Have you noticed recently that it can be hard to receive love from others? From God? One of my love languages is provision and security. In 2011, I remember needing a bag. That day I prayed for one. The next day a person I met for the first time offered me a bag that completely matched my prayer request. I was shocked when God answered my prayer so sudden. When the gentleman offered it to me, I struggled with accepting it. Why? I think for so many of us, we are used to working for love. We are more comfortable with wearing ourselves out doing works for God than using our energies to grow in God. What I mean is using our energies before God, praying, studying, and meditating on Him and talking with Him. Letting God grow inside us, versus being consumed with growing something outside of us, like our work, ministry, or a certain situation. Mary in the New Testament is a great example of someone who was letting God’s love grow in her. Jesus said what Mary gained while sitting before Him would not be taken from her. It had present and eternal value!!! Jesus wasn’t putting down Martha or expressing that we shouldn’t work hard (Jesus probably worked harder than anyone during his 3 1/2 years of ministry!). He was simply saying that when it’s time to sit at My feet, do it! Don’t neglect it! Learn to receive My love. Mary simply knew it was time to be with the Lord and receive His love.
But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. (Lk. 10:42)
God does’t put down our efforts to build His kingdom around us. He is asking us to place our focus in the right place. We all know what it feels we are spread so thin that we feel we have nothing of value to give. Joannie and I have been re-learning this lesson recently as we have felt pulled in various new ministry opportunities and still adapting as new parents! We have been challenged to renew our focus on the Lord. One of the slogans here at the House of Prayer is that “Lovers Make Better Workers”. Love is a more compelling force than work. Love is a more outlasting force. With love we won’t burn out. When we are filled with His love, we can touch people with His active presence, not just our own efforts. God lives inside us and by spending time with Him, we cultivate HIs presence (Gal. 2:20).