Summary: When we are sold out for God we can know that God will provide for all our needs and that we do not need to worry - Jesus in this passage shows us how to do that.
Do you ever feel fearful about life?
It feels like having the Theme Song from Jaws playing itself out in your life.
Play part of Jaws Theme Song – while song is playing
Doubting; Dating; Testing; Taxing; Waiting; Wishing; Crying; Crushing
Hating; Hurting; Rushing; Rejecting; Lying; Living; Mocking; Masking
Your heart is beating and you’re just sitting there waiting for this fin. And it is coming towards you. And you are ... arrrgh.
Any moment we think a fin is going to appear and cause us to walk to the drum beat of fear. We become slaves ... slaves to our own anxiety.
That is how life can unfold. But Jesus doesn’t want it to be like that.
Before we move on let’s make sure we understand what Jesus is not saying.
He is not saying, “When you go for your driving test you can’t have butterflies in your stomach”.
He is not saying, “When you see your credit card debit you are not allowed to be concerned”.
He is not saying, “When you are sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for the results that you can’t think about the possibilities”.
He is not saying, “When you are going through difficulties just let it wash over you as if it doesn’t matter”.
We can plan. We can think ahead. We can be affected by stressful situations. Jesus isn’t against this. The bigger issue Jesus is addressing is this one:-
If I am completely sold out for God how am I going to look and act?
Does being sold out for God mean I have to start being daggy? That’s what a lot of Christians look like. They are smaller of stature. And all the women have their hair in a bun. They wear special clothes and dress a special way. If I am sold out for God is that what I need to do? What does a person who is sold out for God look like?
And if I am sold out for God does that mean I need to not have so much stuff. I’ll have to start buying the no-name wheat bix and no-name clothes. My house will be functional but small and be sparsely furnished. What sort of house does a person who is sold out for God live in?
What happens to my relationships? You know there is that hunky bloke that I like who isn’t so sold out for God? He is bronze and has blonde hair and can surf on his little toe. He has more muscles in finger then most ministers in their whole body. He walks into the room and everyone swoons. But he has no room for God. What happens then?
How am I going to look? How am I going to act? What are the expectations? What are the standards?
What is going to happen to me?
That is the issue here. And Jesus is saying, “Don’t be anxious”.
Which seems like a strange thing to do. One of our members is an air hostess. Imagine her giving the talk about wearing your seatbelt and how to put on a life jacket and all those safety things which won’t make a scrap of difference if the plane falls out of the sky. Then at the end she says, “If there is anyone anxious about flying can you put up your hand”. And the dear old lady in seat 15C puts up her hand so Kylie walks down to her and says, “Are you anxious dear?”.
“Yes, yes I am anxious”.
“WELL STOP IT. STOP RIGHT NOW! Pull yourself together. You’re just being ridiculous”.
Is that was Jesus is doing? Acting like some air-hostess Nazi who couldn’t care less about how you feel? He isn’t is He. Rather Jesus helps us to look at life in a more rational way. He does surgery on our thinking to get us to see the real issues.
The first part of the surgery involves giving us a definition of anxiety.
The definition is found in verse 34.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
Anxiety is taking the falsehoods of tomorrow and bringing them into today.
Instead of focussing on what is actually happening now.
Instead of living in the moment and enjoying that moment.
Instead of addressing realities.
Instead of that we spend all this energy focussing on stuff that never actually happens. We want to try and control the uncontrollable. That is anxiety.
Which means we need to see anxiety for what it really is.
Isn’t anxiety really an effort on our part to try and play God?
The only way to control the uncontrollable is to be God. And none of us are.