My car talks to me. One of the ways it communicates is through indicator lights on the dashboard. One light that deserves my immediate attention is the “low fuel” indicator. When that one appears, it means that I need to take steps to correct the situation.
In the same way, there are indicators that help me monitor my schedule. These often appear when my schedule is overloaded and needs to be adjusted.
Some of these indicators are found in the story of Jesus’s visit to Martha’s house in Luke 10:38–42:
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Indicator 1: When my agenda pulls me away from Jesus.
The text says that while Jesus was teaching, “Martha was distracted with much serving.” Hospitality was a top priority in that culture. Martha focused so much on it that she was distracted from what Jesus was saying. In ministry and evangelism, it is easy to do the same. We can become so focused on other things, even serving others, that we neglect His word which is vital to well-being and walk with Him.
Indicator 2: When I try to manipulate and control others to help me accomplish my agenda.
Listen to Martha’s words, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.” When Martha viewed Mary, she saw her in light of what was best for Martha rather than what was best for Mary. She viewed her as a way to accomplish her will rather than a person who needed to experience Jesus at that moment. The implication here is huge for evangelism. It is so easy to view people as either objects that get in my way and/or means to help me get things done. I need to view them as God does, as people who desperately need Jesus.
Indicator 3: When I try to manipulate and control Jesus to help me accomplish my agenda.
Listen again to Martha’s words, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.” Martha tries to manipulate and control Jesus into helping her accomplish her agenda. Sometimes we can be guilty of the same thing. Look at your prayer life and ask, “Are my prayers primarily me asking God to grant my desires or am I actively seeking God and His word and direction for that day, hour, or moment?”
Indicator 4: When I lose focus on the “one thing.”
Jesus gently confronts Martha’s worries about “many things.” There are times when our busy lives reflect our busy minds that are filled with worries about the cares of this world. Those worries compound when we forget about the main thing, which Jesus refers to in Matthew by declaring, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” When our focus is on the kingdom of God, i.e. His agenda on earth including knowing Him and making Him known, He will help us tend to our needs.