Now, some may be glad to hear this for the wrong reason: They like the idea that God wants us to “sit at His feet” and not to work. But Jesus wasn’t disclaiming work at all. Work is an important part of God’s will for every believer. He rebuked Martha, not because she was working, but because she had been distracted by her work. Distracted means drawn away or diverted from one’s primary goal.
In Jesus’ parable of the sower (Matt.13:3-8), we are told this about the seed that fell among the thorns: “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants … What was sown among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” Distracted by worldly concerns, the believer fails to see God’s word (or purpose) come to fruit in his life.
Paul warns us as soldiers of Christ Jesus that we should not allow ourselves to be caught up and distracted by “civilian” (worldly) affairs (2 Tim 2:4).
Subtly, it is good things which most often distract us. “Doing the work of the Lord” consistently displaces the Christian leader’s personal prayer relationship with Jesus. What could have been a more worthy desire on Martha’s part than to make sure her house looked nice and that a nice meal was made ready for Jesus? You and I want to do the same thing, wouldn’t we?
Jesus, however, pointed out that no matter how seemingly worth y one’s objectives, or how holy one’s office nothing is important enough to take preeminence over our relationship with Him. God values our fellowship with Him more than anything we can or will ever do for Him. And it is as we can enter true spiritual worship that relationship begins to take shape.
GOD SEEKS WORSHIPERS
Jesus told the Samaritan woman God was seeking men and women who would worship Him. God first seeks worshipers, then workers. But didn’t Jesus tell us to pray for God to send workers into His harvest? Yes, but those workers must be worshipers first! I’m convinced whatever God does to advance His purpose on the earth is born out of a worshiping people. Because the church has reversed this formula for so long, much of its history has been barren – a spiritual wasteland.
NO WORSHIP . . . NO RAIN!
Job 36:27 and 28 illustrates where rains of blessing come from. ”He [God] draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.” Zechariah 14:16 and 17 explains how this natural phenomenon pictures a corresponding spiritual reality: “If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.”
No worship … no rain! The worship of God’s people ascends to God as vapors from the earth. These vapors arrive in His presence and then distill into a rain of blessing, glory and renewal that falls upon those who worship. As God’s people worship, it provides God with the “raw material” He then uses to release power and blessing among them and upon the lands in which they dwell. If they don’t worship, they won’t get rain.