Summary: A look at the ravens and the lilies: we have to acknowledge that we dependent on God if we are going to conquer our money worries.
ONE REASON PEOPLE WORRY ABOUT MONEY: We like to be in control and with our money so much is beyond our control.
- “Somebody’s got to be thinking about this stuff.”
- We feel like worrying is doing something.
- We like to be running things. We like to be in control.
- This seems pretty basic, but apparently we need to say it out loud: God is in charge of the universe, not us.
- With our money, there are some things we can control (standard of living; credit card use; what house we buy; etc.), but there are also many things we can’t control (global economy; your company’s solvency; the overall rate of employment; sickness and disability; etc.).
LEARNING FROM THE BIRDS: Rather than planning everything out, birds are by their very nature dependent.
- Luke 12:24.
- Birds are limited in what they can do.
- They can’t factor in all the considerations of the stock market for the next five years.
- They can’t do a household budget.
- They can’t determine what they’ll need for retirement.
- They are by their very nature dependent.
- We don’t like being dependent. We like being the ones that are making things happen. We like to be masters of destiny, not victims of it.
- But that’s a direction that we’re being pushed here: to recognize our dependence.
- Part of the issue here isn’t just being dependent, but realizing that we have to be dependent. We want to think of ourselves as big and strong and masters of the universe, but there are so many things that are beyond us.
- It’s not so much a matter of choosing dependence as it is of recognizing our dependence.
- Dependence means that we’re relying on someone else (in this case, God).
- What does it mean to depend? It means that we’re relying on Him.
- It means that we recognize that there are things beyond our control.
- We do this in marriages. There are things that I rely on my spouse to do. There are things that she relies on me to do. We’re a team and if one of us doesn’t come through then we’re both going to suffer.
- It’s harder, though, to depend on God. We find it difficult. Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t have the ability to get a direct response from Him. Maybe it’s the fact that He moves in mysterious ways so we’re not always sure what He’s up to. Maybe it’s that what we want to do is not necessarily what He wants to do.
GOING A STEP FURTHER: What would it look like to not be begrudgingly dependent, but joyfully dependent?
- I know that being dependent at all is something that makes us uncomfortable, but I want to push it a step further. I want to talk about not just accepting it, but embracing it.
- Verse 27 takes what verse 24 says and goes a step further.
- In v. 24, we’re told of the ravens and their dependence on God.
- In v. 27, we’re told of the lilies. They also are dependent on God. Here’s the difference, though. It doesn’t just tell us that they get what they need. It tells us that God is extravagant with them. Verse 28 tell us that the flowers will be here today and gone tomorrow and yet God is His abundant generosity makes them beautiful. Not just a little beautiful, but more resplendent than one of the wealthiest kings of all time.
- What if we didn’t go into this begrudgingly, whining each step of the way and wishing we could have more control? What if we went into this with a measure of joy? Yes, I’m dependent, but it’s depending on God and He’s always been so good to me. Yes, I’m dependent, but it’s great to be able to have those worries off my plate and hand them to God. Yes, I’m dependent, but God will be generous to me.
- What would it be like if we didn’t look at this as a horrible thing that we had to do and got dragged there kicking and screaming, but instead had joy and expectation about it?
- That would require a larger trust of God. That would require willingness to rest in His generosity and faithfulness. That would require letting our worry go.
- [put in bulletin outline] Rick Warren paraphrase: “As I grow older, I have found more joy in handing situations over to God and just letting God be God.”
An Important Spiritual Growth Point: It’s harder to see God move if you’re never in a position to receive.
- There are a number of money issues here as well as several worry issues, but I also want to mention another spiritual growth issue.