MATTHEW 6:33-34: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” TLV
OBSERVATION: Hello, my name is Kirk, and I am a recovering worrier. There should be a Worrier’s Anonymous with a 12 step program for those prone to worrying. The definition of “worry” is – “…to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” These two verses in Matthew 6 are the verses that led me to the Lord, and they are the verses that I return to over and over again when I find myself giving way to anxiety, unease, and allowing my mind to dwell on my difficulty and troubles.
There really is no need for 12 steps to overcome worry. Jesus simplified the cure for worry in two simple steps. They are really simple, but they are also very difficult, in that they run counterintuitive to our natural way of thinking and living.
First, we are called to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In the previous verses Jesus addressed the common needs of life, what we will eat, drink, and wear. These are the daily issues of sustenance and survival. We could add to that, who we will marry, how will we raise our children, where we will work, where we will live, and what we will drive. And what about, when we will retire, how we will survive on Social Security, and what will we do with our time. All of these issues are important to us. God knows and understands that they are. So how does seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness address these concerns?
Jesus’ call is not to climb a mountaintop with our Bible, gaze into the heavens, and wait for a voice from heaven. We tend to think of seeking first the kingdom of God as a pursuit or a destination. In reality, to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness is a perspective. It is to look at everything in life through a kingdom perspective. This means that we realize we were created to give God glory. Our life is not our own, we have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. In every decision that we make we are to consider how this will help us give God glory, build His kingdom, and reflect His righteousness. As we meditate upon the Word of God each day, and as we worship and pray, we position ourselves to see life through the lens of His kingdom and righteousness. So it is a good thing to start our day this way (first), rather than giving God our leftovers when we are tired and weary (last).
Second, we are set free from worry as we realize that there is only One who holds the future in their hand. It is God Almighty. In all honesty, as I type these words, I do not even know what will happen after I think and type the next word. If I can’t control each second, and I know and serve a God who holds both time and eternity in His hands, then what sense does it make to worry – “…to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” Jesus even adds some humor to this exhortation – “Let tomorrow worry about itself.”
So what is a recovering worrier to do? Trust God, seek first His kingdom and righteousness in everything I do, and live one day at a time. This is not an admonishment against planning or looking to the future. Rest assured, if no plans are made, no goals will be achieved. Yet, there is a difference between planning and worrying. Planning takes steps toward the future, with consideration for God’s kingdom and righteousness, and then places the desired results in the hands of God. One thing I have learned in my life – life is not a straight line. It is filled with twists and turns that are out of our control. What a comfort to know I don’t have to control life, for I have one who hold all of my life in His powerful hands!
- “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the counsel of ADONAI will stand.” Proverbs 19:21 TLV
Lord, help me to seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness in all that I do. I repent of my propensity to worry, and I desire grace to walk in faith. I give You thanks for today, and I place all of my tomorrows in You powerful hand!
In Jesus Name!