“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.””
Luke 10:38-42 NKJV
There is so much happening in our world today, and I have to admit that I have a hard time keeping up. In my sixty years (boomer trigger warning), I have never seen so many things happening at one time. There seems to be no peace in this world, and world war three seems just a tweet away.
On the spiritual front, there is great opposition from all sides, as people are seeking after their own appetites and want no one to stand in the way, or say anything that runs counter to what they want. Even those who are believers find themselves looking for what they can do to bring about the outcome they desire.
Many are looking to political leaders who can deliver them, only to have all that they have fought for, undone when the party of choice is removed. In the aftermath of losing, they rush headlong into parapolitical movements and ideologies that give them the impression that there is hope. They become busy, and focused on everything but God.
Once again in the book of Luke, I went back to chapter ten, to mine more of the great treasure. I paused on the story of Mary and Martha, two sisters who were good friends of Jesus. Martha was the one who rushed about doing all the things to bring about outcomes. She was about getting all in order so she could adequately welcome Jesus. Then there was Mary, who sat at His feet, dwelling in His presence.
There is great truth for we who come after Mary and Martha, as we are in a time when it is easy to find ourselves rushing about breathlessly, trying to get a handle on all that appears to be happening in our world. Far too many of us are seeking after earthly leaders to fix the problem for us and not seeking after God.
“It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.”
Psalms 118:8-9 NKJV
We have fogotten that mere men can do little, but through God, all is possible. Through much trouble, I have learned to be like Mary, seeking the good part. My transformation has come at the cost of my vitality, to the extent that I now have few options but to sit and dwell in the presence of the Lord.
I have learned to stop trying to change things myself, and rest in Christ. In not striving I have seen God work in ways I could not have imagined, had I continued trying to do things myself.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalms 46:10 NKJV
With or with out my effort, Jesus will be exalted. The blessing is that He has given me a mission as He has chosen to accomplish His works through those who believe.
Brothers and sisters, let us spend a little more time seeking after the Lord and less time striving. There is blessing in balance, and I have found that by prayerfully approaching the work set before me, I am a far more effective witness for the Lord. Through prayer and the reading of His word, I am directed by the Holy Spirit, and my efforts are more fruitful.
I also find that I have greater peace in these times of uncertainty, as I know that my God has gone before me, and has already written the end of the story.
Let us lean on the Lord, and dwell at His feet. In doing so, our efforts will be empowered and the Gospel will go forth. The world we live in can only be changed by the Good News, of Jesus who died for our sins, who was buried and rose again. Our world is groaning for change.
All the strife we see are symptoms of sin as it destroys our world. From the culture we live in, to the very environment we and the air we breathe, sin is taking a toll. But we can rest on this: every aspect of life can be made new in Jesus.
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
Romans 8:20-23 NKJV