By: Deon Archer, Finishing Resident, Houston Church Planting Network
May 7, 2018
CJ Mahaney in his book entitled living the cross centered life tells of a time when he was a kid how he would watch a variety of shows that sometimes included a popular act known as the plate spinner. A guy who balanced several plates atop long flexible rods and kept them all spinning. Moreover, he says that one by one he would carefully position each plate on a rod and give a furious spin, until the stage was transformed into a small forest of plates wiggling and swaying on their sticks. In addition, by the time eight or ten plates were in motion, the first plate was slowing down and wobbling dangerously. The spinner would rush over and with remarkably skilled hands, instantly return the plate to top speed rotation. Then on to rescue another wobbling plate, then another and another. Running back and forth in a lot of activity, he would somehow get there in time.
In Luke 10:38-42 we meet Martha, like the plate spinner she is more concerned about running back and forth in a lot of activity and complaining about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from him rather than helping her. In addition, the Jewish culture placed more value on hospitality, and a women’s ability to manage a household well. Martha’s complaint against Mary would be seen as legitimate because of their culture. But Mary ignores culture for the sake of sitting at Jesus feet and learning from him like a disciple. All of Martha’s hard work is a distraction compared to Mary’s desire to sit at Jesus feet as a disciple. Jesus crushes the cultural norm by affirming the status of a woman as a disciple.
Like Martha it is very easy for us to have a bunch of things going at one time running back and forth in a lot of activity trying to keep everything going and neglect the care of our soul by trying to keep up. Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with being busy, but the question becomes what has more priority in your life. Furthermore, do you wake up in the morning thinking about all the things you have to get done? Or do you wake up and say I need to meet with God before I do anything. If we are going to be a church that God uses to usher in a revival we need to be a church that sits at the feet of Jesus and learn from him.
You might be asking the question how can I sit at the Lords feet when he is physically no longer with us? As Jesus prepares his disciples for his departure in his upper room discourse, he promises in John 14:16-17 that the spirit would indwell believers and that indwelling would be permanent. Moreover, God the Holy Spirit indwells each and every believer for the purpose of teaching, testifying, guiding, convicting, interceding and comforting.
In our current context there several ways we can sit at the Lord Jesus feet and learn from him. First of all, we must by God’s grace pray, prayer expresses our desperate dependency on God the father through our Lord Jesus Christ by means of the Spirit.
Secondly, allow the Word of God to read you. Moreover, Dr. Warren Weirsbe says that every time the Word of God is open God is speaking, every time it is closed God is not speaking. We need to hear the Word of God address some aspects of our brokenness and then hear the sweet balm of the Gospel address that aspect of our brokenness.
Thirdly, read and listen to Gospel saturated music, preaching and books. We have this natural tendency to become busy with the wrong motive and we need to be reminded of the Gospel, that regardless of what we say or do God still approves of us who are in Christ. Although we are deeply broken people we still are deeply loved by God because of the sufficiency of the Cross and resurrection of Christ.
Father we desperately need you, please forgive us for at times being busy without consulting you first. Thank you for sovereignly allowing your hand of correction in our life to remind us of our desperate need for you. Help us to humble ourselves by giving us the grace to see the uselessness of man’s approval and help us treasure our father in heavens approval because of the Cross of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Lord, we desperately want to see a revival in our city, but we know for that to happen we first must have a deep and intimate relationship with you. So, we thank you for the frustrations, pains, closed doors, sicknesses, and mistreatments because we know that behind all that, you are causing all things to work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Thank you for the sufficiency of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Help us to be people that sit at your feet and listen to your words, not only listen to your words but also be obedient to your word.