What's your HQ? Not your IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, but your HQ, Hunger Quotient. Are you hungry for God? Are you longing for Jesus?
In Psalm 63:1, David declared "God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." While hiding for his life in the desert of Judah, David knew what it was like to be thirsty. At that moment, he no doubt desired physical water more than anything else. He now tells God that he desires Him in the same way he longed for water. It is a passionate thirst, a craving and longing.
A beautiful example of hunger and thirst is Mary at the feet of Jesus in Luke 10:38-42. Here we see a striking contrast between Mary and her sister Martha. Two women are at the same place, at the same time, with the same guest - Jesus. But there are two very different results. The difference is Focus. Martha is distracted by all the work of preparation. She is focused on Doing. Mary is simply sitting at the feet of Jesus. She is focused on Being in His presence.
Before we get too hard on Martha, we need to remember that she is being a considerate and gracious hostess. Jesus is visiting her home and she wants to prepare a meal that is pleasing, attractive and nutritious. Many of us would want to do the same thing. What's the problem? Time and energy spent doing things for Jesus kept her from spending time with Jesus.
All the work that needed to be done coupled with the fact that her sister wasn't helping her led Martha to a place of worry and eventually resentment. These built to the point where she eventually cried out to Jesus, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Yes, Jesus cares. He cares more for Martha than He does about any meal she can prepare. What a wonderful lesson for us. He cares more about you than about anything you can do for Him!
Look at Mary. She is focused on Jesus. She is looking in His eyes, waiting to hear any word He says. She is not a slacker but is intentional in her desire to be with Him. At that moment, nothing else matters but Jesus. She humbles herself to be with Him; she is literally sitting by His feet on the floor. It is not about her comfort but about her desire to be with Jesus. She is so thankful her life is different since she met Jesus. She is so glad she and her family have a relationship with Him, to the point He would be a guest in their home; a family friend that you could sit at His feet.
What are some lessons we can learn from these sisters?
From Martha we learn about Distractions. What are things that can sidetrack us from entering into worship?
Do we get so busy doing things for Jesus that we don't spend time with Him?
Are we concerned about what others might think of us when we sit at the feet of Jesus? Will they think we are a slacker? A fanatic?
3. Busy-ness of Life
Life can get really hectic. It can be very demanding at times. Have you ever thought, "I'll just do one more thing and then I can devote myself to spending time with Jesus"? You have an enemy who wants to keep you from spending time in praise and worship and he will always find one more thing for you. It's a spiritual battle.
From Mary we learn the value of Focus, the necessity of being intentional.
1. Choose to Worship
It is easy to become distracted and miss out on personal time with Jesus. It is tempting to let the good things keep us from the best things. And don't wait until emotions kick in, until you feel you are ready to worship. A dear man at the first church I pastored once commented, "Worship wasn't there for me last Sunday." Guess what? Worship isn't there for us any day. Worship is not for us. It is for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is always worthy of worship. There is never a time when He is not worthy of worship. So let's make the decision to each day give Him the praise!
2. Seek His face and not His hand
Pursue Jesus for Who He is and not just for what He can do for you. Praise and worship is not about requests. It is tempting to concentrate on a "Want" list. "Lord, bless me and my family. Please provide for us and keep us safe." Do we have the privilege to present our needs to Him? Yes! But that is not what Mary was doing at the feet of Jesus. I can't picture her saying, "Lord, I need this. Will You do that for me?" She was at His feet to be with Him, to listen to Him, to enjoy Him.
Don't let the good rob you from the best. Don't let your doing overcome your being. Instead, let the doing come from the being. You are a child of God, a co-heir with Jesus. Spend time with Him. Sit at His feet and enjoy His presence!
#5 in the series, "Extravagant Worship."