Stop Seeking, Start Shining!

by Lester Young

“Therefore, I say to you, take no thought for your life…saying, ‘What shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, what shall we put on to wear?’ For all these are the things that the Gentiles seek and chase after” (Matthew 6:25, 31 paraphrased). You know, those words from Jesus weren’t exactly a ‘suggestion;’ they were kind of like a command. Well, no; actually, they were exactly like one.

Now, the staples Jesus mentioned in that passage (food, drink and clothing) are simply an abbreviation for all the material things we need in this life, and can be understood to also include shelter, heat, transportation, money; indeed, every physical necessity we could ever have. So, in essence, the Lord was telling us to stop trying to take care of ourselves – stop trying to meet our own needs. But is that idea really reasonable? In fact, doesn’t it seem downright irresponsible? If we don’t take care of ourselves, then who will?

If judged solely from a natural or human perspective, it does indeed seem irresponsible, if not downright absurd. But if you know anything at all about God, you’re probably already aware that looking at things from a purely human standpoint makes about as much sense as falling into a completely uncovered and fully-in-view Burmese tiger trap – and will do you about as much good. The Lord went so far as to call such shallow perspectives ‘satanic,’ because they’re “seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (Mark 8:33, NLT).

Oddly enough, if Jesus had stopped right at the end of Matthew 6:31 and just left us hanging there, that would have been a classic example of irresponsibility. But He didn’t. As a matter of fact, He went on to tell us exactly Who would be responsible for us: “For your heavenly Father knows full well that you need all these things. Nevertheless, you should not chase after the same things the rest of the world does. Instead, you should seek and chase after the Kingdom of God, and the ways of doing and being right in His eyes – and then, when you do that, all those other things (the stuff the world seeks; all those material necessities) will also be given to you. God will see to it that you get them – all of them! (Matthew 6:32-33; Genesis 22:8,14 paraphrased)

Absolutely no facet of your livelihood – no part of your physical life’s upkeep and welfare – should be a driving concern for you. Isaiah 60 shows us why: “Arise, shine! For your Light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! People shall come to your Light, kings will come to its brightness! The abundance of the sea shall come to you; the wealth of the Gentiles shall come over to you!” (verses 1, 3 and 5 paraphrased)

What is this Light that’s risen upon you? It’s the Blessing of the Lord. God’s Blessing is a Magnet, and it attracts – people, money, whatever needs to come. Jesus demonstrated that attraction as He showed gratitude to Peter for letting Him use his fishing boat as a platform to teach from (Luke 5:3-5). After His session with the people was over, He told Peter to head back out to the deep part of the lake and let down his nets, because he was going to take in a haul of fish. At first Peter resisted, being not only tired from already toiling all night out there on that lake, but also being a professional fisherman – because every pro fisherman knew that you can’t catch no fish on that lake in the daytime! The fish see the net and swim away with a chuckle on their fishy little lips. Nevertheless, we ought to give Peter partial credit for at least respecting Jesus as a Master and Teacher, a man of God, and therefore relenting to His direction. But I digress…

Well, they caught so many fish the boats started sinking! (Luke 5:6-7) But why was this particular fishing expedition’s outcome so markedly different from the one the previous night – all night!? The Blessing that was upon Jesus: His Word to come into those nets and create a huge haul for Peter attracted those fish. They couldn’t have stayed away if they wanted to – because the Blessing attracts!

Take a look at Abraham. God blessed him in verse 2 of Genesis 12, he was obedient to God’s direction, and by the beginning of the next chapter the man was ridiculously rich! (Genesis 13:2) Yes, I’m being a little facetious with regard to elapsed time there, but the truth remains that the Blessing attracts material things! Deuteronomy 28:1-13 describes that Blessing of Abraham, and Galatians 3:13-14 declares that it still belongs to us today!

So don’t spend all your time going after material things, trying to meet all your needs all by yourself. You don’t have to do that. Go after God and His Way – chase after His Kingdom. Take His right way as your right way. Walk in love as 1 Corinthians 13 describes it. Do exactly what the Lord tells you to do. Say exactly what He tells you to say. That’s staying in His Love and walking in His Blessing; it’s letting your Light shine (Matthew 5:14-16; John 15:10; James 1:25). And a great by-product of the process is that it attracts all you could possibly ever need in this life – and then some! (Proverbs 10:22; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Philippians 4:19; 1 Timothy 6:17)

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4 Comments to “Stop Seeking, Start Shining!”

  1. Just like you’re speaking to me personally. Thank you for your gift of bringing God’s word into a practical perspective. Oh, so glad you’re back.

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