Are you a Mary, or a Martha?

In the biblical story from Luke, there were two sisters who had two differing priorites when Yeshua was speaking at their home:

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Yeshua's feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Yeshua answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."    -Luke 10:38-42

Just to open us up for this topic, there are increasing numbers of folks who are becoming what is commonly known today as "survivalists", with millions now at least heading towards doing what generations before us had never thought of, which is in preparing for long term apocalyptic conditions, even if just ramping-up their supplies, or in the buying of a generator, etc.  A growing number of people are all at varying stages of planning for their own self-preservation, and so perhaps some of the things we'll mention here may help us understand the simple differences between those folks we just mentioned (and that includes both Christians and heathen alike), and those who otherwise are more simply living their lives trusting in the Father, expecting by faith that whatever evils come their way, He will be able to deliver them from them, and in so doing they might be able to better focus on what they have been called to do.

Now this is not to say that we are to ignore any and all opportunities to provide for our own family's needs or defenses in routine ways, but it is the priorities in one's heart that we are going to address here, not the ocassional doorlocks one might repair on his home, having a few days supply of food in the fridge, etc.

Some of us know the types who have a focus that is born out of fear--an overarching fear of losing their lives and wealth that seems to far outweigh losing their souls.

Then there are the many small ministries that I see in so many towns across this land, where they claim to be "saving souls" under their proudly displayed 501c3 tax exemption status, but they are nothing much more than soup kitchens and/or food banks, etc, that don't even understand the gospel, let alone teach it.  They have long lines out their doors in filling people's bellies and felt needs, but the closest they ever get to explaining the concept of salvation through the blood and sacrifice of our Savior is that they may have a picture of a cross above their front door.  Other than that, they seem to give out their food supplies just as if anyone else would be making a living at their jobs, where they seem to have gotten so used to just passing out dinner plates and groceries, that they look as if they all just wished that those needy people would just hurry up and get their food and get lost so they could go back to what else they were doing.  Several of these types of "ministries" in the areas that I am in, have almost brought me to tears when I had tried to offer some tools to help these folks bring their visitiors to a better understanding of the Messiah and His salvation, as they don't seem to know the first thing about the mechanics of salvation, nor do they want to--they just want to pass out the food as effortlessly as possible and get back into their shiny new cars and head home after the food is gone.  Is this a Mary or a Martha example here?  

How many of us are in any kind of a rut like some of these folks, and thereby not truly focused on the real solution to the apparent coming clash between good and evil?  How many of us are researching, studying and sharing the truth of that very spirit world that is ultimately behind this coming war between good and evil, and sharing it with others?  How many of us have armed ourselves with the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit?  How many of us have our feet shod with the gospel of peace, our loins girt with the truth, and are thereby approaching the whole of the world without fear, having the breastplate of righteousness?   

Are we fully armoured and sharing what we know with the world around us, that more and more might be saved, where we then might defeat this increasingly wicked world via the simple spreading of the truth of YHWH?

How many of us on the other hand, are instead just putting on a mere helmet of salvation, pulling down the face shield over our eyes, and staying in their closets hoping that others will do all the scary stuff for us, while we do things that we hope will appease this growing beast?   Are we not to be evangelists to counter the growth of the beast's advances?  

How can others protect us, if we are not first doing our great commission duties and sharing the truth of what we have learned with them?  ...and if we are too afraid to even assemble with those at Yeshua's feet as Mary was doing, then how do we even gather such knowledge to begin with?  And so, on the world goes, not knowing how this whole mess can all be avoided if we'd just listen at the Savior's feet and then follow His instructions for us.

These thoughts, and many more, are all issues that should be taking higher priority in many more Christian minds nowadays, but with most folks of course who, without really knowing their Bibles, would rather be a little more like Martha than Mary from our passage above (which is precisely why they don't know their Bibles by the way...), they seem to be thinking:  "Let me just entertain everybody as guests and be "nice" to them as they come and go, where afterwards I can just send them back out into the world to fight for a better world.  I can justify my disinterest and fears in not wanting to get too involved with them in the things of moral and spiritual instruction myself, by staying in this kitchen, keeping myself too busy to assemble or study with those who are used to being out in the trenches fighting the wicked.  I have to stay out of the deeper stuff because I'm afraid that the government lords might come get me."  But this is exactly where they are making their first mistake, as their fear of this ominous "government god" is what is keeping the protective hand of the Father from covering them to begin with, to name just one way to see this attitude, as they have chosen to respect the wrong authority in their lives, which leads us to the jurisdiction issue once more.

