If repetition in Scripture is God’s megaphone, then God is shouting this morning. Three times in ten short verses God’s Son repeats the same exhortation to His disciples. Do you think He’s trying to get something across to them? Three times my Resident Teacher, through the God-breathed Scriptures, echoes the same command to me. Do I think the Father is trying to get something through to me? I’m thinkin’ . . .
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? . . . Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ . . . Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” ~Jesus (Matthew 6:25, 31, 34 ESV)
Do not be anxious . . . do not worry . . . do not be troubled with cares.
Easy to say, perhaps. Harder to do.
Not that I shouldn’t care. Not that I shouldn’t seek to be responsible. Not that I shouldn’t work to provide for my family and their needs. But that I shouldn’t be troubled with cares. I shouldn’t think it’s about an earthly legacy. I shouldn’t think that it’s all up to me. I shouldn’t fret in a way that reflects a belief that, if I don’t look after things, who will?
It seems that if there is a secret to “don’t worry,” it’s not just to “be happy,” but it’s about focus, beliefs, and priorities.
If this earth is the end game, . . . if that’s the prize . . . if that’s the finish line, then I should go for it, laying up as much treasure for myself as I can. Working to afford the finer things, to enjoy the good life, and get as much as I can while I can. And if that’s my focus, then that’s where my heart will be. But, if my eyes are set on things above, if my heart is focused on a city not made by hands, then I’m investing in the future. I’m getting ready for eternity, I’m laying up treasures in heaven. And I know that I don’t have the capital in and of myself to build that account. That treasure only comes through abiding and obeying. Investing through the One who saved me, and remade me, and enables me to make heavenly deposits.
And, it’s about what I believe concerning my heavenly Father. Will not the One who feeds the birds of the air, and clothes the grass of the field, not also ensure His children’s needs are met? Does my Father know what I have need of, or not? Does He care, or not? If He does know, and He does . . . and if He does care, and He does . . . then mine is not to wring my hands but to rest in His.
Finally, it’s about where my priorities lie. If day in and day out I’m focused on what I need to eat and what I need to wear and how I’m going to build up my bank account and how I’m going to get through my bucket list, then I’m going to be anxious, I’m going to worry. That, I’m thinking, is what some call the rat race. But if, by God’s grace and the transforming work of the Spirit, I instead seek first the kingdom of God, then my Sponsor for that kind of race will insure I have all that I need. He is faithful . . . His mercies new every morning . . .
O’, that I would earnestly desire treasure in heaven above treasure on earth. That I would truly believe my Father desires to meet the needs of His children. That my over-arching passion would be for the things of His kingdom.
I kind of hear God shouting this morning, “Don’t worry, be faithful.”
By His grace . . . for His glory.