Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Fast-food Spirituality

If you had the choice and neither time nor money were factors, which would you choose:  fine dining or fast food?  A professionally cooked steak or a microwaved burger?  While I crave the occasional french fry or milkshake like any other person, given the choice between the two, I would rather eat a meal of real food than the more convenient alternative.

However, I can’t always say the same about my spiritual meals.

Too often I let fast-food nuggets pass for quiet time with the Lord.  A quick prayer offered here and there.  A verse I saw on facebook.  Even a well-written, Christ-honoring blog post.

Don’t get me wrong, all of these convenient options are good; we should be continually praying and consistently abiding in Him.   Finding Mary moments in our Martha world is difficult, especially with little ones in the home! Those brief snacks help us to do just that!

But which of us mamas would feed our little blessings a steady diet of fast-food only?

We wouldn’t!  In fact, we often work hard to make sure they get what they need nutritionally.  We do things like sneak in veggies, plead with picky eaters, and sometimes even resort to the bribery of dessert because we know they need to eat those green beans! 🙂

bread of life

 

 

In the same way, our heavenly Father does not wish to see us settle for a spiritual diet that lacks substance.

“Come and dine,” the Master calleth, “Come and dine!”  He desires us to drink deeply of the Living Water,  not to live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  He wants to see real growth so that we might experience that abundant life that He planned for us from the beginning.

And don’t we feel the difference, sisters?  When I snack on spiritual fast food, I might feel good for a little while.  I can check “quiet time” right off of my list.  I might even maintain a patient and loving demeanor for a time.  

But the truth is, those little snacks are not enough to carry me through a long day and the next…and the next…and the next.  The temptation to substitute the quick, convenient alternative for a real meal leaves me running on empty later on.  And if I carry that pattern out for a few days, that outward exterior is sure to be slipping.  I become grouchy, impatient, unloving, and down-right selfish. I’m dissatisfied with life.  My blessings become burdens.

On the other hand,  when I take the time to really dine with the Lord, I feel so alive, don’t you?  His presence provides me with a jolt of energy and grace that lasts a good while longer, and the benefits only multiply if I dine consistently!

 

spiritual fast food flower

 

 

What would happen if we quit substituting spiritual snacks for the real deal? Might we experience a deeper walk?  Would the fruits of the Spirit come more easily?  Would grace reign in our hearts and homes?

My goal for the week is to choose the feast and to be consistent in doing so.  I want to be satisfied in Him, not empty or dissatisfied. Will you join me, friends?

As a mama of four, I know what I’m asking is far from easy!  I’ve spent those long days unshowered and unfed.  I’ve trudged through those sleep-deprived trenches, just desperate to survive, never-mind thriving.  And some days a fast-food option really is the best spiritual diet we can manage. 🙂

But I also know the strength and endurance I need to be the wife and mother the Lord wants me to be cannot be gained from spiritual fast-food alone.

Hebrews 5: 12-14

  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you

the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant,

is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

 But solid food is for the mature,

who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

My sisters in Christ, let’s not be spiritual babes, content to feed on what is easy or convenient. Let’s accept the challenge to dig deeper, to run to the banquet He prepares before us.  

What arrangements will you make to truly dine with the Father this week?

Jen 🙂

Advertisements
18 Comments »

Choosing Mary Moments in a Martha World

Like many women, I’ve been really busy this week with a lot of good things.  In addition to my everyday tasks, two things in particular have taken up a fair amount of time: a Mother’s Day talk I am working on for church and a future blog post that just isn’t quite right yet.

They are both really good things, both uplifting to the Body of Christ and instructive for me, the writer.

However, last night and this morning God was working in my heart to show me a truth that I had learned before, but temporarily forgotten.  Good things can become bad things when they distract me from the BEST thing – my relationship with Him!  You see, I thought I was doing good by feverishly working on these projects in my spare time, which you can understand as a mother of four children is indeed very spare. In my zeal and enthusiasm for this good work, I forgot to turn to the Source from whom the words flow.

Sounds an awful lot like Martha, doesn’t it?

Choosing Mary Moments in a Martha World, Mary vs. Martha, Mary and Martha, choosing the best thing, abiding in the Lord

Luke 10:38- 42 reads:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 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!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was busy doing good things – taking care of others, preparing food to serve them, and so forth.  They were necessary preparations.  But when she expressed her frustration to the Lord about her sister Mary, He actually rebuked her instead!  He told her that Mary’s choice to fellowship with and learn from Him was the better choice, the BEST choice.

I had the opportunity earlier this year to attend a women’s conference, and the main speaker, Kimberly Sowell, so aptly narrated this story to us.  She reminded us that we live in a Martha World – full of work and busy schedules.  Those tasks, those good and necessary things that we do on a daily basis (raising up children, working, serving others, preparing meals, even work related to ministry) have to be done, but we must be careful not to let them distract us from the most important thing – abiding in Him.

Don’t make the mistake I made; don’t choose simply good things over the BEST thing.  Choose to make time for a Mary moment in spite of your Martha world!  And as soon as you make the choice to be Mary, don’t be surprised if something needs your immediate attention!

This morning, as soon as I sat down on my bed and opened my Bible, my preschoolers who were playing so nicely together suddenly needed my TOTAL attention.  Thankfully, God reminded me that Satan is always at work, and rather than getting frustrated and giving up, I was able to quickly attend to their needs and come right back to my Bible.

It wasn’t easy with two distracting 4-year-olds at my feet (and on my bed, sometimes even in my lap), but it was worthwhile, and I know He was pleased with my obedience.  I know because when I finished, I had peace.

Jen 🙂

Question:  What “good” things tend to distract you the most from the BEST thing? (feel free to share in the comments)

Other articles you might enjoy:

http://pastorswifeslife.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/what-am-i-chasing/

You may also find me linking up at any of these lovely places.

 

20 Comments »