Luke 10:40-42 “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.”
I remember a certain time in my childhood when my father sent me on an errand to his workshop to get a certain tool. After considerable time, he came, perturbed and not a little frustrated asking, “Where’s the tool I asked you to get?” “Right here” was my reply. “What is taking you so long?” “I was cleaning you workshop” I said. My dad grabbed the tool and marched back to his job and said, “I didn’t send you down here to clean my workshop, I simply wanted the tool so we could continue the job at hand.”
Did the workshop need cleaning? Of course! Was it time to clean the workshop? Not when getting the tool was the main thing. As I thought about that exchange this morning, I am reminded that the church has fallen under the same misfortune. We provide God with a flurry of activity that we put before God to bless or to look upon and be impressed with what we do for Him, only to find that we have missed what it is He told us to do.
Jesus’ last words to His disciples was:
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
In this instruction, we find the most important element of the work the disciples were to do – receive the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work they were commanded. Far too often, we place the importance on the work and the power and energy needed to do the work is done in our flesh – not the Holy Spirit’s.
In what I read this morning, God reminded me that we all too often offer up to God work that we do for Him to bless and find so little fruit. My Dad just needed one tool to complete a task, I was distracted by an unclean workshop and left off the main thing. Honestly, my thinking was, “If Dad sees his clean workshop, he will be impressed with me and love me more for giving him a clean workshop.”
I totally missed the importance of the job at hand. Aren’t we like that at times? We seek to be loved and accepted – not a bad motivation, but we miss the path to get there.
John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Showing my love to receive love in return is rooted in selfishness. An “I will if you will” mentality only exists in conditional love. Knowing God; loving Him and desiring to do for Him that which pleases Him is not a bad thing. Jesus loved Martha. His admonition to her was not because she fell out of favor, but because she was deceived into thinking her acceptance came from what she DID for Christ instead of who she was IN Christ.
The Holy Spirit that indwells us is given so that we can properly carry out that which God has for us. Left to ourselves, we will contrive a work suitable to us that often results in us taking the glory that is rightfully His. Our God-given gifts and talents often take us out of our comfort zone. It is only then that God is glorified because we know and others see that it was all God in and through us.
God has commanded us to be light in this dark and sinful world. He has commanded us to be witnesses for Him. Today, you and I will be thrust into situations that will call for us to be salt and light. Only in the power of the Holy Spirit can you and I do it in such a manner pleasing to God. Empty yourself of all but God and ask Him to reveal what would keep us from the filling of the Holy Spirit. If you lack the desire, pray that God renew your heart to desire it once more.