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An Unfocused Life - Girlfriends in God - February 19, 2015

February 19, 2015
An Unfocused Life
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3, NLT).

Friend to Friend

I had a list of things to get done. Yes, my back was killing me and I was tired, but that list kept me hurrying around the house like the proverbial Energizer Bunny. When my husband walked in from work, I gave him a quick hug and resumed my almost frantic pace.

“What are you doing, honey?” Dan asked.

With one of my famous sighs, I responded, “I just need to get a few things done.”

“How is your back?” Dan persisted.

With growing irritation, I answered, “It hurts!”

Dan quietly watched me for a few minutes, and then calmly stated, “You don’t know how to sit down, do you?”

My first response was irritation - which quickly escalated into anger - until I heard the unmistakable prompting of the Holy Spirit affirming the truth Dan had spoken. I needed to learn how to stop, sit down - and rest.

But that list held me captive to unrealistic expectations in a ridiculous effort to prove my worth through what I did. It is an ongoing battle in my life. And I am not alone.

We all struggle with balance and the inevitable battle with stress that the struggle to find balance creates. When we refuse to balance the overwhelming demands of work, home, family, friends, and personal growth, stress will be the natural result.

What we really need is a holy balance only God can bring. The story of Mary and Martha, two very different women, offers valuable truths about balance that we can apply to our lives today. 

A balanced life is focused on right things. Focus is always found at the feet of Jesus. Mary lived out this truth. In fact, Mary, more than any other person in the New Testament is associated with sitting at the feet of Jesus. 

What does it mean to “sit at the feet of Jesus?”

First, we must stop. Now that is a novel idea for most of us, isn’t it? Mary stopped what she was doing - helping Martha in the kitchen - and came to sit at the feet of Jesus. Of course, Martha immediately began complaining that she had been left to do all the work while her sister wasted time sitting at Jesus’ feet.

Listen, girlfriend, there will always be someone who will misunderstand or complain when you choose to obey God and do what Jesus told Martha was “the better part.”

Luke 10:40-42 “But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’‘’

Mary made a choice, and so must we.

Choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus requires decisive planning, purposeful scheduling, and a willful determination. God wants relationship building time with us every day. Like Martha, we forget the most important thing - time at the feet of Jesus.

I can squander away the best part of my day, leaving God with the leftover scraps of time, and then have the audacity to complain about the void of power and purpose in my life.

Distractions come from every side. Some of those distractions are good things, but they are all still wrong things if they keep us from spending time with God. We make daily choices about where we invest our time as we run errands, plan meals, deal with children, clean house, and do laundry - but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God.

I hate to wait - on anyone or for anything. I tend to view waiting as a thief that robs me of control and forces me to face the unknown. But I am learning that waiting on God brings priorities into a right focus and releases the catalyst that may very well change my life course.

Waiting is not passive. Waiting is active spiritual obedience. In each waiting room of life, God is at work preparing me for whatever lies ahead.

Are you desperate for the peace and a balance only God can provide?

Stop. Take inventory of the demands on your time, and begin investing the best part of your day sitting at His feet. Being wrapped up in God’s work can easily become a shabby substitute for being wrapped up in His presence, and we can only be wrapped up in God’s presence when we learn to sit at His feet and wait on Him.   

Let’s Pray

Father, I’m tired of trying to prove my worth by what I do. I’m tired of being responsible for everyone’s happiness – a burden you never intended me to carry. I want to let go of everything except those things You have for me to do. Give me the strength to stop and rest in You. Thank You for loving me, Father. Help me live a life that reflects Your love.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read and memorize Psalm 23:1-3. List two ways you can apply these verses to your life in the area of sitting at the feet of Jesus.

  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________

More from the Girlfriends

An unfocused life will produce stress. In her book, Escaping the Stress Trap, Mary transforms the promises of the Twenty-third Psalm into easy-to-implement, practical steps that will hand you the keys to stress management. The chapter-by-chapter study guide is ideal for both personal and small group studies.

Check out all of the FREE MP3s, articles, and book excerpts on Mary’s website in the Freebies Section! And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

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