What "One Thing" does God desire from us? ~ by @ShelleyHendrix Founder of @Church4Chicks
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
We hear all the time that we need to ‘be’ more like Mary and ‘not be’ like busy, angry Martha. But I see something deeper than that at work here. Notice that Jesus never scolded or belittled Martha. He recognized that her understanding of their relationship was skewed–just like mine was. He knew that Martha loved Him, that wasn’t in question at all. The thing was, though, that she was trying to prove her love by pleasing Him and to please Him, she did what she did best naturally: she served Him. BUT, in all of her serving Him, she wasn’t trusting Him. Hebrews 11:6 teaches that our trust in Him is what pleases Him most. It’s not our “striving to please Him” that proves anything! I can obey God all day long and still never learn to trust Him. But once I begin to trust Him, I will find that I am much more inclined to obey Him.
Mary understood that “one thing” that was vital–and it’s even deeper than spending time reading Scripture and praying–the “one thing” is that Jesus was someone she could fully trust and rely on. She trusted in His love for her enough to know that it was more than okay for her to simply enjoy spending time with Him and listening to Him. She trusted in Him and this was so pleasing to Jesus. Any time our trusting Him is a motivator to anything we do or don’t do, this is what delights our Heavenly Father most. Whenever we are striving to remove the sin barrier ourselves–whether to earn salvation or to earn our sanctification–we miss it by a long-shot!
When Christian leaders use their platform to get people busy for God, they often miss the opportunity given to them to teach those readers, listeners, students, congregations, etc who God is and who He has granted them to be. They often resort to guilt, pressure, and manipulation unintentionally in their efforts to see growth and maturity take place in others–and even in themselves. But, what might happen if we began to spend some time learning with one another what it means that we are now new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)? What if those of us in leadership would trust the work of the Holy Spirit more to bring about desired change as we encourage people by teaching them who they are?
Here’s are some examples of a shift in motive:
What if, instead of trying to convince others to obey God to prove they trust Him, we instead taught others how trustworthy God is?
What if, instead of trying to battle some life-dominating sin in order to get it out of the way so I can be close to God, I live out of who He says I already am, and I allow Him in close to deal with that issue Himself as I trust Him with what is absolutely, and even painfully, true about me?
What if I learn to reveal to others who I really am rather than trying to prove my authenticity by working harder to become who my “masks” give an impression that I am? What if I let the masks come off and allow God’s glory to shine through my weakest places?
So what motivates you the most? A desire to please God or simply trusting Him?