Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
The other night, at re:generation, we were in step 11, which talked about being intimate with God. As I was preparing for the class and reading the material, I was struck about my prayer life and how very unintimate my prayer life has become. I guess I knew that, but really hadn’t given it too much thought lately.
Then a couple days later, I woke up about 5AM. I tried for a while, and after realizing sleep was a lost cause for that morning, I decided to read my Bible for a while. I happened to be in Luke 10 that morning and I came to verses 38-41:
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Now, I’ve read this many times and even heard sermons on it. But the meaning of this either went over my head or has long been forgotten. It is a rich passage worthy of our attention. I have also been told, and believe it is true, that the Bible is very practical to our everyday life. So, I wondered, “what is here that I need to see and attend to.” As I thought about this, I became aware of several things.
First, notice that the passage says that Martha was distracted (v40). Actually, she was angry at Mary for leaving her alone to do all the work. So, she brought her complaint to Jesus. Jesus gently and lovingly told Martha that she was troubled everyday matters but there is something more important than serving. More on that in a minute.
Then notice Mary. She was silent during all this. That probably made Martha even angrier. But Jesus, in His gentle response, told Martha that Mary had chosen the best response to Him being there. She sat at Jesus’ feet and took in what He was saying.
So, what about us. It is important to know that serving is not the main issue here. We are called to serve and serving is important. But we are also called to KNOW and LOVE God with all our heart and soul. Jesus is simply saying that we will serve better by knowing Him than we will be working harder. I don’t know about you, but I find myself serving and serving, and often becoming frustrated over it. That should be our first lesson here, to be aware of our hearts. If our hearts are weighed down and anxious over our serving, then we need to regroup. We need to get before the LORD, seek to know Him better and ask Him for His strength and peace.
Second, at least for me, comes the question, how do we really “sit at Jesus’ feet” and get to know Him better. I must admit, I do not find this easy but I have some suggestions to help us. Think of what it takes to get to know someone. First, it takes time. You cannot really know someone unless you sit down and talk with them. We also need to listen to the person we are talking with. God wants us to take time and talk and listen to Him. In other words, pray. I’ve learned over the years that the words we use or our posture is not as critical as just taking time to be with Him. So first and foremost, we need to make time. Actually, we need to make Him the priority of our time. Mornings are good, but there is no law that we must do that. Honestly, I think mornings are the best, but except for weekends, I usually spend my lunch hour with Jesus or I find another part of my day if lunch hour is not possible.
I probably need to bring this to a close. Can I give you one more practical step to spending time with Jesus? Many years ago (this is one of those things I have forgotten until recently), I was taught that reading meditatively in the Psalms is a great way to learn to praise God. The first Psalm I ever really tried that with was Psalm 103. Since then, I have found many more Psalms such as 111, 139 and 145 to be great Psalms of praise. I also think it is important to know that praise and thanksgiving are not the same. Simply put, thanksgiving is to thank God for his blessings to us (family, jobs, health, etc.). Praise is acknowledging who God is in his person. As you read the Psalms meditatively, you will learn a lot about who God is. We often call this “God’s attributes.” For example, some of God’s attributes are His eternalness, His wisdom, His love, His faithfulness, His mercy…I could go on and on. The simple thing to do is when you read passages that exhibit God’s attributes, pray them back to Him. Just sit at humbly at His feet and acknowledge how great our LORD is. Soon, we will have developed that habit of doing this. But if our praise is from the heart, God will always be pleased. He desires for us to praise Him!!!
I hope this doesn’t sound preachy but I wanted to show this in a practical way. The decisions we make in life will determine the quality of our walks with God. May we learn to make the right decisions and sit at our LORD’s feet and worship Him. Blessings.