Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Learning How to be a "Mary' When You Are Really More Like 'Martha'

I am not a person that sits and waits well.  I confess that if I’m in a situation that needs a touch from God I’m the first person to jump up and be in a place that perhaps I can ‘help kick a door open’ and ‘help God’ if need be.  People who aren’t doing anything in the kingdom and claim their waiting on God annoy me, frustrate me, and sometimes I seriously want to smack them.  Haven’t we all read the same book?  Faith without works is dead (James 2:14).  We all have a job to do, a role to play, and we can’t sit around and do nothing!  God needs us to do our part.  Except for the times He doesn’t.

I wrote last week about working on not being a “Worrying-Controlling-Frustrated-Planner”.  I knew as I wrote it that I was going to be tried and tested on that word.  I’d like to tell you that I stayed on the rock of peace, but alas if I’m being honest I slipped numerous times this week.  I’ve had to fight harder and climb back up on peace more times than I care to admit.  I have been contemplating a lot about the story of Mary and Martha. 

Luke 10:38-42 (MSG)
38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”
       While I never saw myself as such a Martha I’ll admit I’ve become one.  Sometimes I confess I get caught up in this religiousity that surely if a door hasn’t opened then maybe I haven’t prayed enough, praised enough, fasted enough, or done enough.  I can get so caught up in doing that I forget that there is beauty in just sitting at the feet of Jesus.  Waiting to me is utterly dreadful!  But we all need to remember that God opens and closes doors when He knows it’s time and when we’ve done all, we need to continue to stand (ESP 6:13)  Don’t get me wrong we do have a role to do.  We do have to do our part, but doing just gets us to the door.  Only God can open the door.  I love what I’ve heard Tommy Tenney says, “If you can be both a Mary and a Martha than God can heal your dead brothers.”  Truthfully being a ‘Martha’ isn’t such a bad thing.  Things do need to get done.  However, even Martha’s need to remember to take the time to sit at the feet of Jesus.  Martha’s need to remember that there is a time for everything, and being worked up and fussing  doesn’t get one anywhere but in land of frustration.
       Sadly I think many fall in this doing trap, thinking they can force a door to open when it isn’t God’s timing.  People can think that if they can just “do” enough then they can manipulate God on the matter.  I 100% believe in prayer, praise, fasting, and doing what God tells you to do.  However many people turn these things into their tools of manipulation.  For example I heard of a woman on the news some years ago who was a pastor’s wife and died because she was fasting so much her body shut down.  Fasting is a powerful tool when it’s Lord led, but refusing to eat when God hasn’t told you to do so is just like a 3 year-old refusing to eat to their parents.  It’s manipulation.  These kinds of stories are sad and aren’t God’s will.  You have to be led to do whatever God is telling you to do in the waiting time.  You are not going to force the door to open.  Only God will do that in His timing!  We have to learn to wait on Him, be at peace in the process, and do whatever He tells us to do in that time.
       I’d like to sit here and tell you I’ve 100% reformed my ways.  I am still a spiritual bulldozer.  But I’m working on being at peace and sitting at the feet of Jesus.  Somehow I don’t think I’m the only one reading this who has struggled in this area.  So I want to encourage you all today.  Embrace who God has created you to be, but be okay and at peace if it takes some time to get there.  I think that in the end the bottom line is “Do you really trust God that He will do what He says?”  Because when you do really trust Him the waiting can still get to you, but having the faith to know the door will open won’t seem so hard.  He has given you grace to run your race.

      Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

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