30 Days in the Bible, Day 5: Luke 10:38-42
Is there ever a time when we need to stop listening and start serving? This account is often used to suggest that devotional time should always take priority over action. When something needs to be done, stop and spend time with the Lord, reading the Word and praying, and put off the action until later.
Now there is absolutely truth in this. We should not act, especially when serving the Lord, until we have spent time with Him. However, this desire to spend time “with the Lord” can lead to postponing any action almost indefinitely. Some Christians become so involved with their devotional and study time that they neglect ever actually doing anything else for Jesus.
Part of spending time with Jesus is serving Him. Mary had chosen the “good portion” when Jesus came to visit, but had she sat at His feet for several weeks without ever doing anything to take care of her guests or to assist her family Jesus’ answer might well have changed. Have to be careful that we don’t define our time with Jesus as only the time we spend in the Word, in prayer, and in a church service.
Of course, the opposite can be true of others, who plunge into service without spending time at Jesus’ feet. They recognize that there is much ministry to be done, and it can’t all be done from our knees. There is a danger that they will fall into a Martha mode of worry and distraction if their service isn’t truly what the Lord desires. They think they are serving the Lord, but they haven’t asked Him what He wants them to do.
The key to serving the Lord is to have a proper balance between time spent with Him, seeking His will, and time spent serving Him, engaging in the ministry He to which He has called us. We can’t serve our Lord well if we fail to hear His voice. We can’t honor Him with our lives if we don’t act in our world for the glory of His kingdom. Whatever we do, we should do it all with an awareness of the presence of Jesus, and seek to work according to His will as He reveals it to us.