Be careful, guard yourself at all times! Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” satan does not always try to get you out of your ministry, your calling or the task of serving, but he will try to remove your purpose in it.
The trick of his trade is to disappoint you enough in your task of serving to the point that you either, give up or allow bitterness and frustration to replace the joy that you had when you first put your hand to begin that good work. There is no better servant, than the one who has learned to sit before the Lord, before they ever put their hand to serve Him. While I could give you a dozen examples of that in scripture, I will share only two scenarios concerning two different servants and a little bit of their own personal struggles in learning that obedience is better than sacrifice.
We are quick to forget that upon Jesus’ resurrection, he walked, talked and ate with His disciples confirming His resurrection to them. One afternoon after Peter and some of the disciples had been fishing when Jesus appeared to them on the banks of the river and invited them to come ashore to eat some bread and fish. While they were visiting with Jesus, He asked Peter 3 times, whom he loved. Peter told Jesus three times, Lord, you know I love you.
Jesus responded each time to Peter that if he loved him, then he was to feed Jesus’ sheep. You see Jesus ask Peter to confirm his love for him first, then He instructed Peter to work for Him. By this time Peter would have been ready to do the work that Jesus was asking him to do. For Peter had been through his own personal spiritual schooling concerning the love and mercies of God’s forgiveness and His ways. Peter was fit at that point to feed God’s lambs because he himself had experienced the gospel message personally. But, he had made many mistakes before he learned who Christ really was and that whatever Peter would end up doing for Christ, would be learned on the shoulders of failure and forgiveness.
While in the middle of serving the Lord, Martha became frustrated in her work and allowed bitterness to fester in her heart towards her sister who was more interested in heavenly manna at that point than the manna that Martha was serving up in the kitchen. Because Martha jumped into the work and forgot to pause for power, she suffered much grief in her heart. She allowed the devil to rob her of her joy in the midst of her serving.
When we choose to serve others spiritual food before we ourselves are prepared to serve it, then we can easily get sidetracked and loose our focus. That simply means that we cannot serve others until we have allowed Christ to serve us by spending time with us and allowing Him to wash our spiritual feet on a regular basis and by guarding our hearts to insure that our motives are in line with God’s will and our love for others is greater than our love for ourselves or any task that we will ever put our hands to do.
Martha’s task was not her problem, her attitude in her task is what brought her rebuke. A tale-tale sign that we are veering off the beaten path in trying to do a thing for God or others is our attitudes towards them. Martha might have had the right attitude when she invited Jesus to dinner, but she allowed satan to change her purpose in what she was doing and got side tracked in her task. If you are serving the Lord, don’t you dare get discouraged, keep it up! But, be sure to soak your attitudes and feelings in the healing waters of His Word, so that you will be fit to serve, in joy; and when you sense a wrong feeling or attitude well up in you in the midst of what you are doing, be sure to surrender that wrong attitude that very moment and when you do, your peace will continue and your work be pure!