In serving the Lord there is a temptation to miss the better part and be busy with the work of the Lord to the neglect of a vital devotion to the Lord of the work Himself. God saved us for His pleasure and seeks worshippers first, not workers. We are saved from a life of striving. He wants us to learn to sit at His feet first, so we can then go out in the strength of that intimacy and truly carry His grace to those who have no real knowledge of His love.

 

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.”

Luke 10:38-42

 

Martha was distracted with much serving. Maintaining a balance between ministering to the Lord, one another and the lost is something we are responsible for. The Lord will allow you to overwork, just the same way as He will allow you to overeat. Imbalance is not His fault. It is ours. He has given us His word and expects us to attach the proper weight to our worship that He demands. Jesus showed that the good part that Mary chose, to sit at His feet in devotion, would not be taken from her. He implied that work would someday be taken from a person, but not worship. He thus set a priority in ministry. Worship first, work second. We are expected to minister out of the overflow of our intimacy to the Lord, bringing the warmth of fresh bread straight from the heart of God. Remember God first breathed His life into Adam, then Adam breathed out. This is the divine pattern of ministry. Breathe in, then breathe out. Daniel learnt that in order to do great exploits we must first know God.

 

…the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. Daniel 11:32

 

Know God and make Him known. That is our mandate. The apostles learnt the danger of improper balance and focus early on in their ministry. A situation arose when they labored at the tables to the neglect of their ministry to the Lord in prayer and the word. So they met and instituted deacons to help them attain a balance to their ministry.

 

 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.

Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:1-4

 

Later on, we see that Paul and Barnabas were sent out together on their apostolic ministry in an environment of ministry to the Lord. The leadership of the church at Antioch were given to worshipping the Lord, praying and fasting together.

 

Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:1-3

 

They ministered to the Lord and fasted. God wants any and all ministry to be birthed in worship and prayer. He is the source of ministry. Not our own zeal.

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