(Read Mt. 6:24-34) “No one can serve two masters……..you cannot serve God and mammon*. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat and what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing …….But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well”.
We live in perilous times of great anxiety and unless we have absolute trust in a living God who is well able to meet our daily needs, we can breakdown. The greatest anxiety today is the constant threat of terrorism, not to mention inflation, climatic changes, persecutions, health loss, etc. If you trace man’s anxieties all the way, it boils down to “what shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear, and where shall we stay?” Jesus saw this and therefore stated it plainly above. He first stated it negatively – Don’t be anxious about these things! Then He put it positively – “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well”. He shows us that our heavenly Father knows about our needs and has promised to meet every one of those needs (and not greeds) by His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19).
Jesus was pointing out that if our life was focused on earthly pleasures such as food and clothing, we would miss out the greater reason for our existence and that is the enjoyment of God in this life, as we are created for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13; Eph 2:10). When we focus on our needs like food, clothing & shelter, we will end up worrying and lose out on this main reason for our creation. Hence Jesus said: “is not life more than food and the body more than clothing”? By this He didn’t mean that these essentials were unimportant; instead He promised to attend to these, if we would pay attention to the real purpose of our existence – namely occupation with God! Therefore He said, seek ye first the Kingdom of God! These other things that needlessly occupy your mind and heart and cause you worry, I am well able to supply.
Knowing our futile thinking and inability to grasp the above simple truth by faith, He then cites two examples: (1) The birds of the air as an example of food provision (v.26) & (2) the lilies of the field as an example of clothing provision (v. 28-30). Have you ever seen a bird suffering from anxiety and depression because it is not sure of its next meal? Have you ever seen a sparrow fall to the ground due to starvation or drought? Never, “for your heavenly Father feeds them”, said Jesus; and then adds for emphasis, are you not of more value than a mere bird? Similarly, He describes how the lilies of the field that neither toil nor spin, yet were arrayed in a beauty and glory that surpassed all the mighty wealth of Solomon. Finally (v.27) He adds; worry never added a cubit to your span of life, it never solved the problem, it doesn’t get you anywhere, it only ruins your health.
Application: Beloved, take your eyes off your needs for your heavenly Father already knows them. Instead make Him (Christ) the object and focus of your attention. Realize that He (Christ) stands between you and your needs, ever ready to provide them. All He looks for is faith & trust. Do not deny Him the joy of providing for you on a daily basis; do not deny yourself the joy of learning dependence and its resultant growth of faith.
* Mammon is a Semitic word for money or riches.