Matthew 6:25-33. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Do you ever feel anxious? Silly question right?
As a species we are the only ones in God’s creation that worry. We obsessively watch the news seeking a peace that will never come. We strategize for our security and safety. We plan our perfect lives. We map out goals for the day or week and then stress out when we see ourselves falling short of those goals. We buy stuff to help us feel less anxious, and then worry about all the stuff we have obtained, and about how to get more stuff when this stuff stops making us feel good.
But Christ offers us a far better way to live. A way that says do not be anxious about your life. Or, “you can quit worrying about your life.” Or, as it says in the King James Version, “take not thought for your life.”
What if kingdom seeking is a much simpler approach to life? Like birds and flowers.
Look at the birds. The birds aren’t lazy. In fact, birds work really hard every day. But they don’t worry about it. They work from faith that they will have what they need for today. No gathering into barns. No stockpiling. And no anxiety about their future. What if being in Christ makes us like the birds, working in care free abandonment to God. If there’s nothing left to achieve in this life because Christ has achieved it all, each day then becomes worship. When there’s no more ladders to climb, “dreams to achieve,” or trophies to win, it all becomes simple faith. Which might just reduce your anxiety.
Consider the lilies. We say things like “I don’t want to just exist, I need to make a name for myself.” But no flower ever said that. They rest in who they are, existing to simply reflect the grace of their creator. What if being in Christ gives us the faith of the flowers? Faith that lets me rest in the beauty of Christ’s imputed righteousness. What if we reflect his kingdom of love by simply being. Not demanding, not striving, not stressing. Just being.
This is why seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness is the only way to avoid a complete breakdown. Because kingdom seeking is not a to-do list to finish, or an objective to meet? Seeking God’s righteousness is not a standard to achieve or a law to adhere to. Kingdom seeking is ongoing. It’s not an accomplishment because it never ends. Like our faith in Christ. Christ whose life is my food and drink. Christ whose righteousness is my clothing. Faith in Christ is not a goal to achieve, it’s a life to live.
“To live is Christ” is to lose our anxiety through daily seeking God’s kingdom and finding it in our union with Christ. Put any goal above this and you’ll lose it all. But seek Christ and his free grace first, and all these things will be added unto you. Real living found in resting. True happiness found in contentment. And satisfaction found when we finally stop chasing our own needs and start meeting the needs of others.
What are you anxious about today?
You in Christ
How does being in Christ allow you to put God’s kingdom of grace ahead of your own kingdom of achievement?
Christ in you
In what ways can your life look more like the birds and flowers today?
Playlist: Songs to soothe your anxiety.