We are a very materialistic society, aren’t we? We take inventory of what we have, and want more. Or we take inventory and realize there just isn’t enough to make ends meet. So we may worry, stress, or look at our neighbor and get jealous and angry because he seems to have more inventory. It’s a problem.
But it must have been a problem in Jesus day, too, because He addresses it here in Luke. From chastising the Pharisees for worrying about appearances, to the parable of the rich fool, and the examples of sparrows, ravens, and lilies, Jesus wants to assure us He’s got this. There is no need to worry.
The key verse is 12:31, “…all these things will be given you.” Well, at least that’s what some people think. They combine that with 11:9-10 and claim them as promises for material (and physical) abundance.
But I wonder if we’re missing something wonderful if that’s all we’re seeing. In fact, the first part of 12:31 tells us to “Seek first the kingdom of God” before our needs are met. In other words, let your time and energy be focused on God, ask and keep asking for more of HIM in your life. Spend every day getting ready for His return, and trust God to handle the rest.
Now, I don’t mean quit your job and spend eight hours a day reading the Bible, then expect God to pay your electric bill. There are plenty of verses that speak of responsible living, and working to eat. I just think God would have us put our jobs into perspective. And our notion of how much is enough. I believe Jesus wants us to understand that as we go about our day, working and living for Him, we will find Him more than enough.
Here’s where God wants us: “…how often I have longed to gather you children together, like a hen gathers her chicks under her wing…” (13:34) And in 11:13 after Jesus tells us to ask, seek, knock, and receive he talks about fathers giving good gifts to their children. Then He says: “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (emphasis mine)
God wants to wrap His arms around us and give us Himself. Sure, we all have responsibilities and struggles in this lifetime. But if we make those things the focus of our lives we miss something truly amazing.
God takes care of birds and flowers. Why would we doubt He can take care of us who are enveloped in His arms? He promises to give us “all these things,” exactly what we need when we need it.
Do you trust Him or not? I’m praying for you.