There are also those who have a great gift of being able to physically heal others with holistic remedies and even combinations of helps, but far too many of those folks are also more focused on healing folks in their bodies than they are in healing their souls, even though they claim to be Christians.  

Or how about Christian guys that are really good mechanically, who will come by the widow's house and fix the leaky sink or the broken downspout and when offered some recompense for their services will generously say, "No thanks dear, just give the glory to God" , but won't say a single word about someone's erroneous biblical views, even when they know for a fact that the homeowner is in serious need of the gospel message.  This helpful individual then leaves with a smile, feeling that he has done the Lord a service, but has completely ignored his first calling and commission as a believer.  Why are people so eager to please (appease?) one another in the flesh, but are so leery of entering that spiritual teaching zone? 

Perhaps we should start over by getting back to the passage for a deeper look.  

Was Martha being responsible, or was she putting too much effort into the "things of this world", when other issues were more important?  True, folks all need to eat, and we are all told to feed the hungry, etc, and let's not belittle Martha's efforts, as her desire to feed everyone with such abundance was surely a selfless and noble thing to do, but this was not the time for that.   And yes, Martha seemed to have been the one that had invited Yeshua and his friends into her home, but they were invited only "so far" into her realms.  It was Mary, not Martha, who then went the additional and more important depths of wanting to invite all of the Savior and His teachings into her heart, not just their physical presense.  Mary had chosen "the better part".   Yeshua scolded Martha in her "much serving" and being "troubled about many things" (perhaps too many items of appetizers and entres, and such), where she was likely putting out a grand seven course meal or something, when just a few cold cut sandwiches would have done just fine, where she could have quickly fed everyone and then joined the group in much more of the Messiah's always crucial wisdom along side of them. 

There are many out in the Christian world today who are like Martha, who are fast to try and please their brethren and neighbors with the niceties of this world, rather than putting the Messiah's priorities in order to first make sure everyone is being fed spiritually.

There are also countless numbers of professing Christians who are merely looking out for themselves, and seeking to be the most generous, in that they will "get into heaven" by such show of works (of which again, faith without works is dead), but are not looking first at the salvation (rescue) of anyone around them, unless certain ones of them may play some key role in their own survival it seems.  Now, we are not saying that this was Martha's motive, nor do we rule it our either, but there are those that do not want to "sit with the radically religious" and would rather help from a distance, etc.   They sometimes even seem to feel that they can change the verse to say, "For where one or less is gathered, there am I in the midst of them", but that is not what the Savior said.  He said, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt 18:20)

Note also in the above verse, that it stipulates that they should be gathered "in [His] name".  As most of you in our ministry will also see the connection here, this again takes us right back to the jurisdiction issue, of which our assembly has had to become more strict in, regarding who we now invite into our assembly in such times, not encouraging the lukewarm and those with remaining beast ties to join us (as the world's churches are so quick to do, inviting various errors to fester and infect them).  Instead, and just as the early church, one has to have made a convincable conversion first, to be truly recognized as a believer who sits at His feet, gathering in His name.

We simply can not be true ambassadors of the Father, if we ourselves have not been fully converted from the societal system of satan and the world, as that shows a clear lack of faith, which is the most glaring antithesis to the passage, "the just shall live by faith" (Hebrews 10:38, Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, etc.)

So, which of the two women were eager to discover the Savior's instruction for their lives, and which was being a little less willing to stand in His jurisdiction, being perhaps a little on the worldly side in her own little kitchen's sense of security?  On the other hand, who was "at His feet", with the word 'feet' surely symbolizing one as a loyal subject as well?

The entire process of being saved, has to include the heart's desire to love our neighbor as ourselves, which does not always include feeding them seven course meals, but more so in making sure that everyone we meet has been told about the salvation and love of the Father and His kingdom, where in that kind of heart-felt new focus, we then cast all caution to the wind as far as our own worldly provisions and protections go, and simply stop everything that we had been doing, to let everyone around us know that they should be assembling at the Master's feet with us, meaning at HIS feet and under HIS jurisdiction!  We would cease from just about everything we had been doing, where we now know that an especially important part of that sequence would be to stop our own participations in the things of this world that otherwise encourage the wicked elite to continue to oppress our neighbors.  It is only once we are convicted to the heart over how we are sadly lacking in wisdom and compassion for our brethren, that we then "sit at the Master's feet", awaiting the most important knowledge we have ever heard in our lives, in order to better help conquer this thing called wickedness--and that means both in the world around us and in ourselves.   

