“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
I’d like to return again to the topics of anxiety and worry.
The Sermon On the Mount is the greatest sermon that’s ever been and ever will be preached. After
crowds of people gathered to Jesus, He walked up a mountain, sat down, and began to share the
true secrets and nature of the blessed and heavenly-minded life.
Nearly half way through His eye opening and life transforming exhortation, Jesus addressed the true root of anxiety. He told His listeners to not worry about things like food and drink and clothing.
Because human beings have a tendency to worry about what’s outside of themselves, and whenever worry or anxiety is present, the desire to be in control is lurking behind the scenes and is pulling all the strings.
Think with me.
We only worry about what appears to be outside of our control.
We like predictability. We prefer comfort. We enjoy answers. We’re taught to be self-reliant and
independent. But the Christian life isn’t about any of those things. Rather, the Christian life is about
trust and surrender.
However, trust stops where fear begins…
and fear reveals where trust has yet to be formed…
Whenever we are concerned about what is happening on the outside of us by way of our
circumstances or what people are thinking or saying about us, what is external has the ability to
influence or shape what’s internal.
This is what Jesus is addressing in Matthew 6:25-34.
We will ultimately serve the god of what we believe will meet our needs or alleviate our fears. And the truth of the matter is this: Anything can be a vice. Whatever I turn to outside of myself to calm the inside of myself is what I’ll serve. Sadly, if it’s anything other than Jesus, I’ll be in bondage to the
The answer to dealing with circumstances beyond your control is Jesus’ words at the beginning of
this blog: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto
The things that concern you.
I’m called to be more attentive to what’s inside of me rather than fretting over and trying to change
what’s happening on the outside of me.
There’s only one person you can control and that’s yourself.
The kingdom of God consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (see Romans
14:17). When Jesus is telling us to seek the kingdom and His righteousness, He’s instructing us to
find in relationship with the Holy Spirit what we try to find in everyone and everything else.
Peace and joy are in one thing and one thing only — a relationship with God.
He Himself is the Prince of Peace.
In His presence is fullness of joy.
Jesus is ultimately saying this: “If you take care of what’s inside of you through a relationship with
Me, I’ll take care of what’s on the outside of you.”
He draws the line of responsibility.
Only one person gets to determine my inner state. My circumstances don’t have that right nor do the people in my life. When we live based on what’s happening outside of us, our inner life is in turmoil. It’s in a constant state of flux. It will ride the roller coaster of ups and downs. And you’ll find that you’re only doing as well as life is going.
I’m done with that ride.
When the soul makes knowing Jesus its only goal and chief concern, it’ll be shaped by His love and promises.
Your job is to know Him.
His job is to handle what concerns you.
This is where the soul finds its rest.