Friday, April 21, 2006

Seek First The Will of Your Father

Before we know Christ, before we are willing to let Him lead we function under our own strength, under our own wisdom. If we have children we want what is best for them based upon our understanding of what is best. We want great paying jobs with benefits, we want to have the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder and achieve the American dream.

And then God grabs hold of us and everything changes. The way we look at the world changes, and if we're honest the way that we look at ourselves changes as well. We see that our ways are faulty and often fall flat, but we learn that what God, through Isaiah, is true:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

He comes into our lives and says, "If you want to live for Me, if you want My will for your life you must let go of your understanding and lean upon Me. Either you function under your strength and you 'succeed' (maybe) according to the world's sinful standards, or you trust Me and follow Me even when it doesn't seem to make sense to you. And you shall surely come to the Kingdom knowing you have allowed Me to be your Lord and your Guide and have over come the world through Me in doing so."

In Christ we become new creations. I am not the girl I was six years ago, heck I am not the girl I was one year ago! As a new creation in Him am I part of a family with a Father who wants the very best for me...Himself. As new creations we must die to ourselves, lay down our lives, and even our way of thinking, for something new.

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

He will go before us, He makes a way for us. Even in uncharted and frightening territory He can and will provide. Look at the Israelites for instance. He led them out of Egypt, but instead of taking them the shortest, most "logical" route to the Promised Land He chose to lead them a long way, through a land seemingly without any resources. He led them through the wilderness where there was no way for them to provide for themselves. They had to rely upon Him for their every need, and He did provide.

The very way He fed them was a matter of teaching them to trust and obey Him, as well as a matter of Him showing His faithfulness to those He has called. He caused the manna to fall in the morning, enough for each day, and told them to only collect what they needed for that day. If they collected more it would rot and there would be worms in it. And so the collected each day. But then He steps up the stakes a bit and says, "On the sixth day you will collect double, and it will keep. For I have declared the seventh day to be holy and you will not find the bread on the seventh day, so be sure to collect on the sixth least you go hungry."

They must have been so confused, so worried. I mean they had tried to collect more than they needed and it rotted. The extra NEVER kept to the next day, so how on earth was it going to last for two days? Did He expect them to eat rotten, worm filled food? But it was His way or their way, and true to His word the food kept. Only His way met their real needs.

Likewise He calls us to obey. Even when something will seemingly fail, we must obey. Because He has a plan for us and if we will trust, He shall be glorified through us. And we have nothing to fear because the God of creation, the God that led the Israelites out of Egypt and provided for them in the wilderness, we have nothing to fear because that God is our God. As a loving Father He says to those whom He has called:

Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away...For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:9, 13)

Christ Himself told us not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear, but to seek to do the will of the Father in all things.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:28-34)

The world is consumed with figuring out their potential for success. Consumed with accumulating what seems good in their eyes. With reaching a point of success, with seeming to be "better" and have more than those around us. The world, indeed some within the church, wonder "What is my purpose? What on earth am I alive for? What am I living for?"

But those of us who know God, we have no reason to wonder without answer. God has answered and told us not to fear.

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:13)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

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