February 24, 2023

Too Much Serving

Written by Boyd Bailey

Too much serving is an indicator of too much self, while Spirit-led service is not thinking of self.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 24, 2023

Martha was distracted with much serving.  Luke 10:40, ESV

Jesus is not calling out Martha for serving…He is admonishing her for too much serving. No doubt she had a heart for the Lord. Yet she was distracted by doing for the Lord…and, in the process, missed the heart of the Lord. By being encumbered with too many domestic duties, she could not give herself permission to be with the One who was in her presence…waiting patiently for His beloved daughter to be with Him. Though Martha was too busy to rest with her Beloved as His beloved…Jesus waited like a groom smitten by his bride. Though Jesus called the greatest in His Kingdom, those who serve…greatness for God flows from first being with God.

Charles Spurgeon rightly explains how we can give ourselves permission to integrate into our life being Mary and Martha in one as we serve: 

“We ought to be Martha and Mary in one: we should do much service and have much communion at the same time. For this, we need great grace. It is easier to serve than to commune… See to it that sitting at the Savior’s feet is not neglected, even though it be under the specious pretext of doing him service. The first thing for our soul’s health, the first thing for his glory, and the first thing for our own usefulness is to keep ourselves in perpetual communion with the Lord Jesus.”

“O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant” (Nehemiah 1:11, NKJV).

Prayer and service go hand in hand…like a charging station for a Tesla. Without power, a beautiful machine will sit and miss out on giving eager and adventurous passengers a ride. As you listen in prayer, the Lord will lead you to say no to some acts of service you thought you were supposed to do, and with an unexpected yes, He will lead you to help someone who may not have been on your agenda. Prayer teases out the Spirit’s best opportunities for service. Lean into the Holy Spirit to curate your calendar, and you will have more margin and more effective service. Less can be more when it comes to the Lord’s work…Spirit-led service keeps giving!

Is your service Spirit-led, or does it feel force-fed—like you have to make something happen in contrast to the momentum that comes with being in God’s will? Service in Jesus’ name is serving others who invite you in, not forcing your way into somebody’s life, so you can feel better about yourself. Wait on God’s timing, and those you serve will be blessed, and in the process, you will feel God’s pleasure. Too much serving is an indicator of too much self, while Spirit-led service is not thinking of self. You will quietly love as your service divinely flows out of quiet moments. 

“For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26, NKJV).


Heavenly Father, I quiet my heart before you, so I can quietly serve for you, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.


Consider stopping one area of service and embracing serving in a way that is out of your comfort zone.

Related Reading

Matthew 26:41; Luke 2:37; Acts 4:31; Colossians 1:9

Worship Resource

Melanie Uribe & Becca McGraw: We Make Space


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