38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
Amid all he running around, preparing the meal for Jesus and His disciples, Martha lost focus. She had invited Jesus and the guys over for a meal but essentially handed Him the remote to the TV and said: “Make yourself at home while I get some stuff ready for you to eat”. Martha had the chance to spend time with the Savior but instead found herself frustrated. What lead to this lack of focus?
Serving is great. In fact, Jesus came to serve. However, there is a time when serving should cease and rest and fellowship should ensue. Martha lost focus because she had so many things to do. No one can focus on many things at once. The loss of hearing Jesus’ voice can often be traced back to a time when much serving was substituted for much listening.
Martha’s service got out of focus. She moved from doing something out of love and joy for Jesus to becoming frustrated, angry and resenting the very thing she was doing. This is the picture of the focus becoming blurred. I believe Martha started out with a laser focus on how things would need to be done. But this soon shifted and became blurred and it’s evidenced in her accusatory remarks made to Jesus about her sister, Mary. Martha had become focused on herself, the preparations, the dinner. She had lost all joy and pleasure in having Jesus at her home. Could it be because Martha wanted the attention to be on herself and the meal?
It’s vitally important that we refresh our perspective and take some time daily to question our motives, intentions and acts of service. We need to keep a sharp focus on why we are doing what we do. Otherwise, our focus will shift to ourselves and we will get lost in our own doings.
When it all comes down, Martha made some different choices than Mary. It wasn’t that Martha was “less spiritual” necessarily but she did make different choices. When it comes to hearing Jesus’ voice, following after Him or being with Him, we all have to make our own choices. As in any relationship, people who spend more time together are usually more connected, share more memories and understand one another better. Martha had chosen poorly and this was a huge reason she was upset and her life was out of focus because of it.
What things can you cut back or cut out from your service in order to hear from God? Is your “serving” preventing you from actually obtaining God’s best for you?
How has your focus shifted? Are you still living with laser precision? Or have things become blurred? What do you need to do to refocus?
What choices have lead you astray? How have you chosen poorly? How can you choose wisely? What would be the best choice you can make today in regards to hearing God’s voice?