Sunday, September 21, 2008

Apples or Oranges

Luke 10:38-40a And as they went, it happened that He entered into a certain village. And a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving.

I was reading in Luke for my devotions today, when the last part of verse 40 really struck me. I've heard teachings on, "are you a Martha or a Mary" many times before, but this time God showed me something.

Martha was the one who received Jesus into her house (heart). I had never noticed that before. Then, the last phrase, 'she was distracted with MUCH SERVING' got me thinking about my own life.

We are attending a new church that is close to our house. On Sunday they had an extra page in the bulletin, a list of ministries that needed volunteers. As I read over the list, I just didn't feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to volunteer. I wondered if I was in tune with God or if I had shut my ears, until I read this verse.

God has a very specific calling on my life right now. Knowing this, I can test each area of need within my church to see if works into this ministry. If not, maybe I need to let someone else fill the need.

God doesn't call us to be busy for Him, He calls us to bear fruit. I believe that Martha was a christian, but she got caught up in serving which didn't produce the fruit in her life God had intended for her. She wasn't balanced.

I am not going to volunteer at this time, and I have a peace about it. How about you? Are you distracted from your calling because of too much serving? I believe that distraction is a key tool used by the devil to keep many of us too busy to focus on the specific calling that God has placed on our lives.

Not volunteering can be difficult, especially if you are in a small church. There may be times when you need to step up and fill in until the Lord can raise up someone else. Just be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit - He will always lead you in the paths of righteousness.


sailorcross said...

Hi Sonya!

Welcome back from Williamsburg! Did you and the kids have a good time?

Have you read either of the books by Joanna Weaver--"Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" or "Having a Mary Spirit"? Both of these are very good and address exactly what you are talking about.

I know the feeling of being overextended, overwhelmed, and overcommitted. I was sort of researching this, and I found this quote:

"As Christians we are called to
balance, not imbalance, even
in the area of our work for God."

We really are not doing God's work if we're feeling stressed or imbalanced by this because we are not having a servant's heart.

I'm praying for direction in this area--learning to say "no" instead of immediately raising my hand.

Thanks for addressing this.


Chatty Kelly said...

Beth's comment above is right on. And I have read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and it is good.

This exactly what I was talking to you in June when I said I felt like God was saying "wait." My ministry work has since fallen into place and I am comfortable and confident with where I am.

I am glad you are too.

Truth4thejourney said...

No, I haven't read either of those books, they sound right on! Thanks to you girls for sharing.

Truth4thejourney said...

No, I haven't read either of those books, they sound right on! Thanks to you girls for sharing.

The Patterson 5 said...

A wise friend, (CK) once told me that saying yes to something is the same as saying no to something else so if you'd said yes to all of those volunteering opportunities then you'd be saying no to what God really has for you to do. Plus He may be calling others to do those volunteering activities and if you took them they may miss their calling. I hope this makes sence.)

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Sonya,
I can totally relate to this post. I know what it means to over extend myself and have had to step down in various ministries. I really had to pray about it, was I doing it because God called me to do it , or was I just doing it to please other people. Well after much praying I did step down on certain ones and I have had so much peace in my spirit since then. In my busyness I had no time to be a blessing.

Hugz Lorie

Cheryl Barker said...

Sonya, thanks so much for the congrats you left on my blog! What an important message you shared in your post today. There are so-o-o many things that clamor for our attention. It's so helpful when I hear the Lord saying to my heart, "Do what I've called you to do." It makes saying "no" a lot easier.

Edie said...

This is a great message Sonya. There is a lady in my SS class who is always at the church with all of her volunteer efforts. It looks like God is working to change that in her because she said today that she is not spending enough time with her family or with God. It is very easy to get caught up in the busyness sometimes.

Tammy R said...

I needed to read your post,I been feeling lately that I needed to serve more in order to be doing God's will.
But after reading this I know now I need to pray and focus on what He as called me to do.


Sharon said...

What a Great post, I know about the waiting and stepping down, I helped with some things and then stepped down when I saw someone else heart that could take that position. You really helped me with this, it is such a reminder to me and what I have going on!! I will be posting about this soon, as something has happened and I knowwww you will understand totally. Thankkkkkk You

Nicole said...

great word! Thanks Sonya!


Debra said...

Hi Sonya,
I have a hard time saying no because I let guilt rule me in this issue. But lately I have had to say no to some family things( not immediate family) for various reasons. When people know you have a hard time saying no, they can make it much worse!!

Starr said...

No is a hard word for most women to say when it comes to volunteering. We just feel like it is our duty to be all things to all people. How false that is!!! God would never overload us like we overload ourselves. Any area of service should be fulfilling, not tiring and draining.
Loved this post today. I needed it as I'm sure lots of others did.
Glad to see you are back and I hope you had a wonderful trip with your family.

On Purpose said...

You preach it girlfriend! And I will stand beside you and shout Amen! This is a huge confusion in the church right now.

I call it being in "my sweet spot" being right where God wants me in the center of His will and it feels so sweet and perfect because it is completely approved by Him, and for Him!

May we check all our to-do's and volunteer times through Him!

Pennies In My Pocket said...

There is such a TIME for everything. This may be your time for rest and focus. I've been in your shoes before...feeling like I should be serving, but not feeling led. He has something for you and it could be at home or it could be just around the corner.

The last Bible study I attended constantly went over this order...
Outside your home

Spoke volumes to me...being that I'm a rehabilitated Martha. :)


Pinkshoelady said...

Hey Girl,
I'm glad your back from your trip. I have missed you. Not only because you were gone a few days but I haven't been surfing much lately because of my back problems but they are getting better. Thank You God!

I loved this post. i once heard someone on the James Dobson show talk about this. He said that Satan knew he couldn't stop Him from serving God so he (Satan) gave him too many things to do and do any of them well. Distracted by service.

Thank you for this inspiring post.

Bonita said...

I'm at the same place. I volunteer very sparingly at church, at co-op, at our homeschool support group. My calling has really become crystal clear in the last couple of years and I know that I can't fulfill it and do every other kind of service too. Sometimes it's hard to imagine that serving at church could be a distraction, but it can be if we aren't supposed to be doing it at this particular time.

Melinda said...

Oh, this is SUCH TRUTH! I went through a season of "intense serving" a few years ago, when I realized that I didn't have any time for God because I was so busy serving Him!

Gotta keep those boundaries and filter everything through that which God has called you to.

Good word girlfriend!