Mary and Martha in Scripture always intrigued me. CONFESSION: At times, I have been both. One had the labor down but the love lifting UP for the Lord was lacking. One had the "works" but it came at expense of worship. One sister was so shackled serving her Savior that she didn't know the liberty or luxury of living for the Lord.
As my friend, Ken Freeman said so powerfully recently in front of 1,500 teens: "One sister was in Jesus' face but the other was at His feet." One actually had the audacity to give orders to Jesus but the other was obediently awaiting in silence to hear His words not her own.
In ministry, the lines can get blurry and sometimes we find ourselves so busy in the Lord's work that we accidentally leave out the Lord of the work. NEWSFLASH: It is His work and better to be in love with the Messiah than the ministry. The first is God and the other becomes a god. #ThatWillPreachAllDayLong
One of my very best friend, Craig died in 1995 and it rocked my world. Coming home for his funeral and boycotting a semester in college enabled me to really evaluate life, ministry and how I approach things. Legalism is HIGH on the law but LOW on love and pause now and take inventory of what sister (even as a brother) you see yourself today while knowing God.
Truthfully, I love that even when our hearts are as pure as possible the Lord still can throw a curveball to both bless and teach us. Just last month, I was rushing to Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC for an early flight to Myrtle Beach, SC to preach New Years Eve and New Years day @ BIG GOD CONFERENCE with Hawk Nelson, For King and Country, Kerrie Roberts and my friends, Dean Forrest and his family who host this awesome, anointed outreach.
It was just days after Christmas and I had checked in my lone piece of luggage at the airport ticket counter and was carrying a bag of presents with me to the Palmetto State. With all the traveling we do on the road I believe in bringing gifts but its not every day that I am toting Christmas presents through the airport. While going through TSA security I got dressed (again) and started walking down the long terminal towards my gate with about ten minutes to spare. While sitting, a concern began to brew in me like something was missing, wrong or both. All of a sudden, I pictured Kevin's mother in "HOME ALONE" some 33,000 feet in the air and realized her prized possession was not on the plane!! She forget her boy and I forgot the bag!!!
It dawned on me that the bag with all the presents was not next to me and I must have left it at the security check-point. I knew the "Wise Men" were smart to bring gifts en route to meet Jesus but I am now obviously foolish for leaving them behind heading to preach in South Carolina. Just seconds before I was sitting relaxed but now with time ticking sprinting back down that long terminal to retreive a bag full of wrapped gifts. Fortunately, they were already stored in a secure room and an agent gave the bag back to me.
At this moment, I am now heading back down the same terminal that I've already been before and while whispering a silent prayer, "Thank you Jesus" that they were not stolen someone called my name. I looked up and it was a tall, friendly face wearing glasses and a big smile. My mind was still in a daze and it was none other than Pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church in DC and NY TIMES best seller "Circle Maker" calling my name!
We slapped each other high five and Pastor Mark graciously introduced me to his wife and I shared about my upcoming book "CARRYING GREATNESS" is 77,000 words and fifteen chapters and I had just completed it three weeks before this encounter. The irony is I had hoped to already submit it and get it published but a dear friend, fellow evangelist and author shared with me to hold off and allow him to send to his friends at a major publisher for review and consideration. He is an author with them and he graciously insisted to see if they would run with it. The bad news is the meeting scheduled with their heiarchy would delay it from going to print immediately however if they decided to pick it up it could touch more for His glory.
The clouds in my head were dissapearing and the SON broke. I mispelled it for a reason because what looked like a book and bag delay was now a DIVINE DELAY. The worse Pastor Mark could say was "no" and the Bible says, "You have not because you ask not" so I told him quickly about my new book and I shouldn't have been back on this terminal again but now holding up the evidence informed him my mind was somewhere else and had to retreive the bag of presents. Faster than a Ferrari with no brakes, I asked him would he consider writing an endorsement for the book. Without missing a beat, his smile grew wider and he said, "Absolutely!"
Had the book not temporaily been delayed a few weeks before and me forgetting my bag on that day I wouldn't have the honor to have Pastor Mark Batterson write in it. What looked like a dead end became a launching pad for God to take it to another level. Thank God for faith and forgetfulness because the Lord truly is in control and our initial dissapointments are often Divine Appointments.
Mary and Martha were two sisters. One was working and other worshipping. Today, which one are you? Thank God for our obedience but more importantly for His omniscence.