“But Martha was distracted with much serving…. But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:40a, 41-42)
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus paid a visit to some of His friends. These friends were three siblings who lived together: Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. In the account recorded in Luke, Martha went a little crazy when Jesus came to visit. She started performing all kinds of services, probably things like cleaning the house and cooking. While she was working, Jesus was teaching. Instead of helping Martha with the work, Mary, Martha’s sister, sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him teach. This made Martha rather frustrated, to the point that she actually interrupted Jesus and demanded that He make Mary help her. Jesus’ answer must have surprised her. Instead of rebuking Mary for leaving the work, He commended her. At that moment, listening to Jesus was more important than working for Him.
There is a time and place for everything. Service is good, but if it gets in the way of listening to God, it’s time to ask a serious question: What are you really worshiping? There’s nothing wrong with working for God. In fact, God calls us to work. But He also created us to have a relationship with Him. It’s hard to cultivate a relationship when one person is always off doing something else. It is essential that we make time to listen to God. Even though He is no longer physically on earth, He still teaches us. It’s our job to take the time to listen to Him and learn more about Him. If you spend all of your time working for God and never any of it with God, are you really honoring God with that work? Or yourself?
This week, what is one way you can set aside time to listen to God? How can you take a break from the business of life and worship God by spending time with Him?