Friday, February 24, 2006
February 26 Sunday Sermon Notes
The text for the sermon is Matthew 25-34.
I am focusing on the last four verses: 31-34 (TT)
"Therefore, you no longer need to be anxious about having enough food and drink and clothes. Being anxious and wishing for enough of these things is what pagans spend their time and energy and resources on. But your Heavenly Father knows that you have needs, and he wants to meet them.
So, wish first for God's Way to prevail, for God to make everything as it should be; and then God will provide enough food and drink and clothes for today.
Also, you don't have to be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow already has its own anxieties; and the troubles of today are enough."
I am trying to come up with an overarching principle that explains why people worry and are anxious. At this point I would venture to say that we become anxious when we don't have enough of what we need. When we (feel/think that)don't have enough (food/drink/clothes/money/time), we worry about what negative result will ruin our life. And so we strive to have enough, even more than enough, but apart from God this striving for enough will eventually be saturated in anxiety, both as a motivator for striving, and as the stench of my striving.
Interstingly, my point of experience where I feel/think that I don't have enough of what I need, that very point is an opportunity for our soul to open up to God. Its like there are two roads we can travel at that point, either we can pursue enough in our own striving, and plead with God to help us out. Or we can travel down a road where every point that we feel/think we don't have enough, we look to God for provision. My not having enough reveals my need for someone else to help me. Either I can rely primarily on humanity (not a good trackrecord overall) or I can rely primarily on God (a much better trackrecord).
So when I have anxiety because I don't have enough time (in the day, in the week, in my life) to get done what I feel/think is important to get done, to whom do I turn? Myself, to come up with solutions, to Others, or to God. For the Christian, only God can give us perspective (maybe we're doing too much...crazy idea...or we're doing the wrong things...another crazy idea), and only God can give us the power to do what he has for us to do (Remember: wish first for God's Way!).
So when I have anxiety because I don't have enough food/drink on the table (2/3rds of Humanity), to whom do I rely? Humanity around me? They are the ones primarily responsible for the lack of food provision! Only God, working his WAy througth humanity can get enough food to starving and thristy children.
For us, we have anxiety, not because we don' have enough food, but rather we have anxiety because we can't stop eating more than enough food, and we have anxiety because we can't stop ourselves from eating the wrong food. Our motto with food is: if it tastes good, it must be all right for me to eat. Amercia is eating itself to death, obesity is crippling us. Men and Women were not meant to eat more than enough. We have anxeity about our weight, about our health, about our diet, about our calories, about our cholestoral, our blood pressure, our protruding bellies and shortness of breath...and most of it is diet related!!!!! Oh that we would wish first for God's Way in providing us with just enough food for the day.
So when I have anxiety about having enough clothes...or for us, when I have anxiety about people perceive me based on the clothes I wear...when I have anxiety about what people will think of me...what do I do with that...do you know anybody whose insecurity is driving them forward in unrelenting anxiety? What we wear, how we appear, our hopes for beauty...attractiveness, handsomeness, even sexiness is ruining our wallets and our joy. Oh that God would awaken us to the beauty inherent in those who are made in the image of the Most Glorious and Beautiful Creator!
God knows we have needs, and he wants to take care of them. I delight in provding for my daughter...and I trust that God delights in providing for me. I think it is cute when my daughter asserts her independence, but even those acts of hers are so DEPENDENT on my provision and care. And so for us...we may think we can make it on our own...or that God is impressed with us when we don't have to use him as a crutch...but as a Father my heart is so full of love for my daughter, and I want to express it to her by caring for her and protecting her and so much more. My anxiety about my life both reveals the mistrusting I have towards God, but also opens me up to an opportunity to trust God my life in God's caring, strong, wise, good, hands.
Anxiety seems so natural, so inevitable, so human. That's because our lifestyle is both driven by and saturated with anxiety. But for God to direct our steps in His Way...well that opens up our life to be led by One who will make everything All Right, who will make sure we have enough for today.
What do you want to be the aroma of your life? Anxiety or Trust?
There is so much more to say on this topic, based on these Scriptures. Maybe another time.