As we finish out chapter 6 today, Jesus speaks to the crowd about worry compared to life in the Kingdom. In Kingdom life, worrying about material things is dishonoring to God and is a sin. To be fearful about the supply of future needs is to be guilty of unbelief. It calls into question the goodness and care of our Creator. Christ now strikes at the very root of covetousness—a distrust and unreasonable care for things of this life. He especially touches on the basics of food and clothing.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25
David writes: Psalm 34:8-10 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
And Paul picks up this theme in Philippians 4:6-7, 19-20 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
19And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
As long as we are faithful, obedient to God, and trusting in Him, we need not be worried about how He is going to provide for us. The LORD is not tied to our bank balance and when one source of supply fails, He can open another. He fed Elijah with food delivery by ravens.
Speaking of birds, let’s go on to Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Where do the birds get their food? Let’s see in Psalm 145:15-16. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. 16 You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
Birds have to search or work for God’s provision. They are not able to provide for themselves and as a whole do not store up food for winter, yet their needs are supplied. We, on the other hand, are granted foresight and the means of providing for a rainy day. We must trust that He will provide so we can gather supply. If God provides for the birds of the air, will He fail to provide for those who are created in His image? No, He will not. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Now Jesus asks this question, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:27
We cannot make ourselves taller than God ordained for us. Again in Philippians 4, Paul writes, I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
Contentment is a choice. We can grumble and complain about our bodies, our income, our housing, etc. or we can rejoice. We need all these things, but we are not to worry about them or grumble about what God does provide.
Jesus goes on to talk about what we wear.
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29
Solomon went to great effort to clothe himself in the finest attire, but the lilies of the field don’t strive at all. God’s provision is so far beyond our worldly ways, but often we don’t understand or trust His provision. We sometimes fail to see His answers because they come in a different form than we expect.
Worry is more than a mild concern. Worry keeps us from sleep and occupies our every thought. Worry reveals our Greek thinking and our need to be in control and be responsible for our supply. We need to make sure we have enough so we can be without stress and fear.
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:30
With this question, Jesus gets into the whole issue of timing. We pray, we ask in faith (at least in our estimation it is faith), and then the answer delays. God’s timing is not always ours and sometimes it appears to take longer than necessary for the provision or answer to prayer to manifest. But, He is sovereign and we can trust Him.
When Daniel prayed in Daniel 9 for twenty-one days without seeing an answer an angel appeared to him. “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for, from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:12-13
The answer was on its way that very first day of Daniel’s praying. We need to trust that God hears and that the answers are on their way. His timing is definitely not ours.
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Matthew 6:31-32
Jesus tells them once again, DO NOT WORRY. So what are we to do to keep from worry?
· Spend daily time in God’s word.
· Meditate on His promises and faithfulness.
· Refuse to doubt.
· Declare out loud God’s faithfulness to do what He promised.
· Earnestly pray, thanking God for working faith in our hearts.
· Trust Him for the provision.
· And this…. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6: 33-34
Seeking God’s Kingdom first must be our one goal. Our desire to see His Kingdom manifest on earth must be our heart’s desire.
The Kingdom of God—where He rules and reigns and every citizen lives in adoration and obedience to Him.
Hebrews apply these words to today and trust God for tomorrow.
Greeks focus on tomorrow and all their efforts are set to avert danger or risk of lack.
Our call is clear—Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
This concludes chapter 6. We will start chapter 7 next time.