Many will say that they feel they will be forgiven for not having had the courage to "be as brave as some of the other Christians", and further say that, "not everyone can be so strong", but they are sadly missing the point of what we are saying here, regarding what actually constitutes the heart of a true believer, who then loves his God and neighbor enough to then overcome such fears and put such new things of understanding in the forefront of priority in their lives--which is what makes us "born again" to begin with, as we are then walking in Yeshua's faith, not our old nature's fears!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phillipians 4:13)

Did not the apostolic Christians go to their deaths in the colliseums rather than pinch incense unto Caesar?   ...and today many won't even break their simplest ties with the beast, to then properly gather and sit at the feet of the Master, let alone then speak boldly about what they have learned in order to save others, and that's even when it is still perfectly lawful to do so!?  

Is not true Christianity all about loving one another?  If we are not even interested in hearing about how to better serve such a loving God by His instruction on how to "deny ourselves and take up our crosses" to love one another, and are more worried about saving our own hides, homes, fortunes, and our own politically correct reputations of being seen as "nice" people in town, and not pushy religionists, then which god are we really serving, and how are we "loving one another in so doing?  Are we not then just putting on a smiley face, and "entertaining guests" (at best) rather than sitting at the feet of the Master to show our love and loyalty unto all the world through His instruction?  Is the feeding of people's bellies going to help "grow" this kingdom of love that we have been given the commission (job) of doing?   ...or should we be feeding them in the heart, and encouraging them to sit at the Master's feet with us?

Yet those folks who are struggling with being too fearful to gather at His feet (and/or with the more serious preachers of our time), are then only halfway there at best, where as we just eluded to, our biggest calling is to "go ye out unto all the world, preaching the gospel [good news] of the kingdom [governance] of YHWH".  But how can we preach such a gospel if we don't even know the deeper nuances and law-related aspects well enough to have even taken over the fear of our hearts yet?  Have we felt such a conversion of wanting to excitedly learn and share this gospel message of Father's system of 'the perfect law of liberty" (James 2:10) if we are not living it in ways that the whole of the world can see our excitement in it?

And just as the passage from Ephesians that we took a few examples from (in how to fortify ourselves with the sword of the spirit, etc), we find in the next segment after that where Paul writes, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit ...  that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak."  (Ephesians 6:18-20).  If we are tying our lives up, being troubled about too many things [of human comfort, etc], then how can we truly expect to effectively spread that information of heavenly rescue (even if just to those we claim to love, let alone "every creature")?

How many of us are Marys and how many of us are Marthas?  Is it not easy to then guess which of the two sisters would then be more likely to go out unto all the world and excitedly spread all of this good news with glee?   ...and which might be more apt to stay in the house hiding their talent in a napkin?

Along the same lines. why is it that so many will follow the Savior when their bellies need filled, but as soon as "the show is over" (the loaves and the fishes are gone), then everybody goes right back home again, back to whatever it was that they were doing (well, I supppose except perhaps for the Marys in our lives that is):

"Yeshua answered them and said, "Verily verily I say unto you, ye seek me not because ye saw the miracles [which would indicate that they believe and therefore admire the doctrine and teachings that provide for such miracles, so some say], but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for him hath God the father sealed."  (John 6:26,27)

How many do we know, who are putting so much effort into filling their bellies, their family's bellies, and struggling for the things of this life, that they are completely missing the boat on how we are to be encouraging as many souls as we can, that they too might then excitedly want to do just as Mary had done, and "sit at the feet of the Master"?

There is an old saying that goes, "Give a man a fish, and you've fed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you've fed him for a lifetime."  Is this message not a similar inspiration coming from the Messiah, where He is encouraging us that the truth of the Bible's teachings will mature folks in that they will learn the utmost responsible ways of living life in all of Father's instruction of love and providence, and thereby never have want of anything!

So once more...   Are we living more like Mary?  ...or more like Martha?

We can't always think of the belly and the pocketbook, but must sometimes stop and consider where the priorities lie in weighing everything, including the more recent re-discoveries of the authority and jurisdictional decisions, etc.

Please my brethren...    think harder.

-dwaine