In Luke 10:38 – 42, it is interesting to note that when Jesus was in the house of Martha and Mary, Martha was the one being corrected by Jesus even though she was working on “all the preparations that had to be made…” (Luke 10:39, NIV). On the other hand, Mary was being affirmed by Jesus for choosing the “good part” – by sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening intensely to what He said.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is emphasizing the heart of God through Mary in Luke 10:42. Jesus made four important statements in the verse:
1. One thing: Jesus told Martha that Mary did the one thing needed. In other words, Mary took seriously the call to cultivate the ability to respond to God in love with extravagant devotion. This is the one thing needed, the only non-negotiable thing. Why? Having this in place gives us the necessary discernment and resolve to sustain love and obedience in every other area of our life and ministry. As we sit at the feet of Jesus, we position ourselves to receive God’s help, which is indispensable in coping with and handling all the other aspects of our lives. If this issue is not in place, then our other decisions will be clouded.
2. The good part: Jesus declared that Mary chose the good part. Jesus settled the issue of how important this is by calling this lifestyle good. It is a godly and wise foundation for our life, for building relationships and ministering to others. Those who disagree, disagree with Jesus.
3. Choosing: Jesus declared that Mary chose this lifestyle. We must also choose it. No one can choose it for us. Cultivating a heart of extravagant devotion to Jesus takes time and effort. It is something that we must do deliberately; love does not just grow automatically.
4. Not taken away: Jesus prophesied that Mary’s heart of devotion would not be taken away from her. What does this mean? First, that grace for a lifestyle of extravagant devotion could be sustained throughout Mary’s life if she continued to choose it. Second, that at the judgment seat of Christ her life of devotion would be rewarded (1 Cor. 3:14). Mary, a young single woman, was never mentioned in the book of Acts or in church history. She was not known in the courts of man for her ministry. However, she will be known forever in the courts of heaven for her extravagant love for Jesus.
In this season, the Holy Spirit is emphasising the anointing of the Mary of Bethany. The Holy Spirit is emphasising the ability to linger long and sitting at the feet of Jesus. It is not just the power of the flesh or being more disciplined and resolute, but it is an anointing that is going to increase in the coming age.
Not the “Only Thing” and Not the “Many Thing”
When Jesus said One Thing is needed, He didn’t mean that it is the “only” thing. Jesus is not telling us to do nothing but only to sit at His feet and listen to Him.
We must realise that Jesus is also concerned about the lost and the fulfilment of the Great Commission. As a Church of Jesus Christ, we have a task to fulfil – to reach the world with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
What Jesus is trying to emphasise is the BIG PICTURE in our faith. What is this BIG PICTURE? In essence, Jesus is saying this:
“When a human heart is engaged with God in intimacy, the rest of the work of the Kingdom will happen more effectively and efficiently. If we don’t sit at the feet of Jesus, it’s a matter of time that we will get burnout.”
We must make the First Commandment (Matthew 22:37 – 38) to be the FIRST – that is the essence of One Thing. The Second Commandment must not be first. If we do that, ministry and church will eventually become an idol in our lives.
This does not mean that the Second Commandment or the Great Commission is unimportant. We must not forsake the Second Commandment or the Great Commission. It also must not become the Third or the Fourth Commandment. But it must remain the Second Commandment and not the first!
Choosing the ONE THING – the gazing heart and enjoying intimacy with God (Psalm 27:4) – will connect us to the great power source of God. It is the means by which the power of the Holy Spirit is being supplied continually to our heart. When we are too busy serving and not being renewed, we will eventually burnout, broken and bruised in serving God and others. One thing is needed and it will set into motion everything that is needed!
Micah 2:13: the Breaker’s Anointing
The heart and call of the Forerunner Ministry is to be the people of One Thing! It is critical for us to develop a lifestyle of One Thing so that everything will be set in place. All the powers of hell will wrestle and fight us so that we will not be a people of One Thing.
In Micah 2:13 the LORD promises that He is raising up a people of One Thing – they will BREAKOUT out in order to BREAK OPEN. We will be breaking-out of the traditional paradigm in the church. The LORD will raise up a group of people that will break lose from the “crowd” & will not be captivated and enslaved by the tradition. To be the forerunners, we must be able to breakout of the crowd and tradition.
When we breakout of the traditional boundary-line, we will break open the things in the spirit. We will open “gates and doors” in the spirit (v.13). We will bring great blessings to the ministries, churches and the Body of Christ. The goal is not to be abnormal. Don’t try to be different for the sake of being different, but only be different for the sake that you know that it is not the norm of the biblical pattern.
We are never going to break open for others unless we breakout of ourselves. We will never break open if we are the people of all things, but only if we are the people of One Thing! We will never be able to be the forerunner, the voice in the desert until we become the people of One Thing. If we are not the people of One Thing, we are only the “echo” and not the voice. Don’t be the echo but be the voice – being alive in the spirit and fiery in the spirit. If we are going to be the voice, we must be the people of One Thing!
We are living in extraordinary time & unusual hours where God is raising up an extraordinary people to do unusual act of extravagant love and devotion for Jesus!
Unusual acts of devotion come from cultivating a spirit of devotion as a lifestyle. Mary of Bethany did an unusual extravagant act of devotion on Jesus in Mark 14:3. A year earlier (in Luke 10), Jesus had commended Mary for choosing the “good part” in sitting at His feet to hear His word. Her lifestyle of choosing the “good part” by hearing the Word equipped her to do the “good work” – the unusual extravagant act of devotion (Mark 14:6).
We can never do the “Mark 14:3″ until we choose the “Luke 10:42″!
Will we choose the One Thing that is needed?