure, and today I was reminded of a caption I read in it, that said, "All Messed Up With Too Many Things to Do". Can you relate to that as much as I can?
So, we visit the portion in the Bible that we are all too familiar with, in Luke
10, where Martha (dear, hard working, responsible Martha), was hosting one of Jesus' teaching meetings in her home. If anyone had her hands full, it was Martha, particularly on this day. She was hosting Jesus and His 12 disciples and apparently many other eager guests too. She was playing hostess to a virtual multitude and trying to figure out how to keep them fed.
Now ladies, you and I know, that even with the luxury of convenient eateries that can deliver meals, or a well stocked Woolworths (for my South African friends), this can be quite an undertaking. But Martha had to prepare and cook everything from scratch! What made matters worse, she assumed Mary was going to roll up her sleeves and help her, but we all know that idea went up like a puff of smoke. This irritated Martha to no end. And when she had fumed and grumbled about it under her breath for some time, she eventually couldn't hold herself back any longer, that volcano brewing inside of her was about to erupt. Martha knew she just had to do something about this terrible injustice and was convinced that Jesus would see how wrong and selfish Mary was and how right and responsible she was and He would do something about it!
So she marched in, and interrupted the meeting. "But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!" (verse 40 Amplified). That's it Martha, good way to let off some steam! Can you picture this ladies? Not only does she interrupt the sermon, but she was so preoccupied with her 'righteous cause' that she didn't even realise she was accusing Jesus of not caring for her! How could He not take notice of the injustice done to her and her bruised feelings? And if that wasn't enough, after giving Him a piece of her mind, she promptly told Him what to do about the whole mess!
She acted completely irrationally, like she was out of her mind. Well, that's what happens when we get "overly occupied and too busy, distracted with much serving". What was Jesus' response? “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.” (verse 41,42 NKJ).
What was that one thing needed Jesus was referring to? His Word. Mary had chosen to sit at His feet and listen to His Word. When we make God's Word the principle thing in our lives - hearing and obeying its wisdom - everything else always falls into place. (Proverbs 4:7; Matthew 6:33).
Just like all of us, Martha should have known this. She had heard about the multitudes who'd spent days listening to Jesus preach. The disciples didn't have any means of feeding all the people, certainly far less than what Martha had going for her in her own kitchen that day. But everyone got fed didn't they? Jesus made a little boy's lunch miraculously grow, to feed thousands of people.
I love Mr. Copeland's take on this. In the book, he asks what would have happened if Martha had walked out of her kitchen with a big bowl of beans, slid them in front of Jesus, and said, "Sir, I'm not going to miss hearing the Living Word of Almighty God when it's being preached right here in my house. So if you want these guests to have anything to eat, I trust You'll take care of it. You fed the multitudes with a few loaves and fish. I'm sure You can certainly feed this houseful of people with these beans." Somehow I think things would have turned out quite differently.
I must confess that I have far too often, been guilty of having a 'Martha attitude', and justifying it as being responsible. Just the other day, I got so caught up in having to get through our school load and catching up on my responsibilities, that I ignored the prompting of the Holy Spirit to stop and just enjoy a spontaneous moment with my daughter. It would have only taken a moment to listen to her share something she had on her heart with me. But I brushed it away, not realising I was hurting her feelings and leaving her feeling as though my 'to do list' was more important to me than she was.
The other night, I found myself explaining to my husband why it would be too much of a bother for me to attend some evening meetings with Him, sitting under the Word, at one of my favourite conferences to be held next week. "It just doesn't fit into my schedule, and has come at such an inconvenient time..." And then, when I glanced at the little mini-book, sitting on my bedside table, I was reminded about my friend called Martha.
I know, in fact, I can and will, lay my life on this truth: the Word of God, both spoken in our spirits and written in the Bible; is the most reliable and dependable source of life and wisdom we will ever have. To treat it with the respect it deserves by welcoming it into our hearts, paying attention to it and regarding it as our most important, most valued priority, is what will cause us to not only overcome but succeed in this life.
Psalm 1 teaches us that when we give the Word first place, meditate on its wisdom and follow its principles; we will be like a well watered tree, continuously vital and full of life - always effectively producing fruit. When the heat and pressure of life, with it's demanding schedules and responsibilities come, we won't wither and fade or burn out under the pressure. Instead, everything we put our hands to, will prosper.
One thing ladies! One thing is needed - God's powerful, precious Word, and everything else will fall miraculously into place.
Love you dearly,