(Extract From An Old Magazine.)

The one who serves without sitting at the feet of Christ does what he thinks right; but it does not follow that this will be what Christ likes best. If I sit at His feet, I now what He likes best: my service is according to His mind.

We may serve any one, and that devotedly too, in two ways; either by doing what we think will suit such an one; … or what we have discovered by patiently and earnestly waiting on him, he would like to have done. Martha and Mary respectively describe these two characters of service. Martha does what she deems necessary, and concerning the usefulness of which there could be no question raised; but she consults only her own judgment as to the fitness of it. She felt, and that truly, that there could be no doubt as to the usefulness of it, and she worked away until she was wearied with it, and cumbered by her much serving. She had not the rest in the Lord that Mary had. Mary sat at His feet and heard His word. It is important to remember that where there is rest of heart, the heart seeks to be guided in everything by the pleasure of Him whom it serves, and not merely to do that which every one sees is fit and necessary. … If I consult my own mind as to what I ought to do, I make it my guide, taking it for granted that He will accept it; but then it necessarily follows that myself must be more before me than He is.

Many things appear quite right for us to do when we are not in fellowship with His mind which we should not attempt to do if we were. Peter would not have drawn his sword in defence of his Lord if he had been in company with His mind (John 18:10), yet no doubt he felt he was doing a right and worthy act.

A true servant is always ready. "Here am I" — "Lord, what wouldst Thou have me to do?" express his condition. He does not choose his work, but obeys his Master… Nine-tenths, or more, of our difficulties about service are from lack of intelligence as to our Master's will. We wait and wait for some great commission, and often leave undone the things present. We shrink from the work the Lord Himself may be putting before us, and desire to be used in other service in which He does not require us. … There has not been the sitting at the feet of Jesus to learn His mind before the attempt at active service.

For one Christian who knows his path of service, and is satisfied to walk in it humbly and quietly with the Lord, there are fifty in a restless, uncertain mood, desiring activity, but ignorant of what to be at. … All this uncertainty causes the discontent and murmurings so often heard amongst saints of "lack of fellowship," "want of care for souls," "no evangelistic effort," etc.; those who murmur loudest generally being those who have the lowest sense of individual responsibility, and the least power from God for a distinct path.

Still we must all confess to sad shortcoming, coldness, deadness, slothfulness. But the remedy is not in "murmurings and disputings," but in self-judgment and purpose of heart to learn, and from henceforth to do, our work for God. All are not preachers. But all have a place in the body of Christ: and membership implies activity and life, responsibility to the Head, and care for the members. All have a God and Saviour whose doctrine they are called to adorn in all things. All of us are living in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, amongst whom we are to shine, "Holding forth the word of life."

If we be meet for the Master's use, and prepared for every good work, we shall soon find that there is no time for complaint, but that the time rather fails us to do the many, many things the Lord will put before us day by day, and hour by hour. We may not have to preach to great congregations nor even to small ones; but there is plenty to do, besides preaching, and many a little work unseen and unknown by any but the Master Himself will get its reward in that day when every man shall have praise of God.

O Lord, in meek and godly fear,
To follow and to serve Thee here,
Do Thou our hearts incline;
To be for Thee where Thou hast been,
Until we reach Thee in that scene
Where Thou wilt own us Thine.