“You have GOT to see this, babe,” my husband says as he urges me to come and see his new eighteen-wheeler idling outside my kitchen window. I’m running around my kitchen trying to whip up something for lunch for him because it’s one o’clock in the afternoon and I’ve fallen behind schedule. “I can’t right now, I’m trying to cook lunch for you!” He grabs me by the arm and says, “No, come on! Let’s go for a ride!” And so, I reluctantly put down my whisk, leave the microwave running at 32 seconds, and run outside. The ride was a little bumpy and quite noisy, but definitely a memorable experience. I don’t know why boys like loud noises and big tires, but the smile on my husband’s face proved this still to be true! After we arrived back home, I thought to myself – I could’ve refused to ride and continued to prepare lunch, but I would’ve missed out on sharing in my husband’s joys and making them my own.
In a similar way, Jesus draws us to experience His joys, to see His heart, and to grow in the knowledge of Him every day through spending time with Him. When I think of the invitation I am offered to spend time with Jesus, I’m reminded of Luke 10:38-42. This passage brings us to the home of Mary and Martha. Martha was busy preparing her home for Jesus and his disciples while her sister, Mary, was seated at Jesus’ feet listening to what He said. We can glean from the same truths Jesus was teaching these two women about what happens when we neglect or choose to make God and His Word the first priority in our lives.
When God’s Word Is Not Our First Priority, We Become Distracted
Verse 40 says, “But Martha was distracted with all her preparations;”
Martha invites Jesus into her home but becomes distracted with all that she thought needed to be done to prepare for Him. None of the things that she desires to do are necessarily wrong, for after all, she is the one who invited the Lord into her home in the first place! Everything she does is FOR the Lord, so what is so wrong with that? She is distracted. She forgets that the presence of God in the flesh is in her midst! Maybe you’re not one for cooking or cleaning or arranging tables, but if you search your days, I bet you are able to find a few distractions or things you’ve chosen over spending time reading the Word of God. If He is not who we go to first, there will be plenty of things that will beg for our attention. When our relationship with Christ and knowing His heart is not our first priority, even good things, like acts of service, can distract us from Him. Be diligent to know the Lord and His heart for you, and let your service to Him flow only from that! What is distracting you from drawing closer to the Lord through His Word?
When God’s Word Is Not Our First Priority, We Compare Ourselves to Others
Verse 40 says that Martha came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me!”
Martha becomes frustrated, comparing herself with Mary, and complaining to the Lord about it. We give in to many wrong attitudes we don’t make attentiveness to Christ our first priority. Comparing and complaining are just a couple of them! It is tempting for us, as girls, to look around and measure what we do and who we are by those around us. If you are not choosing to listen to Christ first and foremost, then you will inevitably begin to compare and complain. Have you ever looked at a friend and wished for her talents, her personality, her hair, or her life? Ephesians 4:13 says that we are to “grow into a mature [woman] with a stature measured by Christ’ fullness.” We measure who we are and what we do only by the fullness of Christ in us, not anything else.
When God’s Word Is Our First Priority, We Choose What Is Good
Verse 41 says that Jesus answered her and said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
The tenderness of Jesus is drawing Martha away from her distractions and showing her the necessity of listening to Him. When we spend time listening to the Lord, we are able to know His heart for us and push away other distractions battling for our attention. Romans 12:2 says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we can know the will of God, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect. We choose what is good by exalting Christ first before anything else.
Is listening to Jesus your first priority? Are you easily distracted by doing things FOR God rather than spending time WITH Him to know His heart? To answer these questions, evaluate how many hours go by in a day that you don’t speak to the Lord. When you don’t know what to say or what to do, do you turn to the Word of God to guide you? Lauren Daigle’s song “First” says, “Before I speak a word, let me hear Your voice. And in the midst of pain let me feel Your joy. I want to know You in every season, every moment. Before I speak a word, I will bring my heart and seek You first. You are my treasure and my reward. Let nothing ever come before I seek You first.” Can you sing this truthfully? Friend, know it is God’s heart and desire that before you serve, you sit at His feet. Before you are tempted to compare and complain, consult Him. May God write His heart on yours through your reading of the Word. May you seek to know Him first!
Lord, show me where I have been distracted from You. When I am tempted to compare myself and complain, draw me to Your heart and fill me with the likeness of Christ. Help me to seek You first before anything else. Help me to choose what is good through spending time with You so I can know Your heart!
Article “Has mission become our idol?”: www.churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/152162-skye_jethani_has_mission_become_our_idol.html
Listen to Lauren Daigle, “First”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbWQV3OiRqA