Luke 10:38-42 contains a story that describes two sisters' interaction with Jesus. One sister named Mary sat at Jesus' feet and was focused only on hearing from God and on gaining wisdom. The other sister named Martha was focused primarily on cleaning the house and preparing the meals so that Jesus would feel welcomed. Mary understood the urgency of the times and the need for her to become wiser in the things of God, but Martha was more focused on the physical issues.
While God cherishes a heart that wants to have a beautiful home or sanctuary in which to welcome him, he is much more concerned with us having a clean heart and a pure mind. Of course, he wants us to have a beautiful, welcoming home or sanctuary, but not at the expense of our spirituality and growth. When God has given every indication that he wants to speak to us, we must demonstrate the eagerness and willingness to listen that Mary exhibited, set aside our personal and congregational agendas, and simply listen.
There can be nothing more important or more urgent than seeking God's guidance during this time of global turmoil. When our agendas occupy 80% of our time, it is a sign that we are merely marking time and are not moving forward and growing spiritually as we are required to do. It also is a sign that we are more concerned with meetings and personal plans than with preparing for the kingdom of God. God is chagrined that his people are making the same mistake that was made 2,000 years ago when the Jews ignored the message of redemption and were more concerned with maintaining the status quo.
The status quo has brought us to this point of global turmoil. If we insist on continuing the status quo, the turmoil will increase, perhaps exponentially in the days ahead. Imagine what our world would become if the wars, the refugee crises, the mass murders, the suicide bombings, the earthquakes, and the political turmoil all increased exponentially. Imagine also the human toll, and the emotional havoc that will be wreaked. Imagine further the economic ruin that will befall countries and cities that are forced to deal with the exponential increases.
The God of Creation has pledged to establish a kingdom that will never be destroyed. He will have in his kingdom individuals who believed the promise, prepared their hearts, and lived into their spiritual purpose. Living into your spiritual purpose is essential to establishing your role in the kingdom of God. If you fail to prepare and to build your part of the kingdom, you will have no role in the kingdom (Matthew 25:14-30).
Building your part of the kingdom may be as simple as donating some furniture to a hospital or to a family in need, or it may be as complex as Paul's mission. When you have the indwelling Holy Spirit, he will direct you as to your mission and purpose. God's kingdom will include as its members individuals who never attended church, but nonetheless made a decision to surrender to God, as well as devout Christians who attended every church service. The key distinguishing factor will be that they all lived into their purpose by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. They also will all have been baptized by full immersion in water.