Sunday, July 26, 2015

Considering the lilies: Living the Lily Life of Faith




"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the  grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!  And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.                                        (Luke 12:27-29 NASB)

The lily series has continued a little longer than I expected, but we're winding down. We began this series by considering the lily bulb. In case you missed any part of the series, you can click on the links to catch up. We've also considered lily propagation,  lily's dispositiontrue lilies and the importance of the name, and the importance of planting the lily bulb deep in the ground.  Yesterday, we looked at the different varieties of lilies.

Today, we return to the original passage. "Consider the lilies," Jesus said, "And how they grow." You may remember the information about how lilies grow. They can grow from seed, form scaly bulbs, grow a single tall stem and produce fragrant, showy flowers. 

Jesus would also have us take note of how lilies don't grow. They don't toil, they don't spin, they don't worry, yet their "clothing" is breathtaking in beauty. "Not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these." It would be hard to dress ourselves in the beauty with which God clothes the lilies. 

Lilies and the grass of the fields have an extremely short lifespan. At most, the lily flower lasts a few days. When the bloom is spent, it's treated as trash and thrown away. The brevity of its life does not diminish its value. God still provides for the lilies, still clothes them in beauty.

If God clothes the lilies, don't you know He will take care of you? 

This discussion between Jesus and his disciples began when a man asked Jesus to intervene in his inheritance. Jesus saw his question as an indication of greed and He reminded his listeners, a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Life is not about your money. You can't take it with you. 

Life is so much more than you think.

Don't worry about what you'll eat. Don't worry about what you'll drink. Don't worry about anything. Your Heavenly Father can handle this. Quit worrying. 

Jesus went on to say, "Seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you." It's a matter of priority, of faith, of trust. If we stop chasing material things and start chasing the things of God,  we will experience the faithfulness of God in an amazing way. 

This is a promise. We can count on it. 

This trusting when I don't see how God can provide requires deep faith. It requires deep obedience. You and I have to stop living in panic mode and start living in faith mode. We have to adopt the faith of Jehoshaphat.  When a triple-army (Moab, Ammon, and Meunites) was coming to attack the nation of Judah, King Jehoshaphat turned to the only One who could deliver.

"For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." 2 Chronicles 20:12 NASB

You and I need a lot less "I can handle this" and a lot more "my eyes are on You" if we are to live this life of faith we say we want. We need less seeking of our own solutions and more seeking God's solution. 

Life is more than we think. It is so much more, but we are content with so little. We surround ourselves with material things and call it wealth, but it's not. What God wants for us is Himself. He is the treasure we should seek. He is what make life rich. 

I want a lily life. 

Lilies spend their lives doing the work God has given them to do, putting the beautiful provision of God on display in their blooms, dependent on Him to provide. Just to be clear, lilies spend their entire lives doing the work God has assigned them. The lily life is by no means a life of leisure, but it is a life of joy. Of faith. Of promise.

We, too, can live like the lilies, but only if we start by seeking Him first. So let's take stock of our lives. Are we living like lilies? If not, let's begin by seeking God first. Do the work God has assigned us. Put His bountiful provision on display by the lives we live. 

Live like the lilies. 
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Our Father in Heaven, forgive us for seeking everything except You. Forgive us for accumulating the wealth of this world and missing that of the next. Help us to seek You first, to follow You. Help us to have the life You meant us to have. In Jesus' name, Amen.