ONE THING- that is what the Lord requires of us. What does that mean? Well, a study of God’s Word reveals that at least three times in Scripture God says, ONE THING. Let’s review starting with the Old Testament.
In Psalms 27 David says, “ONE THING I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
This prayer is David’s of the Lord, desiring to live in God’s house and see him always. This seems to talk about after death and being in heaven. True, I think it does, but also it speaks of the present and seeing God through the Holy Spirit always as we seek after him in prayer and his word the Bible.
In the Gospels, Luke 10:42 takes us to the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus comes to visit. Here Martha frenetically goes to work preparing a meal for their special friend and guest. Not Mary, she sits at his feet and listens to his teaching instead, much to the consternation of her sister. Martha in fact, somewhat angrily asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her. To this Jesus responds, “Martha, Martha, you are worried (upset) about many things, but only ONE THING is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” On the surface, this looks like quite a put down. Really it is Jesus telling us that the Word of God is our nourishment and far better than other things, especially being worried. Yes, hospitality is good, particularly in that culture. But Jesus would only be with them a short while longer.
In Philippians 3:13 we hear Paul say, “…but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But ONE THING I do. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
What an incredible goal, admonition and challenge. ONE THING, that is hard in this crazy and fast-moving world. But that is what the Lord is telling us throughout Scripture. Put aside the worldly things and seek after Him and His word and promises. There is no eternal value in the things of the world, but only in heavenly things of the Lord. Press on!