Are You Busy?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “busy” as “engaged in action” and for many church leaders and disciple-makers, there is a pride that comes from being engaged in the work of the kingdom for God’s glory. This isn’t a bad thing and in fact, should be a marvelous thing to be considered ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) who lives through us (Galatians 2:20) on this side of the cross.
We are saved by God for His purposes in this world (Ephesians 2:8-10) and yet, what if in our culture of being busy, we have forgotten the foundation of our doing?
Imagine if I were to work and provide for my wife without truly spending time with her? Imagine if I wanted to pursue something with everything I had and yet, never wanted to know what that something was?
Now, my wife is not God nor will she ever be; however, the principle remains. Are we doing without being? Are we doing things for God without being with God?
Perhaps the greatest story that illustrates this comes from Luke’s gospel as we enter the house of Martha.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Pete Scazzero, author and speaker, once said, “Our doing for Jesus must be sustained by a life of being with Jesus.” It is often in life, that I like to remind myself that ministry for God is fueled by a ministry with God or in other words, in order to truly do things for God, I must primarily be with God in order to understand His will, His heart, and ultimately, His character.
In the story from the gospel of Luke, it is evident that Martha loved Jesus. In fact, the sole reality of having in her home meant that she desired him and wanted to be with him; however, Jesus does say that Mary has chosen “what is better” which should make us truly wonder about our own lives in light of what Jesus has done for us.
John 5:19 it says, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
Jesus, the one whom we worship and follow made is clear that the pursuit of His Father was of the utmost importance when it came to his earthly ministry. How foolish we must be as finite, followers of Jesus, that we believe we can do so much for Him, but spend minimal time with Him?
Enjoy God and Glorify Him Forever
As the people of God, it almost seems preposterous to think that we would be children of God without even spending time with our Father and yet, that is what many of us do on a daily basis. Without exception, this includes myself. Perhaps even more so in the Christmas season where last minute shopping is rampant, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are anticipated more than the actual Christmas day, and stress filled households are more common than singing carols, many need to spend time with God to remember His character expressed through the glory of his son, Jesus.
The gospel fights against our busyness and it delivers us from a path of selfishness in which we do for the sake of doing without knowing for the glorious opportunity to know. In 1647, the shorter Westminster Catechism was completed and in its answer to “what is the chief end of man?”, we read the answer to be “to enjoy God and glorify him forever.” How amazing is this? To be able to enjoy God through the gospel and glorify him in everything that we are as well as do.
To do things for God without knowing who He is can take us down a path with a terrible road that will lead to confusion, burnout, and heart-break. On the other side, knowing God will lead to the greatest joy, love, and reason for life that anybody could ever experience. Pursue time in God’s written word and keep your eyes on the Word that came, died, and rose again to display the glory of God. What great love this is and how great of a love, that we must endeavor to pursue it every chance we get!
How can you find more time to simply be with Jesus this Advent season?
–> Join the online community, ask questions, and get answers from seasoned practitioners.
–> Check out some of our other relevant resources:
- How to Equip a Community to Abide in Christ
- Resting in Jesus
- Starting a Missional Community? Listen.