Coffee, the Couch and Communing with our Creator
One question I have challenged myself with lately is this …Am I fellowshipping more with facebook, or with the Father? I’m no devotional diva. But I wanted to write a devotional for busy mums or anyone who can spare fifteen minutes to get comfortable on the couch, with a coffee in hand and commune with their Creator. To ‘Be still and know that He is God’. When I ask myself the question of whether I am fellowshipping more with facebook or with the Father, I am speaking to myself. It is not to condemn anyone else. However I recall that a recent study demonstrated that many Christians read facebook more that we read our Bibles – the living Word of God. We are created to crave community with others, and much of that community is often online as our world becomes increasingly computerized. My blog post for next week is going to be about ‘Cultivating Community in a Computerized World’.
But we are also called to fellowship with God, to passionately pursue His presence in our lives. We are made to have a personal relationship with the living God, that is as natural as breathing. King David wrote, ‘ ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek'” (Psalms 27:8). God invites us in James 4:8 to “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We all have different calls on our lives. Some are called to be teachers, some are called to be prophets, others pastors. Some of us may be called to be in the market place or the business arena. Many of us are mothers, a high calling in and of itself. But regardless of the individual call on our lives, we are all called to fellowship with Him. But how often, especially when life is busy and there are many plates to spin, do we become distracted? It is a daily battle. The enemy of our soul wants us to fill our lives with distractions. I often think of a useful anacronym for busy is ‘Being under satan’s yoke’. Perhaps we are going to have to battle the busyness if we want to commune with God. Because when we neglect personal focussed time with Him, we can be vulnerable to distraction and can even become overwhelmed with circumstances around us.
Many have spoken recently of a call to God’s people, coming out of heaven, and it is a call to greater intimacy and fellowship with Him. To ‘dig for oil’. The word fellowship in Greek is koinonia. And there are several meanings of this. It is a close companionship, like that which Moses had with the living God. And it is a sweet communion. When you talk to God and spend time in His Word you can sense the sweetness of His near presence. God promises in His word that “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 34:14). How often do we need this when there are the constant demands of little people, never ending washing piles and the inevitable laundry lethargy associated with this. Not to mention the myriad of family activities and work demands. It is relentless, and we need refreshment. Another promise of Scripture that ‘You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.’ We have to trust and believe, as faith is such a large part of our walk as Christians, would you agree? If there is anything that the enemy would seek to devour it is our faith and our peace. We must become hungry and thirsty for more of Jesus, pursuing God’s presence but without striving. As it says in Isaiah, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? ‘Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare (Isaiah 55:2). Spending time in His presence allows God to move in our life and to do the impossible. He breathes on us His spirit, of new life. We can repent of any sin or wrong doing in our lives and we can as for God’s grace and forgiveness. Then we can listen and wait on Him. Isaiah 64:4 says “God…who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who earnestly waits for Him.” He’s waiting on us to wait on Him. Waiting and listening is key.
Moving from a Martha Mentality to a Mary Mentality
Have a read of Luke 10:3-42. It is the story of Mary and Martha.
“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.” Luke 10:41-42
Who do you relate to more? Are you a doer like Martha? Or like Mary, are you a contemplative person who sits at the feet of Jesus? Sometimes I can be more of a Martha than a Mary. The get things done woman. I like to get things done. It seems to be how I’m wired. I like to have a sense of achievement and this is something that I wrestle with as a fulltime mother. Those of you with wee ones will know that it can be a challenge to have a sense of achievement sometimes, even though I am of the conviction that raising one’s children is the most important job one will ever do. And I relate to Martha as a mother and wife, as she seemed to feel that no matter how hard she tried, her work was never done. Do you ever feel like that? It’s like shovelling snow while it is still snowing. But Martha was focussed on duty instead of devotion, and perhaps she worried about what others thought of her. Perhaps she had a performance orientation. Look out for one of my upcoming posts on ‘Pruning the Performance Orientation’. Because isn’t our world so performance oriented? And sometimes our churches are too. Martha was looking for affirmation. And as a fulltime mother, you don’t get any accolades. There is no praise for changing a nappy, taxi-ing your child to soccer or making a meal. But Mary sought the favour of God. I’d like to be more like Mary. To be focussed on devotion, to prioritize God first and to have a ‘Mary Heart in a Martha World’. But perhaps balance is the key – that discipleship can be framed by stillness (Mary) and service (Martha). We need times of service and times or stillness.
Digging for Oil
- Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Verse 6 says, “A time to keep and a time to throw away.” Can you think of things of ways to simplify your life? Ways of de-cluttering? throw away, including activities as well as things? How can you simplify your life so that you have more time for important matters such as deeper Bible study and more prayer? Important things usually have eternal value, and how often do we neglect these things?
- Jesus didn’t try to do everything. How often do we as women believe the lie perpetuated by society that we can do it all? Jesus knew what He should do according to John 5:19-20, 30? How can we follow His example?
And a Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, help me to move from a Martha mentality to a Mary mentality. Help to me to have times of stillness where I can be still and know that you are God. Help me to seek first you as the giver and not just the good gifts that you give. I thank you that you are a good God and that you want me to know you more and more. As I spend time in your Word, waiting on you, may I become less distracted or overwhelmed by the circumstances around me, and may I receive a greater measure of your peace, being emposwered by your presence in my life. Thank you God. Amen.