Have you ever found yourself struggling to have proper personal time with God because you have so much to do? It’s hard to find relief and strength from our spiritual walk with God if we don’t have our priorities lined up correctly. Christians are particularly vulnerable to priority mix-ups, because we often separate our secular life from our religious life. Home things are home things, and church stuff is church stuff. And that can get confusing. In reality, our spiritual life should be inseparable from all that we do. More dangerous than all, we are susceptible to hiding our lack of a relationship with God behind religious activity for God. Often, we think this is a sign our priorities are outlined correctly.
Martha learned to focus on relationship over activity
Martha from the Bible was a dedicated woman. It is not that serving Jesus wasn’t a priority for her, it definitely was. The Bible says she was “cumbered” with care to make sure Jesus was being properly served in her home (Luke 10:40). However, sometimes we prioritize our own idea of what service to God looks like instead of simply praying more about what He would have us do. Instead of increasing our quiet time with Jesus, we may feel tempted to sign up for another volunteer opportunity at church (even though we already are signed up for something and our schedule is over-full). It’s just easier to do that. It gives a false sense of productivity in our spiritual life.
Martha learned that service isn’t just what others see
Also, guess what! Mary, who was sitting on the floor listening to Jesus share the light of His kingdom, was actually serving Jesus. How? Well, she was doing His will. “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41). Service to God is not doing all the things we think we should be doing, rather, it is doing all the things He knows we should be doing. You see, going to church and to Wednesday night prayer meetings is an excellent way to serve Jesus, but do you know what He really wants before your regular church attendance? Personal time with you. He wants a personal relationship with you. He wants to build intimacy with you. Your religious activity does not equal spiritual connectivity.
Martha’s active service has its place
It’s not like Jesus didn’t appreciate all that Martha was trying to do, but He knew her need. What is your need? Maybe you realize you have been hiding behind religious activity and never actually got down to the roots of your relationship with God. Maybe you are overwhelmed because you realize your relationship faded away, and you didn’t even notice. There is still hope! Ask Jesus about the changes you should make in your life. On the other hand, maybe you are diving into private time with Jesus every day but haven’t considered how He would like to use you in your church community (and beyond). I encourage you to pray and ask God to lead you to the opportunities of service He knows are right for you at this time. If we ask Him to keep our priorities straight, He will. Remember, ultimately, serving the Lord begins by sitting at His feet.