Considering the state of our culture, we potentially could have much to worry about. The economy is suffering, ISIS is on the rise, and political leadership is foundering. In our own personal lives, we have plenty of opportunities to fret over health, finances, relationships, and future security. Without a doubt, our minds could easily get caught up in the world of panic and anxiety if we focused on it all.
GOD’S RESPONSIBILITY TO US
Feeding our bodies and wearing clothes is a necessity of life. In fact, it would be the first two basic material things that we couldn’t live without. Jesus knew the importance of these, yet He made it very clear in Luke 12:22-23 that life is more than these things.
Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.”
When we consider we couldn’t survive without food, and would surely die in some climates without clothes, hearing these words almost sounds unrealistic and insensitive. But Jesus is very clear that we as people, not the food we eat or the clothes we wear, determine the value of our lives. Our value comes from our status of spiritual beings with a supernatural purpose on this earth (Genesis 1:27). As a result, we are of greater value than the flowers . . . and the birds. This being the case, God has promised to provide for us, just as He promised to provide for them.
Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? (Luke 12:24-28)
God, as our Father through the sacrifice of Jesus, has obligated Himself to take care of us. Not only has He promised to take care of the basics, but He has also promised to do it “much more” (v. 28)!
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD
God always keeps His word (2 Corinthians 1:20). We can be confident that He will keep His end of the agreement as we’re part of His family. However, we have a part to play in the provision process. It has nothing to do with our wit, our performance, or our education. It has everything to do with our faith. True faith believes in God’s ability to care for our needs. It does not worry.
In fact, God considers worry and anxiety to be a worldly act in response to need. The world doesn’t believe in God or His desire and ability to provide. On its own, the world strives to meet its own needs. This self-provision ultimately leads to lack because the world was never meant to be self-sustaining apart from God. God’s hand of provision is nowhere near its efforts because no faith was put in Him.
“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.” (Luke 12:29-30)
Instead of following the world’s example, we are to put aside worry and instead trust in our Provider. God knew that this would be a challenge, so He gave us our second responsibility – to seek.
But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:31-34)
If we’re focused on seeking God and His kingdom, we won’t have time to worry. Seeking God means we consistently read His Word and get it deep inside our hearts. It means we spend time with Him, allowing Him to refresh and strengthen us. It means we put more priority on His will and ways than we do on our own. It means investing our time, money, and attention into eternity, however God leads. As a result of our pursuit of Him, our heart’s attention is shifted from personal need to a cause much bigger than ourselves. Our lifestyle changes and our fear-thoughts are replaced by God-thoughts. We soon have more confidence in Him than we do in our need.
If we want to see “all these things” added to us, we must put our hearts in the right place. We must seek our Source and not the stuff. We must decide to rely on the only One who can truly provide for us, regardless of what is going on in the world. When we choose to act in faith as a child of God, we’ll forget our fears and remember that God considers us to be better than the birds!