Seek – Matthew 6:25-34
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34 NAS
We might ask, “For what reason, Lord?” and He replies, “For this reason;
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:24 NAS
The two-edged sword is sharper and may be nearer to our hearts here than any place in Scripture. I don’t know how the sacred texts of other religions read but I could imagine them placing demands on their adherents without explanation and levying heavy consequences on them for non-compliance. Instead, ever so gently and ever so directly, Jesus appeals to us with story after story, inviting us to come higher up, further in. When I add up all the things Jesus has said about our hearts and idolatry, it sounds like this to me;
“Children, I made your hearts such that they only function when they are dependent on me. Your heart’s task is simply to learn to listen and heed the voice of the right master. Birds, with nothing more than my gift, soar. They never exchange worry for bread yet, even with your superior worth, you manage to worry. This is my point. Worry is a malfunction of your heart and is evidence you are listening to the wrong master. You have embraced the appeals from an alien kingdom and are unable to soar as I intended you to.”
The flowers are preaching the same message. Take some time and look at them. They say more than Solomon. Equipped with nothing more than their being, they exhort. They never exchange worry for rain. They do not sweat to gain sunshine or labor to be planted.
Let’s test ourselves. How heavily is the uncertainty of tomorrow weighing on our hearts? The answer, if we will hear it, can lead us into the skies where we were intended to fly. God’s remedy, if we can swallow it, will adorn us as the radiant citizens of another kingdom, which in fact we are. God’s council; “Seek first My kingdom and My righteousness.” If we do we will discover Life within us that, in the joy and satisfaction it provides, displaces the false and fragile external things our hearts are tempted to trust in. As alien as it might seem in this worrisome moment, the abundant life Jesus is describing is not a life to be had after death. It is the Life of My Son, who was and is, in us, and is to come.”
The false and familiar gods of this temporal world will ultimately break all their promises and enslave us before they do. They will all make themselves wings and fly away. Choose the kingdom of God and we shall indeed soar far above the clamor of this world which is fading away. If we say that we do not know how to stop worrying, here is Jesus’ council;
Go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6 NAS
Father, disentangle us from this world. Show us the bad temporal investments we have made. Help us to be honest about our anxiety and recognize what it is saying about our portfolio. May we soar on the wings of eagles. May the enslaved and downtrodden captives of this world look up and see us, provoking their own hunger for flight. Amen.