Photo by Huper by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Psalm 46:8–11 ‘He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”’ (vv9–10)

It’s difficult to own the fact that our personal contribution to world affairs is minimal. We collaborate with God under His direction, but our influence, whilst important, is negligible.

Many seek to quantify the importance of their mortal life in its significance, but for disciples its importance lies in our attentiveness to God.

There is little point in fretting over the state of the world, for this lies within God’s gift, the One who makes ‘wars to cease’ whilst inviting us to. ‘Be still and know’ (Ps. 46).

Jesus points out that what is impossible for humanity remains possible for God (Matt. 19:26). Letting go of our desire for personal recognition is one of the first challenges to entering the stillness where we both encounter God and discover our true self.

Martha, for all the hospitality she offered to Jesus, was wounded when He focussed his attention on Mary.

She it was who sat in stillness with eyes only for God. Martha’s busyness was at the expense of sitting at Jesus’ feet and fully engaging with Him.

The challenge of distraction, when Jesus is displaced by our own ‘helpful’ ideas and the demands of realising them, robs us of encounter with God and learning to live in humble submission like Mary.

Jesus reminds Martha that just one thing is needed to live the Christian life, by pointing to her sister Mary.

Human activity can never accomplish the work of God. However, activity that is birthed by the Spirit through obedience offers the conduit along which God’s grace travels.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, give me the patience and understanding for sitting quietly at Jesus’ feet and giving Him my undivided attention. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
What distracts you from sitting at the feet of Jesus? Why do you feel the pressure to be active in doing God’s work? Be still and let the Spirit empower you afresh.

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 37:1–9; Hos. 12:1–6; Luke 10:38–42; Jas 5:7– 12

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.