Being a Mary in a Martha world….

I’ve been dwelling on a certain passage since it was brought up at the Singles Retreat I attended at the first of the month. Luke 10:38-42 is a small passage, and one that is probably skimmed over in reading, but it’s got a punch to it. The more I’ve given it thought, and tried to push it aside, the more God’s brought it to my attention. He keeps reminding me of it, keeps placing it in my path, and He keeps reiterating those words that Jesus spoke. “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.

You see, Martha was distracted by her serving. She thought that meant the world to Jesus in the moment. She thought she was doing the exact right thing to please Him and bring Him glory. All the while, her sister was sitting at His feet listening to His teaching. I’ve really thought about it, and concentrated on the part where it says she was distracted by her serving. It puzzled me for a while, because I naturally thought “How could serving God be a distraction?” That’s when I knew, I was guilty of the same thing. When we question an obvious point from God, that to me speaks to my inward sinfulness and His conviction of it on my heart. The last two weeks He’s really pointed out to me when I’ve been serving Him and pushing me to question whether it was for Him, or myself. But I think we talk ourselves out of it being a distraction from God, since we feel it’s ultimately giving Him glory. When it becomes an obligation, it’s not serving Him with loving hearts. Obedience comes from a loving heart, not an obligated one. When we become so focused on the “to do” for God and forget to listen for Him in our lives, we allow the service to become our idol. I truly believe that. If God’s not in what I’m doing, why am I doing it? If I’ve become so engrossed in how I can serve Him that I’m not taking time to talk to Him and then in return listen to Him, how can I be serving Him in truth?

Today I became really convicted over this, and wrote out some questions for myself. I sat and thought about all the little things I become so engrossed in and worried over while I’m serving Him that I allow it to become my focal point. To quote a pastor, “You take something holy and make it profane.” In all honesty, that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking a call by God to serve Him in a capacity and turning it into some ridiculous nonsense that turns my focus from God Himself and onto petty, minute issues. I’m not saying how I’m serving is petty or distracting. I am however saying that I’ve taken it and made it into a distraction and an obligation, not God’s calling for me. I’ve fought with Him on this and really questioned why He placed me where He did to begin with. I think that’s where my self-centeredness comes in, and my flesh rears it’s ugly head. That’s when I start saying “Well, drop it…move it out of your life completely…you’re not doing it right anyways, so why bother?” I have to be careful in those moments to not lose sight of what God’s ultimate plan is, and what His great call is for us all. It’s easy to become discouraged and distracted, to complain and whine about those around you, but at the end of it all, I’m alone before God. I have to speak to my actions, my heart, and my motivations in all things.

Ultimately, I want to be a Mary. One who sits at Jesus’s feet and worships Him. Completely and utterly focused on His word and His truth. I do believe this is a Martha world, where everyone is striving for something and pointing to others in what they aren’t doing, instead of realizing that within ourselves we’re the ones distracted and troubled over something insignificant. I believe we war against that in ourselves, and in the world we live in. But that cannot be an excuse. Excuses are the things we tell ourselves to comfort our sinfulness. It’s also the things that lead us into self-pity and feeling like we’re the only ones in the fight. These are all lies, and must be claimed as such. My prayer for myself is that I will focus in on Him. And that my attitude in service to God will be one that brings Him glory, and not self-serving. I pray my prideful motivations will be squashed and that all things will point to Him and His honor and glory. My focus, though, is on Him. If I’m not in alignment with Him, how can I expect to hear His call?

Psalm 73:25-“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon the earth that I desire besides You.”

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