Choosing the Good
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that He entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, 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 10:38-42)
This familiar story of Mary and Martha resonated greatly within my heart when I listened to it read in church this morning. As many of you know, I recently had surgery on my kidney. This past Monday, following six weeks of recovery, I was released to resume normal activities. After six weeks of resting, I jumped straight into doing, doing and doing some more. As I walked into church this morning, I was thinking of all that I thought I needed to be done in the next few weeks. I was thinking, “How am I going to do it all?” I’m sure many of you have felt that way on many a morning. But then God sat me down and reminded me of the account of Mary and Martha, and showed me many things. Join me as we take a look at the familiar account of these two sisters and discover that “good part” that Christ asks us to choose.
At the beginning of this story (v. 39), we read that Jesus entered into a certain city and Martha received Him into her home. Let’s stop here for a minute. What a privilege to be able to physically receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your home. How blessed were Martha and Mary! And yet, we each have that same privilege to receive Christ into our homes, our hearts and our lives each and every day. How many of us come to Christ each morning and ask Him to be with us throughout the day, to lead and guide our steps, and to speak to our hearts throughout the day? We, like the Psalmist, come to Him and say, ” My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up ” (Psalm 5:3). Have we realized, though, what we just asked and in asking what we promised Him?
When we ask God to be with us throughout the day, we are committing to acknowledge His presence. When we ask Him to lead and guide our steps, we are committing to follow Him. When we ask Him to speak to our hearts, we are saying that we will listen. And yet what so often happens? We ask for His presence and then we go through a day without talking to Him. We ask for His guidance and then we go about our merry way doing whatever we so desire. We ask for Him to speak to us and then we ignore that still small voice in our hearts. My friends, we’ve pulled a Martha.
Martha invited the God of the Universe into her home and then ran around making sure that each and every thing got done, that the table was set perfectly, that the food was the exact right temperature . instead of sitting at the Lord’s feet. She invited Him in and then did just as she felt was right. Sound familiar?
As we so often do as well, Martha continues on her path. She comes to the Lord and asks Him to chastise her sister for sitting at His feet. Martha not only decides to go her own way, she also tries to tell Christ what the right way is. Now before we get shocked at Martha, let’s think honestly for a minute. How often do we tell God what we think should happen next in our lives? How often do we tell Him what we think is right and ask Him to agree? My friends, we pull a Martha all the time, don’t we? In essence, we are trying to be God by being in control. Oh, friends, this cannot be.
So what does Christ do? Christ lovingly comes to Martha and stops her in her tracks. He says, ” 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” . He could read her heart and she knew it. She indeed was ” careful and troubled ” about many things just as we are so often. What is the fix? It is to choose the right path, as Mary did, and to sit at Christ’s feet.
What does it mean for us to sit at Christ’s feet? It means to sit down and pour out hearts our before Him. What are we commanded to do when we are ” careful and troubled “? We are told in I Peter 5:7 to cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares for us. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us ” Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus “. Martha was ” careful and troubled ” because she felt that she needed to have everything perfect for Christ, instead of realizing that with the invitation of Christ into her life, He promised to supply all her need (Philippians 4:19), carry her burdens (Matthew 11:30), and to direct our paths. More than having the perfect dinner, ” one thing is needful “, and that is to sit at Christ’s feet.
So, how are we to sit at Christ’s feet in the busyness of the day?
Number one, we must come to Him in the morning and invite Him in to our days, in faith believing that He will be with us throughout the day. Secondly, we must talk to Him throughout the day. I have a dear friend who doesn’t like to say “Amen”, because she believes that her conversation with Christ is never over. Thirdly, we must go through our days with open eyes, looking for those opportunities that He places in our path to be His hands extended to this world. Lastly, we must have our ears tuned to His still small voice, that when He speaks to us, and prompts us to change our path, we follow Him. We cannot forget that God has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and that our days are in His hands. We must follow Him throughout the day instead of our to-do lists. If we follow Him, we will complete each and every task that He desires to be completed.
Friends, just as the Lord sat down with Martha, I believe that He sat down with me this morning. I pray that He has sat down with you as well. It’s time that we all start meaning it when we ask Him to be with us throughout the day, to lead and guide our steps, and to speak to our hearts throughout the day. A day in His presence, following His lead, is a day like none other. Invite Him in, that you might experience a day with Jesus.