“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 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, 31, 33 (ESV)
It’s the middle of the year and I’ll bet that the age-old tension we usually experience still exists—between trusting and worrying about what will occur and what the future may bring.
Here’s a suggestion to help dealing with the tension. Answer this question—who or what do you serve?
In His teaching in the passage above from the Sermon on the Mount, Christ is saying that the answer to dealing with that tension is found in drawing nearer to Him. And His instruction is that our focus, every day, should be to seek first God, the eternal, and all the sacred moments of our lives. And He asks, as we examine our own lives—what is our focus, and who will we serve?
Is our focus on God, trusting in His ways and 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?
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, and unexpected occurrences.
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.
Trust and faith is another mindset which shapes how we look at the future.
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 when at times we go through a long dark tunnel.
Faith and trust form 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 and trust—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 and trust which leads to peace—focused on God?
One path will be characterized by anxiety, concern, worry and a lack of joy.
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 or what will you serve?
In His Name – Scott