I hope you are all doing well in LOCKDOWN! Recently, I was reading a passage of scripture that I’m quite familiar with. And I was reminded of some fresh truth, which I would love to share with you.
Let’s have a look at Luke 10:38–42 (NLT): As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
What an interesting few verses! I think we can agree that both Mary and Martha were incredible women. Martha gets a bad rep, but I think she was a great woman – a hard worker with a big capacity, hugely hospitable, servant-hearted and very happy to welcome Jesus into her home! But I also think she had a few MISCALCULATED MINDSETS that Jesus wanted to address. If our lives are to be the most fruitful they can be, we have to take time to address our mindsets. I believe our mindsets will make us or break us.
Let’s look at FOUR mindsets that limited Martha and slowed her down:
1. Martha allowed the urgency of the temporary to distract her from the blessing of the eternal. The key ideas for me are ‘urgency’ and ‘distraction’. Martha gets distracted by all the details. Caring about details is not a bad thing in itself, but Martha’s priorities got compromised here. (This can sound very familiar, hey!) Even though we’re all in Lockdown, there are so many things that can still distract us. Many of us have children to look after, houses to keep clean, meals to prepare, husbands to care for, work to get done, people to call (not to mention too many gadgets for our own good!) Can I encourage you to take a step back and look at your priorities again? Make sure you’re not getting distracted by the temporary. Focus first and foremost on what is ETERNAL.
2. Martha missed the significance of the season. How crazy that Jesus came to Martha’s house to visit! Martha had this incredible opportunity to experience His nearness and presence, yet she missed it. Sometimes, we need to slow down long enough to recognise the season we’re in. I believe that each season sets up the next season. If we can do each and every season well, we’ll set ourselves up well for the next season too. I think that’s what it means to go from strength to strength!
3. Martha’s service became more important than the One she served. It can be easy to confuse the two. Service is what we’re called to. But God, whom we serve, has to be first in our lives and at the centre. Then ALL we do will be from a place of rest and fruitfulness. I heard a quote this week that said: ‘Ministry without intimacy is idolatry.’ What a crazy thought! I would love to encourage you, always serve out of the overflow of your relationship with Jesus.
4. Martha allowed resentment to impact her relationships. Let’s look at some of the things Martha says: ‘Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you …’ ‘I do all the work …’ ‘Tell her to come and help me.’
Martha was having a moment! She sounds like she was feeling very sorry for herself and she even started telling Jesus what to do. (Ha-ha!!) What I love most about this story is how Jesus responds. In many versions, Jesus begins by saying her name twice: ‘Martha, Martha …’ Did you know that repeating a person’s name is a Hebrew expression of intimacy, deep affection, and even urgency? Jesus was speaking with tremendous love here. He cared deeply about Martha and about teaching her to put God first (because He wanted the best for her). “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered. “You are worried and upset about many things …”’ (Luke 10:41 NIV). More than just looking at Martha’s miscalculated mindsets, Jesus wanted to go a layer deeper and help her address where these mindsets were coming from.
The words ‘worried’ and ‘upset’ here actually mean Martha was afraid and troubled. In other words, Martha was allowing FEAR to cause these miscalculated mindsets. Martha’s FEAR was the deeper issue that Jesus addressed.
Girls, I wonder if we could allow Jesus to go a layer deeper in each of us too and help us identify the things motivating some of our wrong mindsets? I really pray that in this Lockdown time, Jesus will be a great revealer and a great HEALER of the mindsets that may be limiting us and the futures God has for us.
I hope these few short thoughts have blessed you. I’m PRAYING for you all during this time and believing the BEST for you and your families.
Love, Lucinda xo