“Oh, my days!” I said as I woke up and looked at the time on my phone.
It was 7:00 am and I had planned to wake up at 5:00 am so that I could make the puff puff (A Nigerian Pastry) mix for church and still have enough time to get ready for church.
“What am I going to do?” I thought to myself. I was going to have to pick between making the puff puff for church or doing my makeup.
I cringed at the idea of going to church without makeup but then I didn’t have a choice, I had given my word about the pastry.
Then I heard that Still Small Voice whisper, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things…”
I froze… I knew I had done it again.
I knew that verse all too well, the Holy Spirit had used it to reprimand me time without number. Many times, I had found myself majoring on the minors, losing sight of the most important things in walking with God and focusing on all the other extra stuff. Look at this situation as an example, everything I was worried about seemed like it had to do with church but actually had nothing to do with church or God.
This time, it was pastry and makeup, other times it had been what I wanted to wear to church or some meeting I had to have with someone after church.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying any of these things are wrong. But there are more important considerations.
It’s a common trap that many of us fall into. In our quest to serve God, to follow Jesus and live a life that is pleasing to Him, we somehow make a diversion and end up trying to please people and look good.
We get involved in so many things that aren’t really necessary and aren’t helping us grow. What we find at the end of the day is that we spend so much energy, get burnt out and haven’t even grown an inch in our spiritual lives.
The verse that the Holy Spirit whispered to me that day comes from a story of two sisters; Mary and Martha who were hosting Jesus in their house.
38 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. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 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.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
There was nothing wrong with Martha trying to be a good host. But if being a good host came at the cost of her missing the opportunity to learn at the feet of Jesus… then was it really worth it? This was what Jesus was trying to tell Martha when he said,
“41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
If making pastry for church and doing my makeup cost me my quiet time, then surely something was not right.
What does it profit us if we go through the motions, become everybody’s favourite person in church but we aren’t progressing in our walk with God? What I am trying to say is that we need to get our priorities right.
Because what tends to happen is that we start off doing the right thing but along the way our focus shifts and we start majoring on the minors. But when we make walking with God and developing our relationship with him our top priority then everything else falls into place and all our activities are put into the right perspective.
Look what Jesus said to the church of Ephesus in the scripture below;
2 I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.
3 I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.
4 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your love]. Revelation 2:2-4 [AMP]
In the midst of everything they were doing “for God”, they had somehow managed to desert Jesus who should have been at the centre. When I read this scripture, I had to pause and do a self-evaluation and I think this is something we should all do.
In all the hustle and bustle of church and ministry, have we deserted Jesus? In trying to serve God, have we somehow started serving men. I believe that these are questions that we all need to ask ourselves.
If the answer is no, then that’s great! But if the answer is yes or perhaps you aren’t sure then take the advice that Jesus gave the Ephesian Church,
5 Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place unless you change your mind and repent. Revelation 2:5 [AMP]
Getting our priorities right is not a one-off process, it is continuous. There are so many things constantly competing for our attention and sometimes they seem harmless but if we are not watchful we may unconsciously allow them to take the place of Jesus and our relationship with Him. We need to constantly check the state of our hearts.
Always ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” “Am I doing it for God, myself or others?”
But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 1 Corinthians 11:31 [NLT]
Thank you for reading, I hope you have been blessed.
Please feel free to drop your comments, contributions and questions below.
Written By: Ayowade Adeleye (through the revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit).