“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Jesus encouraged his disciples not to be worried about the mundane things of life that everyone needs. Our food, our drink, our clothing and the length of our life are all matters the Father is aware of and has under control. If we focus on the heavenly things first, God will take care of all these mundane things.
It is one thing to read these instructions given to men living two millennium ago. Do these words hold true today? Would not this mentality be terribly risky today?
The simple answer is that if God said it, we can rely upon it. However, our experience and wisdom tells us that no formula, even one taken directly from the Bible, is fail safe. Truth and life are simply more organic that following simple formulas, even those we find in the Bible. Often we need to use our wisdom to balance different teachings in Scripture and to select which principle of Scripture should be followed in a particular circumstance.
The necessity to apply wisdom reminds me of an incident that occurred to me when I was just learning to play golf. I was traveling in British Columbia, Canada, when an acquaintance invited me to play at a nearby course. When we got to the course, we were joined by an experienced local player. As the day wore on, the patience of my playing companions must have been sorely tried by my many mishits. But they bore up with good humor.
At one point, very much out of position, I faced a short golf shot that needed to carry over some bushes and water to the putting green. Rather than chance losing another ball, I lined up to hit the ball sideways to a place I could get to the green without having to carry the hazard.
As I was about to take my swing, a booming voice, rang out from the other side of the fairway: “AND YOU KNOW….WHAT THE GOOD LORD…SAYS ABOUT COWARDS.”
I looked up and noticed that the sound appeared to come from the local player who had joined us. I thought, “How does this guy know I’m religious, the topic hasn’t even come up.” But being reminded that God does not want His followers to lack courage, I went back to my bag, got a more lofted club, and prepared for my shot directly to the green.”
As I was about to take my swing, again the booming voice rang out, “AND YOU KNOW….WHAT THE GOOD LORD…SAYS ABOUT FOOLS.” After composing myself, I took the shot and lost my ball somewhere in the bushes and water.
My lesson on the golf course about weighing and applying different principles in the Scriptures had relatively little cost associated with it. The price was a lost golf ball and a little embarrassment.
However, rearranging our lives to accommodate investment of time in developing a Heart-to-Heart relationship with Jesus can have life-changing risks associated with it. You will want to make such changes carefully, with wisdom, with an eye to other principles of Scripture encouraging responsible living and within the leading of the Holy Spirit that is recognized from time seeking God’s particular will for your life.
My experience has been that words of Jesus, in Matthew 6:33 are completely trustworthy. In all the major decisions of my life including choosing a profession, choosing a wife, choosing hobbies, choosing ministries, and so on, I have been careful to make no decision that impacted my ability to give abundant time to maintain my heart-to-heart time with the Lord. While my life has not been all roses, I have lacked no necessities, and indeed can say with sincerity that my hearts desires have all been met and I cannot imagine a life any richer or more fulfilled in the things that I value.