Posts Tagged needs

Kingdom Living

Matthew 6: 33            GW

But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you.

This quote from Matthew may be familiar to you but it takes on a different nuance when read from the God’s Word translation. It comes at the end of a talk Jesus gave on the birds of the air and flowers and how God meets the physical needs of all His creation.

God knows we need clothing, food and shelter so we really do not have to pray about those things in the first place. That is Jesus’ first point. If God clothes the flowers with such beauty and feeds all his creatures, will He not also care for you? We have become so smart and so independent that we get the idea it is up to us to meet our needs. No way! That’s God’s job and His delight.

You have probably heard the version that reads, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The GW version essentially translates righteousness for us and also answers the question, “What does it mean to seek the Kingdom of God?” Righteousness is not the holiness doctrine we sometimes make it out to be. Holiness is good, I am not arguing that but righteousness has more to do with right standing with God. Another way to think of it is doing things God’s way. The GW version points out that seeking God’s kingdom has to do with concerning ourselves with the things God is concerned about. Meeting our needs is not on that list. Those are automatic fulfillment orders for God. Frankly, our need fulfillment really isn’t even our business. So Jesus’ second order of business here is that we should set our sights on Kingdom business. We are to seek out God’s direction on what He would have us think about and work on just as if He is our boss. We seek to do the things God wants AND do them His way. That means we will have faith projects instead of works projects.

Many of us try to fulfill righteousness through works projects. It is also how we attempt to meet our own needs. As we seek God and His way of living, all those “things” we need are just automatic. They exist in His kingdom. So when we put them aside, focusing instead on Kingdom goals, God’s inverse logic takes over. We get all that is in the Kingdom, but we also get the things we need in the world even though we forego seeking them. Seek God, and all else will be added to you. And, may I say, don’t even bother Him with the mundane things of life. Sure, you want to tell Him what you want but focus 99.9% of your time with Him seeking His mind and His thoughts. He knows you need food, don’t waste your time together telling Him you need food. Ask Him, if you want, what food He wants to give you. He may surprise you, though, because He thinks differently than do we. He may begin talking about feeding you with His Word.

Seek God. Put your mind on what is going on in God’s Kingdom. Talk with Him about Kingdom goals. You will have fun and enjoy all the Kingdom benefits too.

Give and Get

Proverb 3: 9 – 10

Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow.

We have all heard that we are supposed to give into the Lord’s work. Few seem to know why though. Nationally, only 10% of people tithe. So clearly, as a people, we are not giving regularly to the Lord. Part of the reason, I believe, is because so few understand the why of it all. People think that some preacher or church or maybe even God himself is trying to get something from them. It is just the opposite though. God is trying to get something to you.

God works by multiplying seed. He takes what you sow and multiplies it so that you reap thirty, sixty or a hundred-fold more than you sowed. His kingdom operates by the law of sowing and reaping. So, God wants you to give from your wealth and from the first of all your produce so that he can fill your barns, so that you will have all you need and then some. Bless the Lord and allow Him to multiply your gift back to you thirty, sixty or a hundred-fold.

The Seeker

Matthew 6: 33


But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.
One encounter with God can change your life forever. Having an encounter with God is worth everything. There really is nothing greater than a touch from Him. But how do we find god in our everyday lives? We must seek Him. When we seek Him, we find Him. In Him is the answer to every question we have as well as every need. Our job is to seek Him out and it is His job to provide us with the resources we need. Everything we need, want or desire is in Him. Seek Him with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and he will give you the desires of your heart. He will be everything you need or want. His touch will fill your heart and heal your hurts. This type of seeking requires commitment and surrender though. If you will be determined to seek Him out, you will most definitely find Him. Seek Him in His word and through your prayers. He will be found by you.

Wants Fulfilled

Psalm 34: 10                    Index Card 3

But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

Jesus said he came to earth to bring us abundant life (John 10: 10). That implies, doesn’t it, that he wants to fill our lives with good things? So, these two verses (and many others) work together. Jesus wants to pour good things into our lives so he had his prophet teach us to seek him. Didn’t Jesus say it himself during his days on the earth?  “Seek and you shall find” (Matthew 7: 8).

