an excerpt from the book Real Men Worship.
One of the positive things that this last year gave us was the opportunity to spend more time with Jesus and linger in His manifest presence. Recently I shared four reasons why we as fathers should be intimate with Jesus from the story of Mary and Martha. There are so many positive things that come out of being close to God (which humans were created for). But there are also some negative things that happen when we are not close or intimate with Jesus.
These will help you....
"Martha was distracted by all the preparations to be made. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary” Luke 10:40-42a (BSB)
From Martha’s behavior, we can glean many lessons about what happens to us when intimacy with our Lord takes a backseat to our service or to other priorities in our lives.
Men who experience very little intimacy with the Lord often have a complaining spirit. Martha came from the kitchen area into the room where Jesus was and said, “Lord, don’t you care?” Anyone who knows the Lord Jesus as his or her Savior knows that Jesus cares. But when we are busy and lacking intimacy with Christ, we do not think clearly. Our emotions and our spirits get out of control. Those who are lacking in their private worship with the Lord more easily fall into complaining. When we see that happening in our lives, we should run to the secret place and spend some intimate time with the Lord.
Those who lack intimacy with the Lord show only token reverence to authority. Martha rebuked the Lord when she said, “Lord, do you not care?” She challenged Jesus with her comment. Who is Martha to challenge the Lord? Who are you and I to complain to Him, and challenge His ability to do things? When we haven’t spent time with the Lord, our problems take precedent over our praise.
Those who lack intimacy with our Lord often become self-centered or selfish. Martha said, “My sister left me to do the work.” The emphasis was on Martha. “My” sister left “me” to do all the preparations by “myself.” Who asked her to make a meal anyway? Perhaps she wanted to bless and impress Jesus. In her eyes what she was doing was the most important thing. Her priorities were not Jesus’ priorities for her. How often do we assume things need to be done? These are assumptions and presumptions. Did anyone ask Jesus what He wanted? Only one thing is necessary!
Men who are deficient in intimacy in worship will be demanding. “Tell her to help me.” Martha made a demand on the Lord. When we go to the Lord supposedly in an intimate time of prayer, do we demand that He fulfill our shopping list? This is not intimacy at all. It may have the appearance of a pious man who is always in prayer, but making petitions of the Lord is not necessarily intimate worship. We must check our own hearts and attitude when we go to the Lord in prayer.
Men who are deficient in intimacy will concentrate on things instead of relationships. I wrestle with this as much as most men. I love having toys—mobile phones, notebook computers, TVs, video cameras, motorcycles, boats, cars, etc. But the more things we have, the more they demand our time. I have not had time to learn all that my new computer does, never mind my video camera or mobile phone, not mention time with my family.
With the explosion of technology, there will be more and more toys that we just have to have. We must, as men, make a commitment to intimacy with the Lord. It is a discipline that will shape our lives. When we get to the secret place, we will realize that this is more fun than playing with any of the toys we own. We will realize more and more that we were built for relationship with God, and not simply to acquire things. Then our complaining spirit, lack of respect for authority, and self-centeredness will decrease. Our compulsion to make demands and desire things will diminish.
As we approach Father’s Day, I encourage you as fathers and spouses to focus on getting to know your Heavenly Father better and spend more time with Him. You will be grateful you did. What are your thoughts? Have you found this to be true?