Slow Down and Ask for Direction
When you have a lot to get done, which of the following answers best describes you:
A. I jump in and get started right away – no time to lose.
B. I ask my peers how they would proceed.
C. I take time to pray – asking God for wisdom and direction for the best course of action.
I have to admit, too often my answer is ‘A.’ I want to dive in and start checking things off my ‘to do’ list. Do you do the same thing?
When I slow down enough to focus on the One who made the day and created me, I’m reminded that He stands ready and willing to give me everything I need to finish each task. And He may want to rearrange my schedule in the process to help me see what’s really important.
The same was true in Jesus day. We can learn a lot from the well-known story of two sisters who had to make a decision about their priorities when none other than Jesus, Himself, showed up at their house.
Let’s allow this example to radically change our perspective on how we spend our time. Are you ready?
The following is an excerpt for my Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful with some minor edits.
A Word from God’s Word:
Without phones or email, they probably weren’t anticipating His visit. But when Jesus arrived in Bethany, the two sisters, Mary and Martha, were more than happy to welcome Him into the home they shared with their brother Lazarus.
Jesus’ public ministry kept Him very busy, and He was often thronged by followers. It must have been quite an honor to have Jesus stop by for a visit. After the customary greeting, the two sisters headed in different directions.
Mary found a place at Jesus’ feet – eager to hear what He had to say.
I can imagine what Martha must have been thinking. Her mind was focused on serving their guest. What refreshments were on hand to offer Jesus? Without refrigeration or fast food restaurants, anything she came up with would have to be prepared by hand – a time consuming process.
I’m sure Martha came up with a plan and was already putting it into motion when she realized Mary was still sitting at the feet of Jesus. Why wasn’t Mary helping her? Martha felt as if the burden of serving had fallen entirely on her shoulders. Something had to be done. Martha’s irritation must have been evident as she approached Jesus.
Take a look at what Martha said to Jesus:
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. Luke 10:40, KJV
She blamed Jesus for not caring that she was serving alone, and asked Him to tell Mary to help her! While Jesus didn’t scold Martha for desiring to serve Him, He used the opportunity to teach an important lesson (See Luke 10:41-42).
While Martha was distracted with all the details that went into serving Jesus, Mary had chosen to use her time in a more profitable way: listening to the Lord and seeking His wisdom.
It’s easy to get focused on serving the Savior when the most important thing is spending time in His presence.
Allow the Holy Spirit to develop temperance in your life so you’ll be a good steward of the time you’re given.
Do you use your time wisely? How does the Lord want you to respond to the lesson today?
*Temperance is one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:23. If you’re interested in studying the fruit of the Spirit in greater detail, I’ve written a 10-week Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, you can pick up here.
Can I pray for you?
Gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of time. Forgive me when I get busy and don’t look to You for direction and help with everyday tasks. Help me grow in self-control, and to focus on the things You’d have me do. Help me choose to spend time with You every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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