With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Getting Fit and Staying Fit

How often have you heard or maybe even said yourself, “You don’t understand, I have no time for reading my Bible, no time for praying just now?”

In his devotional My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers makes this note: "The private relationship of worshipping God is the great essential of fitness. The time comes when there is no more "fig-tree" life possible, when it is out into the open, out into the glare and into the work, and you will find yourself of no value there if you have not been worshipping as occasion serves you in your home. Worship aright in your private relationships, then when God sets you free you will be ready, because in the unseen life which no one saw but God you have become perfectly fit, and when the strain comes you can be relied upon by God."

In keeping with the last several posts, I can recall the very first time these words of Jesus rang clear in my heart... “One thing is needful.” It was many years ago as a young mom with 3 young children. I was oftentimes overwhelmed with the tasks of everyday life. When I heard those words it was one of those unusual times that marks your life forever. The tender voice spoke to my heart, as I was making my bed and lamenting to God how I wasn’t sure if I could ever get everything done that was demanded of my day, my week, my life. No matter which season of life we are in, isn’t that the way most of us can feel on any given day?

At the time, my relationship with the Lord was fairly new. The scripture in Luke 10 wasn’t all that familiar to me but I knew those words were from God so I set about to find them in the Bible. Jesus clearly states here that Mary had chosen something that was 'the good portion' and the thing that 'was to her advantage'… 'something that couldn’t be taken away from her' (amplified). He then defines Martha’s role as 'anxious' and 'troubled about many things', 'overcharged with care', 'distracted and too busy'. Ouch!

Where was Mary? Seated at the Lord’s feet, all of her attention on Him. While there are numerous layers in this passage I want to stay on subject here of being fit for service. We need to realize God isn't teaching us here NOT to serve and "do"; but He is giving us a major tip on how to be successful in service.

Are we making absolutely certain we are fully engaged in our personal worship time at the feet of our Master or are we going about the busyness of serving without it which is making us anxious and stressed and troubled? Worship is the place of fueling for the tasks. At the feet of Jesus in total devotion and attention is where we connect spiritually, it is where our heart is laid down for the work we are called to "do", it is where the Spirit of God works changes in the areas of our life where change is needed and desired. Worship is the place where the Word and the Spirit work together and as we pour our hearts out in adoration for all God's goodness He pours out His powerful love into us. It is the experience of this love that sets us free from bondages and sin. As we are filled with His love, we are set free and we are fit for service.

Oswald Chambers goes on to make this profound statement: "If you have not been worshipping as occasion serves, when you get into work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you."

How would you assess your own hidden, personal, worshipping life? I encourage you to make whatever adjustments necessary to devote your heart and mind in daily private worship to the Savior of your soul. One thing I learned from the loving words spoken to me all those years ago in the midst of my busyness is this: no amount of extra sleep in the morning will ever come close to giving me what I need in order to master my day. Only time with Him imparts what is necessary for my journey.


Jane said...

Over the last several years I have realized naturally I am a Martha. (Which I find ironic, since I am a "Martha"!) I get frustrated with others when they aren't doing what I think they should be doing. I get busy, I get distracted...I fail to sit at His feet, to be in His presence, to worship Him. I often fail to choose the best of things. I try to make obvious attempts to be still, to worship, to be in His presence, to forget my list, and lay it all at His feet. I still get frustrated when there are things to be done and other fails to pitch in. But I have to ask myself what have I chosen in life. I have come to the conclusion that there has to be a balance in life. If I fail to sit with my Jesus at the start of each day, then my day isn't worth much at all and neither am I!

Jane said...

I know I commented last night, but I have been thinking about this fairly consistently since then. (In other words I was thinking about it when I fell asleep and woke up this morning still with it on my heart.) I have already made my confession that I am a "Martha" in more ways than one, but I have a few additional comments I feel like I am to share.

At some point in the last several years i heard a quote by someone (can't remember who for anything this morning and can't find it online either) that spoke of the busyness of life. This man was accustomed to getting up early to spend time with God. If I remember the quote correctly it was several hours prior to the time he really had to get up. But on the days when he was really, really busy (we all know about those days) he didn't cut his time with God short, but rather he rose even earlier to ensure he had more time with God so that he could survive the busyness.

For those of you who know, you know I like sleep. There are days that I could literally spend the day in bed. I still love to sleep late. I even know the absolute latest that I can sleep and still make it to work on time. (I have the feeling I am no the only one guilty of this.) When I am tired and when I am busy, it is always tempting to sleep a little later or cut my time with God short. The funny part is that this is the last thing I need. I need to get up earlier. Spend more time reading my Bible, more time in prayer. I need Jesus more than sleep on those days.

My life has been extremely busy lately. I have slept in hotels and cabins more in the last month than I have my own bed. I will confess that I am tired. (I am already counting down the number of days until next Saturday when I can sleep late!) I am ready for my life to slow down, but it doesn't seem like that is coming any time soon. I have had to make a conscious effort to make sure that my alarm is set, that I don't hit the beloved snooze button. I don't always succeed, but I am really trying.

One of the workshops that I have attended at my conference (I am still in KY- this is the last day of the conference) was entitled "Leading from your Knees". It was about the importance of worship and prayer for those of us who are involved in pregnancy center ministry. One of the most poignant things the speaker said was regarding rest. True rest can only come through our Heavenly Father. She asked how many people go on vacation and return even more exhausted than when they left. I totally identify with this question. She talked about how we get so busy on vacation that we neglect our times alone with God. Yep, guilty of that right here.

Life is a continually balancing act. Trying to keep it all up in the air, and of course not dropping any of the balls. Family, friends, work, church commitments, my relationship with God. None of these are bad, but it I haven't endured that I have sat at the feet of Jesus I am going to be completely inadequate in all areas of my life, as Meems so eloquently reminded me.

As Paul said, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14). Or as another friend told me once..."Lead on in love and imperfect walk, but sustained pursuit."

meems said...

jane: or should i call you martha jane in this instance? thanks for your openness and candor. sadly, our time and attention is on so many other things and demands on our time that we are all guilty of letting our communion and intimacy with Jesus take a back burner. when if we would press in even more during our busiest seasons, we wouldn't be overburdened in our innerman which would translate to enough supply to get every job done.

i'm right with you on the passage you quoted from philippians... press on toward the goal...God has called you heavenward!