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♣ One Thing is Needful

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 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.” 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 10:38-42).

THERE ARE MORE distractions today than ever; more sophistication in our technological advancement yet ever increasing deterrents; so many subjects and concerns to consume our time, but there is a right and wrong way to spend our time. “The greatest enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but good choices which are not quite good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best.” (Oswald Chambers). There is so much to know, so much to be involved in and yet so little time to be tangled in everything we desire to be a part of. Our lives are short, a mere breath; here one moment and gone the next.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus – the one thing that is needful. Sitting is resting, a refusal to lean on our own understanding but a choosing to recognise and submit to Christ’s authority over all other authorities and circumstances. We can all ‘worship’ through singing for hours on end and get dizzy mistaking it for the anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit. To worship in spirit and in truth is to cleave unto God in obedience. We can all give a sacrifice of ‘praise’ in substitution of allegiance to our Lord (1 Samuel 15:22).

For every glance at world affairs with all its atrocities and the increasing evil, let us look twice at the Scriptures; our perspectives can be distorted if God’s guidance through His Word does not govern our thinking – “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You…” (Isaiah 26:3). How are we to come to and maintain that peace if we do not rest at the feet of our Lord? Resting at the feet of Jesus is acknowledging His suzerainty over all cosmic affairs; it is His standing (rule) over everything and where we see His feet is to perceive His authority usurped over every tiniest detail – “All authority has been given to Me.” Christ’s reign is present until He makes His enemies His footstool (1 Corinthians 15:25).

This acknowledging at the feet of our Lord is oftentimes in silence until we hear Him and when He speaks all of our perspectives are brought wonderfully into balance. Yes, today’s busyness demands much of our time where we feel we haven’t the time to give God in being alone with Him. We are victims of excuses. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do today that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer.”

The wonder of being alone with God is that we are far more productive in our day as a result – a law that has been proven many times without fail.

We are all too familiar with our Lord’s words, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” but if the aspects of His rule do not take pre-eminence in all of our living – the choices we make – we are merely existing and not living. Seeking Him first brings us into the atmosphere of rightly discerning His will for us is in the now, the present, not some distant dream or vision for the future.

Martha was consumed with so many good things; Mary had chosen the right thing. Mary’s priorities were set right. There will be times where we will be accused of being narrow-minded, oblivious and neglectful to other activities around us when we are being governed by the reality of our Lord’s kingdom. Let others say what they will. That doesn’t, however, negate our responsibilities and if we’re hearing our Lord aright we will inevitably fulfil first what is needful in His eyes.

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