Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Learning To Say No

LUKE 10:38-42 – Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

THEME OF THE DAY. LEARNING TO SAY “NO”. I face it every day. So do you. Oh, our situations and environments are different, but the temptation is the same. God has told us this truth . . . “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Granted, we face many common temptations, but there is one we share that if we give in, is the most spiritually damaging to us. It is allowing the urgent demands of life, the many distractions around us, and the mountain-high to do lists to cause us to neglect the most important thing in life – our relationship and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. No Christian is immune to this crafty and very effective tactic by our flesh and the devil.

Think with me for a moment. Have there been times we committed to set aside unguarded times in the Word and prayer to cultivate our relationship with the Lord Jesus but interruptions, distractions, even many good things pop up, drawing us away? It is amazing some of my best times of planning my day, coming up with ideas, projects, or things to do occur when I am at my desk with the purpose of seeking the Lord. And what often happens? We allow the interruption, distraction, even good thing, to take the priority and we put aside the sacred time to be with the Lord. We do so with the commitment, “I will get back to my Bible and prayer later today or after I do this one thing” and sadly, the flurry of a full day, leaves that commitment unfulfilled. Or the opposite happens. The day has simply drained us to where the mental and physical energy required for fruitful time in the Word and prayer have long taken wings and flight, leaving us too exhausted for reading and prayer.

Friends, the world, our flesh, and the devil will always bring the temptations of interruptions, distractions, and good things to us when we are determined to be alone with the Lord to seek Him, know Him, and love Him through His Word and prayer. Our foes will never leave us alone to seek quality time with the Lord. And their attacks are not to drive us to sinful things, but to distractions and detour us with good things resulting in neglect of the best thing.

When it comes to defeating this temptation of neglecting our walks with the Lord, we must be “Mary-like” as modeled in today’s scripture and simply say, “No”. It is learning to say “no” to the things drawing us away from the Lord and keep saying “no” to those things, even the good things, that will defeat this temptation. And we can do this. We must. Our spiritual health is at stake.

PRAYER: “Father, remind me that the most important relationship I have in life is with You and to guard that at all cost.”

QUOTE: “If we don’t say ‘no’ to the demands and pressures from a busy life, spiritual consequences will occur.”