We are in a season where, more than ever before, the children of God must remain in Him.
In times where the darkness is getting darker, the children of light are called to shine brighter. We need to align our hearts to His, so we see ourselves + our world through His eyes, so that we can understand the times and know WHAT to do and WHEN to do it.
This is so important for the world needs the sons & daughters of God to rise up. For all creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed (Romans 8).
But also? It’s what we really need for ourselves. Jesus spoke of it long ago, that because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24). Now, more than ever before, we need to guard the lamps of our hearts to make sure that our lights don’t get snuffed out by the days that are to come.
How do we protect our hearts? By remaining in Him.
If you’re anything like me, you’d be asking, “Lord I know you want me to remain in You and I want it too. So… what does it look like, y’know, practically?” The Lord has taught me many things through the life of Mary, sister of Lazarus, and today I’m excited to get to share a little bit of that with you.
Come, Holy Spirit, and breathe fresh life on these words right now. Draw our hearts and bind it to Yours.
1. Quick Obedience
“The Teacher is here,” Martha said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Him… When the Jews who had been with Mary noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her. — John 11
Mary’s quick obedience to Jesus inspired others to follow after Him.
God seeks out those who worship in spirit and truth (John 4), people follow those who follow hard after Him (John 11). We don’t have to strive for a calling, ministry, or even encounters with God. When our hearts are postured in continual worship so that we are quick to respond to Him, all of these will be added to us.
A.W. Tozer puts it like this: I am of the opinion that we should not be concerned about working for God until we have learned the meaning and the delight of worshiping Him.
Be quick to obey, even if you don’t fully understand or when it costs you to do so. There are moments we are called to step out in faith — it is impossible to please God without faith. There are times we are called to an obedience that costs us our reputation, dignity, security. But God will always restore to us many-fold what we’ve given for Him, and as we seek His Kingdom first He will add everything to us.
It is time to stop talking about it, rationalizing, and asking question after question. Now is the time to take a stand: Are you for Him or against Him? Those who aren’t for Him are against Him. Will you choose to be quick to obey His voice? To go when He says “Go”, and to stop when He says “Stop”. No more looking back. This is the hour for the mature sons of God to arise, and they are the faithful ones marked by instant obedience to their King.
2. Wholehearted Devotion
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. — John 12
The Lord is searching throughout the earth for those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him… the ones who are fully His in spirit, soul, and body.
Holy Spirit will always lovingly bring conviction where there are areas of our lives that aren’t yet given to Him. You know — that little bad habit we don’t want to kick, that person we cannot forgive, that indulgence we’re unable to give up. He wants to take it all and gently breathe new life so that every part of us shines through with the Light + Life of heaven.
He wants wholeheartedness. And He wants it for our good.
Can we decide from today that we will give Him our whole life, even if it costs us? Mary poured out the most precious, costly thing she had at the feet of Jesus, and it moved Him so much He promised that her story would be shared wherever the gospel is preached. And so it has.
3. Deep Intimacy
When Jesus saw Mary weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. — John 11
There is a place available to all children of God. A place of such closeness to the heart of God that words become redundant. That place where we breathe His name, and feel His breath on us in that very next moment. A place of face-touching-face closeness that we don’t have to speak words to know that He’s heard our hearts. A place where we come to the throne of God and can pray like Jesus did, “Father, I know You hear me” and know with unshakable confidence that He has heard and it is done.
Martha evoked a theological response from Jesus. Mary moved His heart.
Martha got into a discussion. Mary stirred Him to action.
The difference? Martha knew His acts (abilities) , Mary knew His ways (heart).
And the Lord is still searching for those who, like Mary, are after His heart (person) not His hand (power).
He desires oneness with His beloved, and will do everything to bring us to that place of intimate knowing with Him. To fully know Him + to be fully known, that’s the pinnacle of all human design. Will you ask Him today to draw you closer?