Sunday, September 12, 2010

That Good Part

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)

Have you ever wondered why everything seems to work out for some believers? It seems that with some Christians, favor, blessing and peace seem to follow them wherever they go (Psalm 23:6), and though there are challenges, there always seems to be an inner strength and joy in the midst of every trial.

Obviously, every believer has challenges; in fact, the closer a person walks with God, the greater the intensity of the attacks that will come against him (Hebrews 4:9-10). Mary sought hard after the Lord, and was determined to let nothing stand in her way, and yet she came under attack for spending time with Jesus.

Sometimes people will get angry when a man or a woman has chosen the better part; Cain killed Abel because Abel sought hard after the Lord, and the blessing of God was evident in his life because of it. Cain was envious, and it drove him to commit murder and bring an even greater curse upon himself (Genesis 4:11-12).

King David was a man after the heart of God, and when they brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, David worshipped and danced before the Lord with all of his might (II Samuel 6:14). However, Michal, David’s wife, despised him in her heart; she accused him of wrongdoing and attacked his motives; but David refused to bow to her intimidation. God is jealous over these things, and He intervened on David’s behalf (II Samuel 6:16, 20-23).

To Martha, Mary seemed irresponsible and lazy, and as Martha worked feverishly do get all the serving done, Mary was just sitting around “doing nothing” at the feet of Jesus. Martha was sure that Jesus would certainly understand and take her side; but He didn’t. In fact, instead of thanking Martha for a job well done, and sending Mary on her way to go help her, He turned and rebuked her (Luke 10:41).

When Jesus and His disciples were crossing the sea by boat, a great storm arose, and Jesus’ disciples were cumbered about; they woke Him up screaming “Master, careth thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38) They accused Him of being negligent, irresponsible and uncaring because he was sleeping, and felt no sense of urgency to wake up because of the storm. When Jesus did wake up, He rebuked them for their unbelief (Mark 4:40).

Martha didn’t understand that there was a better way when she ran up to the Lord; “Lord, careth thou not that my sister has left me alone…?” (Luke 10:40)

There are times that we become cumbered about with the cares of life, but one thing is needful. Jesus told the Pharisees, in regard to His “praise and worship team;” “If these (disciples) shall hold their peace, the stones themselves would immediately cry out!” (Luke 19:40) You see, Jesus was present in the house, and if Martha only understood that if God could raise up stones, He could most certainly raise up others to wait on the tables.

A believer that has chosen that good part is not concerned about the opinions of men, but only the opinion of God. You see, Mary could have succumbed to the pressure of Martha, and gotten up from the feet of Jesus to go “help,” but instead, she ignored her. The devil will use people to apply pressure to get us out of that secret place with God (Psalm 91:1), but we must learn to ignore them and send them on their way!

Jesus was preaching to multitudes and performing miracles, and then suddenly He sent the people away and went up into a mountain to pray (Mark 6:45-46). He was jealous of His time with the Father, and knew better than to allow the pressures and demands of others to keep Him from it.

Am I advocating laziness? By no means! Serving God will never be accomplished through laziness, but there is a yoke that is easy, and a burden that is light. Jesus commanded us to take this yoke upon us, and to put off the heavy yoke that comes as we labor and toil in our own strength (Matthew 11:30).

Peter learned this lesson on a fishing trip! He and his men were fishing all night long; they labored and toiled, but to no avail, for they caught nothing. They were tired and were cleaning their equipment when Jesus came to them and told them to get out there and put their nets back in the water (Luke 5:4). Peter could have said “No! We’ve worked all night and we’re tired! You’re not even a fisherman, what do you know?” But instead, Peter obeyed the word of Jesus and the boat was filled with fish (Luke 5:5-7). When we cooperate with God, the burden is removed.

It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), and He has promised that when we choose the better part, that it shall never be taken away (Luke 10:42). Heaven and earth are designed to accommodate us as we pursue the things of the Kingdom of God, and no man or circumstance can take it away; only we can give it up!