And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. - Matthew 6: 28-32 (ESV)
O you of little faith. I know this can be a tough lesson but worry is essentially doubting God. Remember, we are not talking about being concerned rightfully about something. We are talking about that tormented and plagued spirit where worries have become their life. Who has lost sight of their value to God. Faith is easy on the mountaintop beloved. Faith is easy when everything is sunshine and puppy dogs. Show me the valley and then we can start to measure true faith. That brings us full circle to the key verses for today; the closing verses for Chapter Six:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. - Matthew 33-34 (ESV)
There are several truths within these two short verses to combat worry in our lives. To remind us of our value to God. To make us realize that life is about so much more than what we fret over. The first truth is that we are saved to seek first the kingdom of God. To value the matters of the kingdom over the matters of this earth. To value the eternal over the temporal. Would it be nice to hit lotto? Sure but everything from it will fade. It will rust. It will decompose. What might seem of staggering value today will be worthless tomorrow. Not so when dealing with kingdom matters. What God has does not rust. It does not change. Its value remains throughout all time. Seeking the kingdom first means we think about the kingdom instead of this world. What a way to combat the worries of this life!
Secondly, we also have to seek His righteousness first. It is not enough to simply pursue the kingdom as an abstract without it affecting your walk as well. There are far too many intellectual Christians. I know pastors who can put together a coherent and biblically correct sermon but without the power of the Holy Spirit it means nothing. Herein lies the problem in most of the seeker friendly, purpose driven churches today. This is why the average attendee leaves within three years. Because the purpose driven model teaches the pursuit of matters that appear to be kingdom related but they left pursuit of His righteousness off the teaching/preaching agenda because it has been deemed unfriendly! So you end up with a faithful churchgoer who serves in a ministry but is not pursuing Christ in their walk. You end up with a hyper Martha who does not even have a sister named Mary. They learn the nuances. They learn the Christianese. They learn when to say amen and when to shout hallelujah but at the end of the day they are the same person as when they first came in. Not only do they not pursue righteousness, but they are taught that their kingdom pursuit is their righteousness. The end result is they are no better protected from the worries of this world and the sins that so easily ensnare us than they were before they went up for that two sentence altar call that never addressed their sinful state before a holy God.
The third truth we see here is that when we are pursuing God in our walk and the kingdom in our lives, then all of these things are added unto us. I have seen false teachers use this to pretend that this means God is advocating for us all to be rich and that is absurd. What it means is we will learn godly contentment. We will live in the transcendent peace of the Lord. It means our circumstances will no longer dictate our joy.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Philippians 4: 10-13 (ESV)
Paul suffered greatly in his ministry as God said He would. Lashes from the Jewish leaders. Shipwrecked. Nearly stoned to death. Imprisoned. When he and Silas were thrown into the inner dungeon there was no indication that they were worried. They sang hymns to the God they served. When the three Hebrew boys were facing the fiery furnace they told Nebuchadnezzar that their God could save them but even if He did not - that was OK too. We have to keep our faith in our most neediest of times and then we will see worry melt off of us. When we are too busy about the work of the kingdom and seeking His righteousness in our lives, then we too can be sleeping in the boat as it goes through the storm. Not that He is going to give me a million dollars but rather that He is going to give me what I need to do the works He has prepared for me.
The final truth is that each day has its own trouble. Do not buy the preachers selling you a Christian life filled with rainbows and unicorns. The early church was persecuted heavily and many were martyred. Here is the news your smiling pastor doesn't want you to know. That persecution is coming soon again. It is not going to be about baking cakes either. It is going to be life and death. We will have to decide if we are going to continue to pretend that our false churches are righteous or whether we will come out from among them. Whether we will line up to take the mark of the beast with the apostate church or whether we will come out from among them. Even between now and then beloved, each day has sufficient trouble. As we wrap up the Sixth Chapter, we are reminded of the questions Jesus asked us:
Is not life more than?
Are you not of more value?
The resounding answer to both of these questions today is yes! Life is more than the petty things we make it. It is even more than the church we idolize or the pastor we worship. Value? We are valued so highly by God that He sacrificed His only Son for us while we were yet sinners! Oh how we cheapen our value when we entertain thoughts from the enemy that robs us of our worth to God. It all comes down to one thing beloved:
Let ours be strengthened today through this Word. Let us seek first His kingdom in our lives and His righteousness in our walk. Let us be anxious for nothing but rather learn godly contentment and allow His transcendent peace wash over our circumstances. Because the time is short and we must redeem it before the end comes. In Jesus name beloved.