Have you ever had something you can’t figure out? An answer that you have searched for prayed for and searched some more but can’t quite land on a definitive? Well, I have. I’m not talking about a situational thing, I mean a theological thing. Something about which I was having trouble interpreting scripture.
Something came up in a bible study several months ago that I wrestled with. It was an issue that I couldn’t seem to find where I landed. There aren’t any really clear “thou shalts” or “thou shalt nots” in scripture on this one, so I was a little stuck.
So, I studied. At any given time you could find me in “my chair”, with at least 2-3 translations open plus commentaries and key word studies sprawled across my lap – and me, trying to understand words that are WAY above my pay-grade.
But one night, as I sat down getting ready to start to dig, I was smacked square in the face with a little perspective. I happened to open up to the story of Mary and Martha. It’s funny because anyone who knows me would NEVER accuse me of being like Martha. I am a “Mary” through and through. Sometimes to a fault. I even (confession time) sat there thinking to myself, “I wish someone somewhere would preach on ‘how to be more like Martha – because the condition of my closet/laundry room/kitchen could sure use a little “Martha energy”.
If you don’t know the story, you can read it in Luke 10:38-42. Basically, Martha welcomed Jesus into their home and as she was working on all the things that need to be done when you have guests, her sister Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to all that He had to say. She then complained to Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better…”
I began to realize that I may have a little more “Martha” in me than I thought. Maybe not working and preparing in the kitchen (Lord help us), but as I was studying scripture and trying to understand what is biblical, I heard the question reverberate deep in my soul,
“What are you seeking?”
Huh….What was I seeking? An answer? A doctrine? An opinion?
That’s it, God’s opinion. That’s what I was seeking, God’s opinion. I don’t know what mine is, so I want to know His so that mine can become His. That’s right…right?
But I felt that question again,
“What are you seeking?”
Ok, so apparently “God’s opinion” wasn’t the right answer. So I started thinking about it, what am I seeking? And true to form, I took to social media while I pondered this…while scrolling, I came across a video a friend posted of an old song. I think I’ve mentioned before that much revelation comes to me through online video streaming sites.
The lyrics start pouring into my earbuds, into my heart…
“Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”
I went back to the story in Luke. Verse 40, “Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” Martha was distracted by good things. I was distracted by my search for knowledge-for answers. I was distracted by good things.
What Martha was doing wasn’t wrong, it just wasn’t the better thing.
What was I seeking? I was seeking an answer. But why? – was I seeking knowledge or was I seeking Him? When we seek God’s heart, that’s when we find His opinion. That’s when we find answers.
It’s good to have knowledge, but “only one thing is needed, Mary has chosen what is better”.
Spurgeon said, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”
Seeking God’s face is the only way we can clearly see. So I will keep searching and studying, but not for knowledge…for Him. I will keep opening my bible and studying to know Him.
Besides, having all the answers was never what God wanted for us. He created us to know Him, not to know stuff. Remember what I always say about “thinking I have it all figure out”….
Lord forgive me for seeking knowledge more than I seek Your face. Lord, teach me. Teach me to be like Mary even in my search for understanding. Teach me the “right use of knowledge”. Realign my heart to Yours. Because You God, are my goal. You are my search, my life, my reason for living.
“You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”