Luke 10:40 – But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
The old Puritans were right, our hearts are idol factories. You ask, what is an idol? Well, an idol can be anything. A hobby can be an idol. A spouse can be an idol. A child can be an idol. Your money can be an idol. Your free time can be an idol. Laziness can be an idol. Even serving the Lord can be an idol, if it’s done in "our" way instead of the Lord’s way! Any time you begin to put yourself first, do things your way, in your timing, and by your values instead of God’s, that is an idol. You’re putting something before Him.
So, we have Martha, a good woman with probably a genuine heart devoted to Christ, but she is caught up in the idolatry of serving the Lord. Instead of serving the Lord for the Lord, she is serving the Lord for Martha. You can certainly lose the King in the King’s work, and this is what happened to Martha.
Now Mary is meditating at Jesus’ feet, “but Martha was distracted.” The word “distracted” has the idea of being drawn away. Mary is meditating, but Martha is drawn away and distracted from the Lord in her service to the Lord.
One scholar put it this way. When we have "concerns" that the Lord doesn't mean for us to have, they become “thought-scattering anxieties.” When we get bothered and busy about something outside of God’s will, all of the sudden we can’t think clearly anymore. We can’t organize our thoughts. We lose our priorities. These are "thought-scattering anxieties."
Far too many of us struggle with that. Even in our service for Christ, we can get busy and lose our heart devotion to Christ. Now God has given all of us earthly concerns. You have to work; you have to clean house; you have to raise children; you have to change diapers; you have to buy groceries. Those things are pleasing to the Lord; that is spiritual service unto the Lord. However, earthly chores and earthly concerns become sin when they hinder that which is essential for the soul. In addition, don't even let your WORK for the Lord rob you of communion WITH the Lord. That’s where Martha was.
Unfounded concerns control our lives all too often. We can spend all of our energy on anxieties that never happen. I’ve heard someone say, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, and some of them actually happened!” Are you one of those who is always full of concern and the worst case scenario? Your mind stays consumed with "what ifs?" I’ll tell you what that is; it is idolatry! Call it sin!
The Lord reproved Martha for her misguided service. She was so diligent in her service to the Lord that she lost the savor of the Lord! Savor and serve the Lord. But make sure you savor Him first, and during, and after your service! Nothing clears the mind and vanquishes anxieties like communing with the King of peace!
Luke 10:41-42 – But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”