Summary: Just as trickle-down economics meant take care of the top of the economy and everything else benefits, Matt. 6:33 is trickle down spirituality - seek God first...
February 15, 1998
Organization is a hot topic in our world. From Palm Pilots to Daytimers, there are new ways to get organized at work and at home.
The issue we face as believers, in organizing our lives, is separating the ”urgent from the important” --- we’ll touch on that a bit later.
The idea that we focus on what’s truly important is really wise, too - but I believe the Word has a different idea about what’s truly important than the world does.
It’s a big club: The too-busy - the need a 30-hour a day club.
If I’ve heard anything from people consistently in recent months, it’s that they’re busy. Not just occupied - but really busy.
Because of my work situation, I’ve been giving that a lot of thought. I don’t want to get into a “top this testimony” - but I’ve been busy, too. In the past three or four months, I’ve juggled the responsibilities of more than a half-dozen “roles” in my life. I’m a husband, father, an elder of this church. I’m the church administrator here, as well as a house church pastor. I still operate my own public relations consulting business. I’m president of the board of a local crisis pregnancy center. I’m chairman of the public relations committee of the local chapter of the American Lung Association, and a member of their board of directors.
I’m a busy guy, too.
A few months ago, when Owen Carey prayed for me, he shared this impression from the Lord:
“This is an exciting time for you because God has done great changes, and is doing great changes, and he is bringing about a fruition and a fulfillment to something that beat in your heart. But you are also experiencing the stretching that will come because of the consecration, because you have said a complete “yes” to your God, because God is beginning to use you in that place of oversight. You’re going to be stretched. This is good. And how you conduct yourself through the stretching will determine the type of example you are to the church.”
I’ve had others share with me that God would allow me to redeem the time effectively, would make me fruitful, would enable me to accomplish all He has set before me.
I’ve had some communicate to me that I should also to go ahead and plan, but to allow God to interrupt my plans, and to be discerning about who and what is interrupting my plans. This is a message that God’s been working in me for at least four or five months, probably really a lifetime.
Ever notice that some of God’s most important words to us are from things we’ve heard before?
That’s because familiarity breeds contempt, and if not contempt, then at least complacency - we hear something often enough and we tend to think we’ve got it figured out, or that we don’t need to hear it anymore. Yet the Bible talks about stirring us up by way of reminder.
Here’s a familiar verse that can help us with this problem of being overwhelmed because we’re too busy:
Matthew 6:33: Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (NIV)
The RSV says: Set your heart on His kingdom and his goodness, and all these things will come as a matter of course.
The Message paraphrase says: “steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday
human concerns will be met.”
Let’s look at Matt 6:33. The context of the passage is material provision, but a careful read and an understanding of the whole of scripture will tell you it applies to more than simply material provision. This passage in verse 33 is framed by
verse 25, which says don’t worry about your life, verse 34, which says don’t worry about tomorrow, verse 27, which says don’t worry about time. This
passage also points out that by worrying about these things, we’re just like the rest of the world (verse 32 calls them pagans), who “run after all these things,” but adds that our Heavenly Father knows just what we need.
Also, we must recognize what comes before this part of Jesus words:
In verse 24 we read you can’t serve both God and money. That is followed by the word “therefore” - indicating a transition to the next thoughts. The prior passage shows we can’t have a “both...and” attitude about who we’re gonna serve. Some of you may remember the Bob Dylan song: Gotta Serve Somebody - it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
So when we see this transitional word “therefore” it’s as if Jesus says, “Since this is true....since you cannot serve two masters, the implication is apparent: we must serve the Lord...and if we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords...don’t worry about your life...worrying won’t add any time to your day...it won’t provide your food and clothing...etc...”