“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
What does seeking God first look like when, we always have so much to worry about? Regularly, we feel like we’re being torn apart between this world and living truly like champions of the faith. We know the world serves us, temporary replacements for the spiritual longing, but what pains most believers is we do have a desire to put God first and to seek His righteousness. However life’s distractions grab our attention from who is truly important in our lives: God. Why I wonder, do we always allow our distractions to pull us away from His presence? When we know better, is it not the saying, we do better.
In this blog post, I explore how distractions even good concerns manifest worry, if we’re not fixating our mind on Christ, surrendering these concerns to God, daily. Following this blog post is another post about how Living a God-Dependent Life is the Key to absolving all our fears, (subscribe to get the post). Because in this day and age, Christians are not living up to our full potential, due to us being so easily distracted by the ways of this world.
Distractions imply something or someone has taken our concentration away from what is essential. We have lost our line of sight; therein our lives are consumed with the natural needs of sex, love, comfort, family, etc. Furthermore, distractions remove God’s position as head in our lives and gradually places idols on His throne. Without thinking we begin to worship people or objects, as Christians, we practically shelf the invaluable knowledge of God.
However, it is this knowledge about the Lord God, believing it by faith keeping our worries at bay, setting us free from this world. How is it that we know and we still wander away from God? Our head is full of knowledge about the Lord God. We know God created the heavens and the earth. He spoke the world in existence. He said let there be “light,” and immediately light broke through the darkness and void in space. We know and believe God is the Great I am. He has always been here and will continue to be. Where people and time and the world has an end, God is eternal, infinite. The Lord God in seven days created everything in an orderly design. He exuded a great display of His power building an ecosystem that continually sustains humankind and all creatures in the sky, land, and water to this, very day. The Lord’s brilliant intellect composed the water and rock cycle; He made humanity in His perfect, divine image.
We weep and anguish over our many worries on Earth: family, marriage, divorce, transportation, our children, career choices, academics, etc. The list is practically endless.
The Bible declares in Matthew 13:18-19
“18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
Worries, distractions, and believing worldly lies stifle our seed, our faith. Humans ask questions about how are we going to provide for our families and these lingering questions keep us awake at night. Interestingly enough these worries plaguing our lives are not trivial many of these issues are legitimate such as what to do about my failing marriage? Will I ever find a job? These worries distract us, creating great unfocus in our spiritual lives. Especially since the love of money has been growing and growing, riches are the desire for most people in power, and it motivates men to do wicked deeds. Money is also a way of life in all countries. It seems like the more problems we acquire the wealth, love, and comfort we need. These are valid concerns, and our emotional response is to worry and search for solutions.
Worry in and of itself is a sin. Although our intentions may be good, worrying solves nothing and disturbs our relationship to God, making light of His parental responsibility to us. Worry neglects to acknowledge God’s providence. His ability to provide for our needs and His love for us. Hence this blog post is not an extensive discussion on worry and its’ effects. My concern is not necessarily to prove worry is a sin, and this goes almost without saying. What I am explaining is how our need to worry, stems from our lack to admit and consistently reaffirm in our day to day life our dependence on the Lord God. Worry inadvertently says to God: “What I have on my plate is too much for you to handle Lord. You cannot imagine the struggles I am encountering and cannot offer me any good or permanent solutions.” Therein we distract ourselves with different things to attain the answers to our worry.
Albeit we are not ballsy enough to say this to God, our actions convey the message to Him. Every time we elect to complain rather than praise we choose to worry. The second we call a friend before we get on our knees to pray, we choose to worry. The minute we’re creating back up plans and alternative solutions to a problem, we choose to worry. Worry has become a default setting, more than our body is dependent on breathing. I believe the divide comes from the false belief that the Christian life is separate from the natural life. Many Christians young and old, struggle to see how the Living Christ and His Word have the power to transform our sometimes, hopeless lives.
This proves my point when we assume God is unwilling to help us; prayer is reduced to a meager resource and ritual, and dare I say it we believe the lie God is unconcerned with our day to day problems. We therein, reserve ourselves to the plights of this world and the devices left in our human arsenal. Instead of fighting these distractions, we dig deeper trenches, and the ground beneath our feet starts sinking. When we close God out of our situation, shutting the door on what He may say or do; God will not force the door open. The Lord God is not a bully; He is a gentleman. Oh, Beloved, we need God. If you recollect, humanity was made to God not away from Him.
As Adam and Eve were made in the Lord’s image, they were created to please God, their presence pleased Him, and both God and Adam and Eve derived joy from the relationship. We need God. Our spiritual forefathers needed God and greatly suffered after their banishment from the garden of Eden due to Adam’s sin. Know when humans try doing anything without God the results are imperfect and often leads to disaster. When Eve was deceived and ate of the fruit, she did not take into account the wisdom of God’s decree, and when Adam ate the fruit, He refused to acknowledge God’s commandment.
Therein the one decision which brought all humanity into ruin and condemnation.
Therefore, we must exercise the will to let God into our situations and problems instead of shutting Him out.
The reality of living an utterly God-dependent life is possible and found in the Bible. The most prime example is Jesus Christ, Himself.
Though Jesus Christ is God and became flesh, He lived the Christian life in human form. The miracles Jesus performed were to show people He is the Savior; His blessings were not a means to make His living a godly life easier. If you notice the miracles, Jesus did not perform any to magically grant Him a job, gain more followers, or get Himself off the cross. Whatever plans, God had for His Beloved Son, Jesus submitted Himself to. Christ Jesus humbled Himself beyond measure to be what we needed and lived life by example. What is more, Jesus understood why worrying is so difficult being the Son of God, and also the Son of Man; Jesus experienced our troubles and heartaches.
“5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)
The Word God instructs us to do the same thing. We are to wear humble mindsets, so we may serve others as Christ Jesus has served us. We humble ourselves, presenting our issues unto to God because we are not God. We cannot handle life on our own.
“6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7) God sees the big picture. He is the Master; God is in charge of everything. Every event, moment, and second in our lives has not occurred by accident but intrinsically planned with the brilliance of a caring and meticulous God. Humbles ourselves because we are unworthy. We are unworthy of telling God what we can and cannot handle. We are unworthy because God knows what is best for us, and what we need. We rest in God’s mighty hand there is never a time of day when we are not out of His sight. In due time, God will raise us out of our season of persecution, of wilting. He will lift us out of the furnace. But due time is His time. And God’s time is dependent upon the readiness of His glory. Finally, the Lord God cares for us. As my Lord God and Heavenly Father, it is God’s responsibility to see the fulfillment of our spiritual growth. We can genuinely cast our worries, concerns, and anxieties upon Him because God is more than able to take care of us and He has a record of being an excellent caretaker all throughout biblical history to those who love Him.
Do not let the cares of this world distract you, pull you away from maintaining your relationship with God. This is the real battle that must be fought and won daily.
Copyright © 2018 by A Meeting at the Well
What are the distractions in your life? Why do these concerns distract you?