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The Utmost Duty of a Believer

Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Praise be to God for allowing us to enter into another New Year. We ought to acknowledge with a grateful heart that God in His sovereign will permitted us to continue in this wicked world, for our ‘times are in His hands’ (Psa. 31:15).

Never forget, that our days on earth are extended to fulfil God’s will in and through our lives. So, it’s imperative to know God’s purposes for our lives and accomplish them during this brief earthly sojourn.

Certainly, any time is appropriate to seek God’s will and to yield afresh in obedience to Him. We don’t need to wait for any special day or season to please God and live for Him. The scripture also exhorts us that today is the day of salvation, consecration, and obedience (2Cori 6:2; Heb 3:7–15).

Let’s Review our Priorities

Nevertheless, due to our limitations as finite humans, we find certain occasions to be more suitable to reflect upon life. The beginning of a New Year is such a juncture when it’s natural for us to look back with a grateful heart for all that God has done in our lives. It is also a time to review and reaffirm our priorities, in view of accomplishing God’s perfect will regarding us.

Meanwhile, some are skeptical regarding New Year resolutions. They rightly point out that most New Year resolutions do not last for more than two months. However, we need to remember that it is these specific decisions and dreams that make us realize when we fail to accomplish them. As someone has well observed, ‘with a goal we hit somewhere, but without a goal we hit nowhere’!

Let’s consider, what is that area(s) in our life, where we need re-dedication and make determination in this year? What is the most important responsibility of a follower of Christ? In other words, what should be our number one priority for the days ahead?

Be at His Feet

The answer is found in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to Martha who was eager to serve Him and the apostles.

And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41, 42).

While Martha was troubled and worried about ministering to Christ and His people, Mary her sister quietly sat at the feet of Christ to hear from Him (Luke 10:39). Moreover, Christ commends Mary for her right choice and reproves Martha for her misplaced priorities and the subsequent restlessness.

More than anything else, even than what might seem the most legitimate and spiritual activities, we ought to spend time alone with our Lord. This means that we have to sit quietly with the Word of God to meditate it, while worshipping and pouring our heart before Him in prayer.

It is here we commune with the Lord as friend with friend. And it is here the Lord molds us to be prepared for Christian life and service.

Martha’s experience shows the consequences of failure in this area. Self-pity, criticism, murmuring, and other disorders that affect our mood and behavior mainly result from an undisciplined spiritual life. Without consistent meditation and prayer, we become weak, vulnerable, and an easy target for the evil forces. We should always remember the words of our Lord, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5c).

Divine Demand

This quiet time with the Lord is not just an option or a suggestion, but it is an absolute necessity. Four things are noteworthy in this connection:

  1. Christ calls for a quiet time with Him, Matt. 11:29

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Soon after calling upon all those who toil and carry burdens to come to Him for deliverance and rest, the Lord Jesus exhorted them further to walk with Him and learn from Him. Neglecting this aspect of His call, no one can successfully continue in Christian life, even though one is born again and saved.

  1. He taught this to the disciples, Mark 3:14 cf. 6:31, 32; Luke 9:10

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.” (Mark 3:14).

 Before sending the apostles to preach and serve the people, Christ wanted them to be with Him (cf. John 15:27).

  1. He longs for it, John 17:24a

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am….”

The final point in His intercessory prayer is our presence with the Lord in glory. While we share this longing for Christ earnestly expecting to be with Him, we ought to experience the same spiritually even today.

  1. He has exemplified it, Matt. 14:23

“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.” (Matt. 14:23).

The Gospel writers repeatedly refer to the time Christ spent alone with His Father (cf. Mark 1:35; 6:45, 46; Luke 5:16, etc.).

Early in the morning, and late night our Lord went to solitary places and communed with His Father. Moreover, soon after a ministry, we find Him separating Himself from the crowd to pray alone. If the Son of God found it essential to have such regular quiet times alone with the Father, how much more do we need this personal spiritual exercise?

A Sure Reward

Our Lord made it very clear; that all who wait at His feet will reap blessings of eternal value that no one can take away (Luke 10:42). Our understanding of Christ and His Word will increase as we listen to Him. When the Word of God richly dwells in us, our hearts will be filled with heavenly peace, hope, and the joy of the Lord. (Colo. 3:15, 16) We will be better equipped to face the troubled world around us, for we shall be renewed and refreshed with divine strength (Isa. 40:31).

The secret behind the effectiveness and success of a believer is nothing but the personal quiet time they spend with the Lord daily. Not only the biblical instructions but also the example of our Lord and the saints in the past, testify to us this fact. Yes, of course, we might know it well, but the question is how successful are we in this area?

Do you have a regular time of personal devotion? Are you struggling to prioritize this utmost Christian obligation amid your busy schedule?

Remember, our adversary who knows well of the result of personal intimacy with Christ and His word, will bring all kinds of obstacles. We have to know and overcome those schemes of the evil forces.

Practice Today

Intentionally, let’s cultivate a habit of quiet time alone with God to meditate on His word and pray. Deliberately separate a time and a quiet place daily to enjoy this personal communion with God without any distractions.

Most Christians find early morning more suitable, but it is up to the individual’s convenience when they want to have a quiet time. However, the most important thing is we should plan our quiet time in such a way that it is personal, uninterrupted, and consistent. Apart from this designated place and time, we can come to the Lord any time for a time of fellowship with Him.

There could be plenty of other spiritual obligations we may have to fulfill, But without having a lively relationship with the Lord regularly, all our efforts – no matter how sincere and needy they could be – will become futile. At the same time, obedience to this supreme duty will take care of all our other things (Matt. 6:33).

Let us examine sincerely, like Martha, if our misplaced priorities have left us bitter, confused, and troubled. Before it’s too late, let us resolve to deal with this issue, and experience the wonderful Christian privilege of quiet times alone with the Almighty so that we stay strong and victorious in our spiritual life, despite the challenges and struggles we face.


{Related topic by the same author: When Trials Come! }


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