Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6:30)
A Question About the Depth of Personal Faith
Jesus asks some questions of his disciples that seem so very simple when you read them, but they actually are more difficult for most people to put into action in daily living. This same question has an obvious answer for all that most would agree to, but evaluation is called for at the conclusion which makes the illustration of Jesus much more challenging. The question Jesus poses to them is to consider the amount of faith that they have inasmuch as God cares for nature that does not possess the capacity to exercise faith.
The question does not focus upon God’s ability to supply what is needed, but the disciple’s ability to exercise faith to receive. As the contrast is established, Jesus says to them that God clothes the birds of the air with feathers, the grass in the fields with health and nutrition, and the beauty of the flowers have no worries about their existence. It seems almost like hyperbole that sets a contrast from the extravagant emphasis upon God’s care for natural things. Jesus emphatically states the greater importance of His care for His disciples, who cannot seem to get past their concern for immediate needs and anxiety about how or when it will come.
I think that often we worry the most because we have a concern for an immediate and pressing need along with a diminished understanding of God’s concern for our lives. This unduly exposes a primary focus upon things superseding a primary focus upon God as an avenue of blessings in life. The statement Jesus made emphatically, “O ye of little faith” reminds all readers about how out of focus priorities become in Christian living as the focus shifts on things and end states. While so much concern apparently arises as a natural human response, it is a misplaced concern with holding on to money and acquiring things first. In a stark contrast, the emphasis centers upon putting God first and focusing efforts upon seeking on His (kingdom-rule) over our heart-life to construct a life of faith. The application stands out clearly that disciples must learn that God precedes all of the material things in life.
Obviously birds don’t have faith, the ability to reason, nor does grass have the ability to worry; they simply live out their existence as they are designed. However, in a contrast disciples are given the ability to think and develop faith; then, reflect their true identity as a believer. The matter that is disappointing points to the failure of this band of disciples to spend time developing a faith life focused upon God instead directing their concerns toward the material matters of life. A lesson Jesus teaches in the story elevates the central importance of our priorities in what we are seeking in life. The message clearly speaks that disciples are to seek Him and in doing so, place their lives in a position to develop faith in Him, instead of worrying about fading material things.
It is hard to wrap our head around the idea that God is supernatural and out of a life of devotion to Him that God will orchestrate things we cannot imagine in human terms. Unfortunately, the fact that faith is developed out of the fires of life, keeps many out of focus until the day that the fire changes our life focus from things on this earth to the Father and His purpose. Today is a good day to change the focus of life and make a commitment to seek Him and His Lordship over life.
Prayer for today: Father may my faith develop a trusting, knowing, powerful faith that will take my focus off of holding on to things, money, or material goods a source of security. In the fires of my life today, develop a faithful trust in a sovereign God who can bless my life with good things as I seek you first, your reign, your rule over my life today.