Have you found yourself feeling burdened in the busyness of life? Are you anxious and worried about all of the responsibilities you have? Do you compare yourself to others who seem to have it made in the shade while you’re sweating it out? Well you’re not alone, and you can most certainly relate to Martha in Luke 10:38-42. (If you haven’t read my previous post listing 4 Signs of a Stressed-Out Servant, go back and check it out- Stressed to Blessed Part 1 and One Thing Needful are all based out of this story.
Once you’ve identified yourself as a stressed-out servant, there are 4 Steps to Restore Spiritual Serenity:
- Snap out of it! Jesus says Martha’s name twice, which means he was trying to get her attention. I’ve always heard this read as a gentle, somewhat sympathetic, and loving reproof. But if you look at the other places where God says someone’s name two times, you will see that their minds are so absorbed in something else, that he says their name twice, with force, to really get their attention. There are eight- Abraham-Gen.22:10-11, when he was about to sacrifice Isaac. Jacob-Gen.46:2, when God spoke to him to reassure him and calm his fears about going to Egypt. Moses-Ex.3:4, when God called to him out of the burning bush. Samuel-1Sam.3:10-when God awoke him from sleep. Simon-Luke 22:31 –Jesus is warning Simon Peter of Satan’s desire to sift him as wheat. God-Matt.27:46-Jesus cries out to God the Father in agony on the cross. Martha-Luke 10:41-Jesus gets on to her for complaining. Saul-Acts 9:4–when Jesus knocks Saul down on the road to Damascus on his way to persecute Christians. To restore spiritual serenity we’re going to have to realize that we’re distracted and snap out of it!
- Sit at His feet ~ In verse 39 we see Martha’s sister Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet. This is a submissive servant looking up to her Lord. This reminds me of Psalm 123:1-2- Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Our eyes have to be on Jesus, looking to him as our Master, waiting to hear his instructions, seeking his will for us. Assume the posture of a humble servant.
- Soak up His Word ~ Mary didn’t just sit at his feet, she also heard his word. She’s not resting, sitting around doing nothing, that’s not the solution for stress (although sometimes a good nap is exactly what we need). The solution is digging into the bible, aligning your thoughts and priorities with God’s. Saturate your mind with spiritual truth so you can be sober, and serve in the Spirit. The word refreshes us and restores us to right thinking. The Word replenishes what the world has taken away.
- Suffer your flesh ~ Mary chose to do this. You have the choice to sit down and read your Bible instead of checking social media, watching TV or whatever else your flesh entices you with. Tell your flesh NO! Romans 13:14~ But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. When you make that choice to put Jesus over everything else, you are making an eternal investment. Your reactions, responses, and your relationships will be governed by the word of God instead of your emotions.
God wants you to experience fullness of joy as you serve him. He desires an intimate relationship with you. The outward warning signs of stress are really an indication of the inward lack of fellowship with Christ. If you are feeling like Martha today, snap out of it, sit at his feet, soak up his word, and suffer your flesh, and you will enjoy the fruit of sweet communion with your Savior. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance… blessed indeed.
~Matthew 11:28-30-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.