Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Secularism essentially means to keep God out of the picture. Decisions at various levels are taken without reference to God.

Jesus and His disciples were in the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Martha was concerned about serving the guests, which was an important task that needed to be done. Whereas, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His Word. Martha felt that Mary should be helping her and she was upset.

The Lord’s answer to Martha was, “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.”

What was it that Mary had chosen, which was vital and the good part? Mary had chosen to listen to God’s Word. Mary had decided that it was God’s Word that would make all the difference. Martha too may have heard the words of Jesus but her focus was in the serving of the guests.

We are people of God’s Word in a secular world.

“It is God’s Word that makes the difference between secularism and spirituality.”

In the secular world, in which we live, we are pushed to reject God and His Word and pushed to operate based on the needs of the situation. Secularism tells us that there are no absolutes but only interpretations of every situation. Contingency is the decider. Secularism tells us that we must be amoral to survive and that we are trapped in our situations. We only need to look for the best and most viable solution, nothing more. Secularism tells us that there is no overarching theme to life.

It is in this context that we are to be Marys. We are to be those who choose His Word as our priority. Mary chose God’s Word. We are to have a Mary heart in a Martha world.

We cannot be only hearers of God’s Word. We must fulfil His Word. It is His Word that we have heard that will judge us on the judgement day.

We can see immediately how challenging it is to have Mary’s heart in Martha’s world.

“A Mary’s heart will mean that we will bring God’s Word into application in all that is taking place in life.”

Let us look at some examples of having a Mary heart in a Martha world.

God’s Word tells us that Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

What does bread represent? Bread represents the material essentials of life. The world lives in pursuit of supplying and consuming the material essentials of life. We, as God’s people, do not consider this to be strange at all. We have accepted this as the norm of life.

As believers, we say we are committed to ministry but then we ensure that first our material needs of life are looked after. We make choices with the priority of meeting the material needs of life in the most beneficial manner for us and then we tell ourselves and others that we will operate from this situation and do the ministry. We have forgotten that God examines the motives of our hearts. He knows what has driven our choices in life, was it the material needs of life or was it His Word?

Does this mean that God is against us meeting our material needs in life?

No. The Lord is telling us that He is our Father, our Husband, and our King. Our needs are considered within His plans and purposes for us. He knows how to take care of us and He will meet all our needs. He therefore wants us to give priority to His kingdom purposes. In doing so, our material requirements will follow and will be met.

We are not anxious or troubled. We bring a Mary heart into a Martha world. The world around us is anxious and troubled. In that situation, we live in quietness and confidence, for we know that our God knows and will meet our needs. Our task is to seek first His kingdom.

God’s Word calls us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. We live in a world that accepts unrighteousness. The world says that we can be righteous if it does not hurt the situation but if the need arises, we will have to adopt an unrighteous way in that situation.

Having a Mary heart in a Martha world would mean that we will be people of righteousness in all circumstances, whether we are watched by people or whether we are away from the eyes of people.
Righteousness is God’s way, which we can only discern through His Holy Spirit. As we live in tune with His Holy Spirit, He will alert us that a situation is developing where we will have to take a stand on righteousness.

For each of us, in each of our situations, this will be different. It is only His Holy Spirit, who will bring clarity to God’s righteous ways in any given situation. As God’s people, we will have to bring God’s righteous ways into reality by the enablement of His Holy Spirit.

People around us will react differently to us being righteous but to have a Mary heart in a Martha world is to be a person of righteousness, always. As believers in Christ are we being people of righteousness in all situations?

Another area where we must have a Mary heart in a Martha world is that we do not seek attention to ourselves. The world tells us to promote ourselves. The world tells us to give priority to ourselves. The world tells us that we find our significance in ourselves.

As believers, we too, at times fall into this trap. To be a Mary in a Martha world is to deny ourselves. It is the self in us that has rebelled against God, not wanting to submit to the authority of God over us. We will not only deny ourselves but we will come to His cross. There we will be crucified with Christ. We no longer live but it is Christ who lives from within us. We have died and our life is hidden with Christ. We always carry in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus will manifest from within us.

We do not look for any recognition or importance for ourselves. We are willing to be forgotten and ignored but we will serve people. Is this true in our behaviour? Often, we are not displaying a Mary heart in these matters.

Another area where we are to have a Mary heart in a Martha world is in relation to authority, security, and identity. Often, we do not operate out of our authority, security, and identity in Christ. We seek to establish our own authority, security, and identity.

Jesus sent us out saying that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him and therefore we go out as His ambassadors. Having Mary’s heart will mean that we are rested in God’s authority, security, and identity.

We will function with strength and power for we know where our authority lies. We will not be intimidated. We will respond in meekness for we will have the nature and character of Christ.
Finally, Mary was at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word but she was also gazing at Jesus. To have a Mary heart in a Martha world is to grow more and more into the image and character of Christ. This will be our single pursuit in life. In all things, we seek to be Christ-like, by His grace.

The world pressurises us to pursue several dreams in life. Our pursuit in life is singular. We pursue Jesus. This is being a Mary in a Martha world. We seek to grow into His character and nature. Therefore, when we face trials and tribulations, we do not look at these as threats but as opportunities for through them, the character of Christ is being formed into us.

As we conclude, let us realise that it is not possible to be a Mary in a Martha world by our own strength and effort. By our flesh, we cannot please God. Being a Mary in a Martha world is a work of His Holy Spirit.

We must always be led by His Holy Spirit in order to be a Mary in a Martha world.

Valentine Davidar, Agronomist, Bible Teacher and Mentor. He worked with the Haggai Institute for 18 years both as Executive Director India as well as Executive Director Asia and then joined World Vision India, where he contributed as Director Church Relations and as Group Director Public Engagement. He is a writer, who wrote ‘Being Made Whole’ and lives in Padappai, near Chennai with his wife Rita. They are blessed with two daughters, their husbands, and five grandchildren. You can reach him at valentinedavidar@gmail.com

No Comments

Post A Comment