Food for Thought
Wade E Taylor
"For it is under His direction that the whole body
is perfectly adjusted and united by every joint that furnishes
its supplies; and by the proper functioning of each particular
part, there is brought about the growing of the body for its
building up in love" Eph 4:16 Williams Trans.
As we grow spiritually, the Lord may use us in some special
ministry or way. When this happens, we tend to place an emphasis
upon this particular experience and neglect other areas of
our spiritual growth. This will cause us loss, as it is necessary
that "each particular part" within our spiritual
experience furnishes its supply so we will be balanced in
our spiritual growth.
On the surface, these different areas of experience may
appear to be contrary to each other. We are called to serve.
As we do, we trust that the power and anointing of the Holy
Spirit will work within us so our ministry will be effective.
We are also called to a life of devotion and prayer. In this,
we come apart to be alone with the Lord and to wait upon Him.
Along with these, our Adamic nature is to go through a process
of crucifixion and die, that resurrection life may come. These
are very different areas of experience.
The "proper functioning of each particular part"
in these varied areas of spiritual experience and growth was
demonstrated to us by Jesus through the activities of a family
that He often visited in Bethany. He loved to go to the household
of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. There was a reason as to why
this was so.
"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered
into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received
him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which
also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word" Luke 10:38-39.
"Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany,
the town of Mary and her sister Martha" John 11:1.
Martha was always busy. She was taken up with "things."
She saw the needs of others and faithfully served them. While
Martha was doing all these things, Mary was just sitting.
She only saw Jesus and was singularly interested in what He
was saying. At the same time Lazarus, who was very sick, was
dying. Here is represented a divine balance in our Christian
experience, portrayed by two sisters and a brother. Notice
that these are related to each other. They are not to be separated.
Our ability to serve is given to us by the Lord. Thus, ministry
is portrayed as being feminine, (Martha). Also, our devotion
to the Lord is expressed through our being a bride to Christ
and is also portrayed as feminine, (Mary). Our Adamic nature
is portrayed as masculine, (Lazarus). "If any man will
come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross,
and follow me" Matt 16:24. This nature within us is to
be crucified. Therefore, Lazarus was dying.
Each member of this family functioned together and supplied
their particular part. While Mary waited, Martha served. When
Martha criticized Mary, Jesus did not tell her to sit down
and wait like Mary. Rather, He said, "Mary hath chosen
that good part, which shall not be taken away from her"
(See Luke 10:40- 42). Martha was to continue serving because
it is necessary.
Later, Jesus stayed away until Lazarus died. This was His
purpose, that resurrection life might come. Thus His relationship
to, and dealings with, each of these was quite different.
Consider the fact that this "household" which
Jesus loved to visit is resident within each one of us. The
occupants, two sisters and a brother, are to have their particular
part and function within our lives.
Allow each of these, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, to live
out their particular part within us to the fullest and bring
us to the highest of our potential. Then, we will become the
balanced, mature adult that will attract Jesus as He seeks
out a household to visit.
Then, when He comes into our house, "Martha" will
feed Him, "Mary" will sit at His feet as He feeds
her, and "Lazarus" will be resurrected into the