Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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?…And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?…
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6: 24-25, 27, 31, 33 (ESV)
The question presents the age-old tension we experience between trusting in God’s love, in His presence and caring in our lives, versus our concern for what will happen, which leads to trusting in ourselves. Our concern and worrying about what will occur and what the future may bring.
So the question—Who will we serve?
In His teaching in the passage above from the Sermon on the Mount, Christ is saying that the answer to dealing with that is found in clarifying our focus and drawing nearer to Him. He reminds us that who we serve is made clear by what our focus in life. His instruction is that our focus, in the midst of every-day life, should be to seek first God, the eternal, and all the sacred moments and aspects of our lives. And He asks us in that section of the Gospel of Matthew, to examine our own lives and ask ourselves—what is our focus? Who will we serve? What path will we follow?
Is our focus on God, with a trust in His ways and His plan for our lives? Is our focus on the eternal priorities and values that God calls us to? Is our focus on what we can do with and for Him for others?
Or, is our focus on the worldly, on stuff, accomplishments—is it consumed by what we can do, or what will happen to us, how many wins and losses, and what others think of us, will they like the job we’re doing and the decisions we made?
Worry is a mindset that shapes how we look at our future.
It tends to cause us to think negatively on things that spread out ahead of us, what may happen to us, concerns, problems, unexpected occurrences, rather than on what we can do when those things come to us. Which they will. It’s like trying to control the game when we don’t know what is going to happen—instead of letting the game unfold and come to us and playing it the best that we can when it does—remembering Who is playing alongside of us.
Worry keeps us from seeing the unseen, from seeing what God wants for our lives. From seeing all the possibilities. It limits the quality of our lives, and affects our health. It robs us of joy in our lives. It hinders our relationships with others. Worry affects our work and decision-making. And it impedes our faith, and the growth of our faith, and keeps us from trusting in God.
Faith opens our eyes to all the fullness of life God intended us to live. To the butterfly floating softly just above us. To the reality of the sunshine which breaks forth in our world each day. Faith smooths the wrinkles on our foreheads, and puts a smile across our faces. Faith sees the opening in the mountain standing before us, and knows the engineer who is driving the train we’re on going through and long dark tunnel. Faith is the light that shines in the darkness and the hope that believes all things are possible with God. It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Hebrews 11: 1 (TLB).
Worry—is all about us. Faith—is all about God. And leads to peace.
So what will be our focus? Who will we serve? Is the path of our life to be consumed with worry—focused on us? Or is it to be a journey about faith that leads to peace—focused on God?
One path will be characterized by anxiety, concern, worry and a lack of joy, and brightness and hope.
The other path will lead to wholeness, fullness, with lives marked by an eternal perspective, by eternal joy, hope, faith and peace.
Which path will you take? Who will you serve?
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.