Luke 10: 38 - 42, Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." NKJV
God created us in His own image and likeness. Consequently, since God is a triune being... Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we, too, carry the distinction of being triune; this sets us apart from any other creature. If you have received the Holy Spirit into your life, then your spirit has been regenerated. God now occupies that part of our being, and He gives us the authority to die to the weaknesses and lusts of our flesh nature. Remember, Jesus told the disciples when they fell asleep in the garden that their spirits were willing, but their flesh was weak. So instead of praying, they slept, and this caused them to enter into temptation.
As Christians, we are to utilize the power of the Holy Spirit through humility to bring our fleshly nature under control so that we might serve God and not self. This will require that we invest the time that is needed to seek God's face through prayer and being faithful students in God's Word. These simple steps will assure us that we will have the spiritual strength to overcome the wiles of the Devil when he tempts us with distractions.
It's easy for us to become distracted and not even realize that we have allowed those distractions to cause us to neglect being in God's presence. This was the case in Martha's life as she sought to "serve" Jesus, who was visiting her house. Although it appears that Martha is being a gracious host, if we peer deeper into the story, we soon discover that Martha's heart isn't filled with pure motives. She resents the fact that her sister, Mary, is just sitting at the feet of Jesus and hasn't offered to help her with serving Jesus. If Martha were doing this service unto the Lord as a way to honor Him, then she wouldn't hold resentment in her heart against her sister, but it doesn't stop there. She is so consumed and driven by a "works mindset" that she demands that Jesus tell Mary to help her serve.
Luke tells us in this story that Martha was "distracted." I find his assessment of her to be somewhat strange considering that someone needs to serve the others if the evening is going to be a success. King Solomon tells us that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. Martha was distracted because her life was driven by works and was off-balance. Mary, on the other hand, sought to learn from Jesus and not be driven by the "works of man" as a means to please others. Because Mary prioritized her time and gave honor to Jesus, she was persecuted by her own flesh and blood. You see, if we're like Mary and aren't driven by distractions to perform, then we will be persecuted with feelings of inadequacy because we're not "doing our part."
Mary was listening to Jesus, who was imparting eternal truths into her life. Satan doesn't want us to focus on eternity; instead, he uses the weaknesses of our flesh to drive us so that we become consumed with the temporal and lose sight of what is really important. As Christians, we have certain duties that demand large portions of our time on earth, but we must not allow these duties to become distractions where we give more honor to the temporal than we do to listening to the Holy Spirit about the eternal. Jesus gently, but firmly corrected Martha by telling her that what Mary was receiving from Him would never be taken away from her. Martha forsook an eternal moment with Jesus for a temporal moment with the dishes.
When we take the time to ignore the distractions in this life to meditate and listen to the voice of God, He will impart truths into our lives that will sustain our souls and can never be stolen from us by Satan. The Word of God endures forever, and when we choose to hide God's Word in our hearts, Satan can't rob those "promises in the making" from us. If you find yourself constantly driven to the point that you can't rest in the presence of the Lord, and it grates your nerves to watch other people sit at the Master's feet, then this is your eternal word for today... REPENT.
Times of Refreshing in God's Presence,
Pastor Asa Dockery