Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All These Things

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.“ Matt. 31-34

I have studied these verses slowly for many months. I have hungered to understand them. I have soaked them up and tried to digest them. For the longest time, I had no way to put the lessons these verses were teaching me into words. My thoughts were jumbled. The goings on in my heart hadn’t reached my head. Finally, I was able to translate some of it into words. It is not perfect, but it’s an attempt.

As a homemaker, it’s my job to manage “all these things”: food, clothing, home. And I believe it’s a lifelong process to learn to hand these things to God, to not be anxious, and yet, at the same time, embrace these God-given roles of home maker, wife and mother. 

My question, my search has been how do I seek the kingdom of God, in my life and in the management of “all these things”? The two are not separate.  I cannot seek the kingdom in my life, yet manage my household by the world’s guidelines. 

One answer is right there, in those verses. “Therefore do not worry.” That, for sure, is something I need to work on. And another is to replace that worry with glorifying God by bringing in the kingdom of God into my home. Luke 17:21b says, “For indeed the kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom is a spiritual reality - not a specific place in the sky. As a homemaker, I can work to make our home a little kingdom of God. A place where we seek God in all we do and give glory to Him in “all these things.”

And how do we seek God in all we do, in all these things? Christ says “seek first.” The kingdom, the seeking must come before everything else. For me, that means working on doing everything in prayer - offering everything up to God. Before any action, word, purchase, decision: “Lord, show me Your will; guide my thoughts and actions. May it glorify You.” It can seem profound - or petty. “Lord bless me as I fold the laundry…” Still, in each case, it is important! If Christ is truly going to be “my life,” then that includes every thing. Even the seemingly trivial. This will be a lifelong work of learning to truly “seek first” in all and offer each thing up to Him.

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul talks about offering our lives as a living sacrifice. Our lives should be lived to worship Christ, and to live according to His ways. We should not be “conformed to this world” and use the world as our standard of living. We are to live our lives for Christ by seeking the kingdom of God in all these things. And God will be with us. He will bring us the kingdom of God. 

“Do not fear little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

Do not worry. Seek Christ first. Offer all to God. Be grateful.

These are the themes running through my heart and stirring in my soul. 

By placing “all these things” - my life - in God’s hands, I’m putting Him first. I’m seeking His Kingdom, to fill my little kingdom. And rather than be anxious, I will be in wonder at His love and provision - and glorify His name.

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