Monday, July 27, 2015

Considering the lilies: Seeking the Kingdom

"Consider the lilies, how they grow... And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.                                       (Luke 12:27, 29-32 NASB)

The lily series has continued a little longer than I expected. 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, the importance of planting the lily bulb deep in the ground, and the different varieties of lilies. Yesterday, we considered living the lily life.

Today, we turn to the contrast between the world and the disciple. There's no need to worry about clothing, or food, or drink, Jesus told the disciples. The nations of the world eagerly seek all those things. The word translated as "eagerly seek" can also be translated as clamor or demand. The world, those who do not trust God for their daily needs, clamor after what they want, demanding that they have whatever it is they think they need. 

I don't know about you, but demanding never works well with me. God doesn't care for demands from us, either. Demanding is pagan behavior. Worry is pagan behavior, too. ("Nations of the world" is a term used to describe those who do not have their trust in Almighty God, the pagans.) They want something, so they clamor and demand, chasing after their desire until they have it. 

Our Heavenly Father expects us to approach life in a different way. He wants us to trust Him. When we have a need, we are to take it to our Father and leave it with Him. He can handle our lives and our needs with the same care and extravagance He gives the lilies. We need look no further than gardens and road sides to know this truth. 

We are not to clamor. We are not to demand. We are not to worry. Instead of seeking the things we want, we are to seek the kingdom of God. He will handle the rest. Matthew 6:33 says, "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness". God will handle everything else. 

We have a choice. We can live like the world, worrying and demanding and clamoring to get what we want and think we need. Or, we can live like the lilies, beautiful pictures of grace and the provision of God, doing the job God has given us, seeking His kingdom, depending on Him to provide our needs. Which will it be? 

I choose the lilies.
Our Father, forgive my worry and create in me a heart of faith, trust, and peace. In Jesus' name. Amen.