Monday, December 18, 2017

Food, Water, Shelter, Safety … and the Newest I-Phone App?

August 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

In Matthew 6, we find Jesus sharing with his listeners that what their hearts are focused on is, in fact, what they treasure most; and that because their hearts can serve only one master, that particular treasure is their master. And he warns them that worrying about the avid pursuit of worldly cares – “diligently seeking after such things as the heathen do” (v. 32, Amplified Version) – does nothing but cause that worry and pursuit to become their master, taking their hearts’ focus. And now that Jesus has made them aware of the wrong pursuit, He gives them direction:

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Although I’ve memorized that verse through the years, it wasn’t until recently that I had an “aha” moment about it. I was thinking, “Okay – but in the time that Jesus gave that message, people’s worldly cares seemed simple as compared to today, didn’t they? I mean, they needed food, water and shelter — and, oh yes — to keep a low profile so as not to anger their Roman governors and become lion lunch. They didn’t have to be concerned with stock market stability, their education and career track, if their 401K was intact, if they had adequate insurance and healthcare, and then … there’s that pesky cost of keeping up with ever-changing technology and fashion, and staying apprised of the latest TV reality show. So, in light of that message being given in the first century, how does it apply today?” (Yes, that is light sarcasm. But there’s a lot of truth in it, isn’t there?) Yet, the basic worldly concerns in their lives were no less pressing than the basic worldly concerns of our lives today – food, water, shelter, safety. Yes – really – those ARE the basics — “basics” being the operative word. In fact, even Maslow would agree with me based on his “hierarchy of needs” theory. (Or I suppose I’m agreeing with him, since it is his theory.) And yes, I realize that an income source is essential – but it is essential to acquiring the other basics.

    All that to say what?

I would like to say that my “aha” moment came from some in-depth studying of the above scripture, but it didn’t. Out of the blue one day when I wasn’t even focusing much on this subject, God tapped me on the head with a little spiritual insight. The tapping sounded like this: “When you are diligently seeking, aiming, and striving after My kingdom and righteousness, you become filled with My peace, and that peace overrides worry.” I realized that meant that worry can’t invade because there is little to no “empty space” in my heart, mind or spirit to be concerned with those things that we as Americans are often in pursuit of in hopes of finding peace. In other words, when we diligently seek Him, our perception of what we need changes as it becomes aligned with God’s provisions – and we experience peace. Consequently, all these things (what you really need) are, in fact, “added unto you” by virtue of the fact that your perception of what you need has changed.

Whether living in the 1st century or the 21st century, this truth becomes self-evident when you practice it. I’m not saying not to own or enjoy things, not to have and achieve goals. I’m saying not to let the pursuit of things own you and thereby steal your peace and joy, and become your focus, your treasure, your master.

Perhaps my “aha” moment is a no-brainer for most people. I imagine that Christians in third-world countries might scratch their heads and ask, “And your point IS?” (Their daily focus is on needs versus wants. Acquiring the newest iphone application is not on their agenda.) But it was a rather significant epiphany for me, and has shown its truth through personal experience. Lest you think I am blind to the many here in our country who struggle for their daily needs as well, I am not unaware. I often allow worry to creep into my own life in similar areas. But again, when my focus is on my relationship with God, He lifts my spirit and I am not as stressed or concerned about those things. The worry and stress is replaced with peace.

“The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe

Born and raised in a small suburb of Houston, Nancy grew up the middle child of a working-class family. After a decade of exploring and living in Alaska, Arizona and Oregon, her family ties led her back to the Houston area, where she currently resides as a single mother of a 25-year-old. Throughout her adult years, she has acquired her associate degree while working alongside nationally recognized legal teams to provide clients with excellent representation, and is currently studying for her paralegal certification. Managing one of life’s many potential curve balls, she also is currently two years into a cancer journey – waiting patiently as God does battle on her behalf — and continues to rest in the power of the blood and name of Jesus as she seeks to live out God’s plan for her life. Oh yes – and she loves to sing and participate with friends in karaoke!

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Comments

5 Responses to “Food, Water, Shelter, Safety … and the Newest I-Phone App?”
  1. Nancy,

    Thanks for your insights on Matthew 6 which are even more powerful as we see you going through your cancer journey. My wife went through her own battle with cancer starting about eight years ago and we too had to re-visit the question of “what really matters?” in life.

    We also learned that in God’s peace we are free to go through our challenges one step at a time. That somehow made it more manageable. Climb on.

  2. Nancy Conner Coons says:

    Thank you, Gary. Checked out your blog and on your 7/30 entry, I really found this to be a well-worded point:

    “Perspective doesn’t change the actual size of our mountain but it can radically alter our attitude and ability to climb.” I’m going to share that blog with a few friends who will really receive from it.

  3. Thanks, Nancy. Glad it was helpful. Look forward to hearing more in the future from you about your experiences and growth.

  4. Susan Dean says:

    Just to let those that follow theses journals, writings and/or blogs – our Sweet Nancy went to be with the Lord yesterday evening. She was a joy and inspiration to all lives she touched, especially during her courageous battle with cancer. Her pain is over, all suffering done. She is with God today and forever more. Prayers to her family and friends that will miss her so.

  5. Great insight and a great testimony to God’s word (Matt 6:33) from one who obviously walked with Him regularly. There is power for us all in her observations.

    To God be the Glory,

    Joe Dickerson

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