I share a personal story with you today because the Lord gave me such a great revelation in the middle of my struggles, that I knew it wasn't just meant for me, but for all who call him Lord. You see I'm a bit of a AAA personality. Add to that, I'm a very hard worker who likes to accomplish things during the day. It's one of the reasons I'm able to write a full length novel every 8 months while running a household, watching grandkids, writing multiple blog posts, marketing, and answering a host of comments and emails. (I'm tired just reading that!). I've always been this way. I have lists of things I need to do and I never rest until they are done. The problem is, they are never truly done. 😳 I even schedule in my time with God. First thing in the morning for an hour, I read the Bible and pray. Whew, mark that off my list!
As most of you know, I post often that if you are truly saved, you will prove it by your works, by your obedience to Jesus. This comes straight from the Bible, yet it is not preached in most churches today. Rather they preach a hyper-grace theology that says you are saved no matter what your actions are. True faith reveals itself in a lifestyle submitted to God. However, being the type of person I am, I am always running to and fro trying to please God with my works. I so desperately want to please Him, to obey Him, to save the lost, to preach His Word, to write books that bring others to Him, to raise my grandkids to know Him, that I end up working, working, working..... until I drive myself crazy.
Remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. Jesus was teaching in their house and Martha was running around cooking and serving all the people there, but Mary was sitting at Jesus's feet. When Martha complained, Jesus said
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Believe it or not, I used to get mad at that Scripture! I always sided with Martha. I mean, with all those people there, who was going to serve them? 😏 I thought Jesus was being unfair to Martha while her sister was just sitting there being lazy. Can anyone relate?
Anyway, I was lamenting about all this with the Lord the other day.... about how busy I am and stressed and how I want to please Him. And the Lord distinctly spoke into my heart and asked me about one of my granddaughters who I absolutely adore. He said.
"Would you prefer that Andrea be running around the house doing chores for you all day or would you rather she just curl up in your lap and spend time with you?"
That hit me like a ton of bricks! I just sat there stunned and then I began to cry. Of course I would rather her curl up with me and spend time with me. I would prefer that over anything she could do for me. If you are a parent or grandparent, you know exactly what I mean.
God is a Father. When we receive Jesus, we are adopted into His family! He loves us as much as He loves Jesus! We are precious to Him. And because of that, the one thing He wants, the most important thing to Him is that we spend time with Him. And even though I had my scheduled time with Him in the morning, it was just part of my long list of things I had to do. I think so many Christians are like me. They either run around doing a million things for the Lord, or they just don't enjoy the time they spend with Him so they avoid it.
Works are important. They are an outward expression of our obedience and love, but we should only be doing the works the Holy Spirit leads us to do. And very often He will lead us into that quiet time with Jesus. In fact, the most important thing we can do each day is spend time with Him, worship Him, pray, read the Word and ask Him what He wants you to do. Sometimes, just sit quietly in His presence. You'll be amazed at the love, peace, and joy that will fill you when you're just hanging out with Him!
This is what our Lord wants most from us. Our time, our love, and a close relationship. Let's cultivate that in the short time we have left here before He comes to get us!