THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
DEPENDENCE ON GOD
Today’s gospel: Matthew 6:24-34
People are all so concerned about their lives--what to eat,
what to wear, where to live, how to succeed in one’s
career. These are among the things people consider important
in life. But Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not
worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about
your body, what you will wear.” (v.25a). Jesus is not
saying that these are not important. Unlike birds that do
not sow or reap (v.26a), we need to work for a living. Unlike
birds that gather nothing into barns (v.26b), we do need to
have savings and prudently provide for the future, especially
of our children.
But still Jesus persists, “Is not life more than food
and the body more than clothing?” (v.25b). What is he
saying? Jesus is saying that while there are things that are
important, there is something even more important. And that
is to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”
(v.33a). People are too focused on material things, missing
out on the spiritual dimension. And while we might not notice
it, the secular and the spiritual are competing for our attention
and allegiance. “No one can serve two masters. He will
either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and
despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
(v.24). God demands total commitment. But the world, supported
by our human flesh, prodded by the evil one, also makes its
subtle demands. Pretty soon we find ourselves drawn more and
more into one camp, and farther away from the other.
then should be our posture?
we are to know our priorities. God first, everything else
second. When we get into this track, then everything else
falls into place. “But seek first the kingdom of God
and his righteousness, and all these things will be given
you besides.” (v.33).
we also need to understand the ways of God. While the heavenly
Father feeds the birds in the sky and considers us more important
than they (v.26c), that does not mean we should no longer
work. In fact, Paul says that those who do not work do not
eat. What Jesus is saying is that we should not worry about
these things, to the point of seeking them so much that they
detract from our life in God. “Can any of you by worrying
add a single moment to your life-span?” (v.27). So it
is not about not working, but it is about not worrying. God
there is the matter of clothing. Jesus compares the wild flowers
and the splendor of Solomon’s clothing (v.28b-29). Now
I have seen some awesome wild flower scenes in many parts
of the world, but it is not to say that it would be more awesome
than the finery of gold and ornate trimmings on Solomon’s
garments. What makes the wild flowers trump Solomon’s
finery is the beauty of their simplicity. It is the simplicity
of what God provides versus the elaborateness of what the
world provides. Rather than the expensive things of the world,
what we ought to wear is the dignity of a child of God, the
purity of one living in Christ, the righteousness of being
in the Spirit.
then that God will provide, we need to put our faith in Him.
“If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows
today and is thrown into the over tomorrow, will he not much
more provide for you, O you of little faith?” (v.30).
In fact, if we do not have such faith in God’s love
and provision, then we are no better off than the pagans,
who trust only in themselves and their own gods. “All
these things the pagans seek.” (v.32a). What then is
a primary measure of faith? It is trust in God’s provision.
It is knowing that “your heavenly Father knows that
you need them all” (v.32b) and will provide.
“why are you anxious about clothes?” (v.28a).
Why do you “worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are
we to wear?’” (v.31). Choose God and not mammon.
Choose to trust in His provision rather than worry. Choose
the kingdom of God first and foremost. Then we can live a
life that is really worthwhile, one not focused on material
things, but on higher things. “Do not worry about tomorrow;
tomorrow will take care of itself.” (v.34a).
not about yourself because God provides. Rather, look to what
God intends for us to do in this world that is in darkness.
“Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (v.34b).
Evil and darkness deepen. This is what should concern us.
Thus we are about the work of evangelization. And even there,
do not worry--about money, about manpower, about the strength
of the enemy, about the sacrifices and pain to be endured.
God knows what we need. God will provide.