In him is everything pertaining to life (2 Peter 1: 3). Now, if I told you that I had a million dollars for you, you would seek me out, wouldn’t you? Essentially that is our position with Christ. He has it all, he wants to give it to you, you just need to go see him to get everything you want, everything you need. You shall not be in want of any good thing. That’s simple, isn’t it?

Provisioned

Mark 6: 7 – 11

And he summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs; and He was giving them authority over the unclean spirits; and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belt; but to wear sandals; and He added “Do not put on two tunics.” And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town.

Jesus sent out his disciples to preach the gospel. He sent them out without worldly goods yet with all they would need in order to fulfill their commission. Apparently, they had means, i.e. gold, silver, etc., otherwise he would not have instructed them to leave those things behind. Jesus provisioned them with the might and power of God. I notice that they still wore their money belts though. Did he expect that they would acquire money along the way?  

Jesus was teaching them a very important lesson while he was still here on the earth to help them if they failed. He was teaching them that the Lord, our God, would provide for them. When God calls you to a task, it is His responsibility to provision you. It is his job to care for all your needs. They were sent to preach the Word of God and minister to the needs of the people in the name of the Lord. That was the sum total of their responsibility. Whatever God calls you to do, put your eyes on that and take them off of your worldly needs. Learn to trust him for your daily needs and spend your energy going about the task He has set you.

Prayers for the Needy

Philippians 4: 19

And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Paul wrote to the Philippians assuring them that because they were meeting his needs God would take care of their needs. That is a good perspective from which to view our needs and our prayers. God meets our needs when we meet the needs of others. Still I suspect most of us spend a good bit of time praying about our needs. I noticed in the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus gave “needs” one line; “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6: 11). When Jesus went up on the mountain to pray, what do you suppose he prayed about? I suspect he didn’t spend much time praying about the things he needed. I imagine he prayed for people and for his calling.

I think what God is showing me is that we need spend very little time praying about our physical needs. In fact, I am beginning to think we need not spend much time at all praying about any of our perceived needs for two reasons. First, Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given to you” (Matthew 7: 7). So ask and be done.

Secondly, I don’t think we really know what we need. Sometimes we pray (ask) for something that we want but don’t need. In fact, sometimes the thing we are praying for would destroy us if we received it. Take for example the Israelites who prayed and prayed for a king. God told them, “No” at first time saying that He would be their king. He told them that their desire would only lead them to ruin. They kept on and on until finally he relented (read this story in 1 Samuel 8). And if you know the story of Saul, the first ever king of Israel, you know that God spoke to them truthfully.

I think our prayer time is better spent asking God what we need. In other words, I think we should pray about ourselves rather than for ourselves. We need God’s revelation on what we need and it may well be something that He wants to do in our hearts. At least that is what I am finding. If we back up a little bit from Matthew 7: 7 where Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given to you,” and go to the end of Chapter 6 we find something interesting. Bear in mind that this is all one teaching. When Jesus spoke this it wasn’t divided into chapters so just a few moments before He said, “Ask and receive” he said, “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6: 33).

I believe this is what was happening in Philippi. The people had finally turned their hearts from seeking after their own needs and desires to seeking the kingdom. When they got back into a spiritual state, reconnected with the Holy Spirit within them they sent a gift to Paul for his support and maintenance. Then Paul said that their gift to Him would insure that their needs were met. You see, the Holy Spirit will speak to us about what we need in our lives. He will even lead our prayers. He will also direct our actions so that what we need will be provided for us. The Philippians didn’t send their gift to Paul in order to get their needs met, they were just connecting with God in their hearts. They were seeking the kingdom and the Holy Spirit led them to send a gift to Paul. In that act, their needs were met, as well as Paul’s. So, we need to seek God in our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to lead our actions. When we do we will not need to pray unceasingly for our needs and wants. They will become a by-product of what God is doing in our spirits. It seems then that the key to the kingdom is what we have all been told time and time again. Seek the Lord, our God and He will take care of everything else.