Does God really care for us? I mean, really?
I have been listening to an album recently which has really brought a sense of focus and priority to me in a refreshing way. One song - entitled Jireh - is all about trusting God no matter what.
Jehovah-Jireh literally means, 'the Lord will provide'.
When I look back at how God has provided for me and my family over the years, I get the distinct feeling that God stays true to His word. He is a God that cares and wants the best for us. But what is the best for us?
Take a few moments with your coffee and read Matthew 6:25-34, I'll just wait here until you're done...
In my version, this scripture is entitled 'Don't be anxious' and Jesus gives this beautiful description of God's care and attention to detail of the world - how He puts wonder all over and provides for nature - so much so that the world just gets on with it.
This is a God that cares. And if He does it at that level for those things, He goes further for us. What a promise! And all this from the mouth of Jesus who understood and knew (cos He was kinda close to His heavenly Father...).
Now, is that enough for me and you to crack on with our calling to make disciples and be salt and light wherever we find ourselves? Is what God promises really, truly enough?
Who cares? I cook my meals, I get my own drinks, I buy and choose what to wear (sometimes not very well). God doesn't. God doesn't come to Asda to help choose my meals, or come with me to choose my next pair of jeans. Who cares, honestly?
Well, that's not the point. What Jesus is saying through this is that the care and attention God gives to us will be enough for us to live as disciples, that the excess of heaven far outweighs the excess of the world. When God provides, it is because ultimately it will have a profound effect not only on your 'newness', but for His kingdom.
Listen to what Jesus says in verse 33,
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
If we are straight up with ourselves, we are always anxious. Think about it - to get your next meal, you have to work to earn money to provide. To get new clothes, it works the same. However, the excess of the world has a phenomenally higher impact on us than anything else.
One thing I need to learn and put into practice is that I don't need more than I need...if that makes sense.
I have such a privilege to do what I do, and God has provided for me, my family and beyond - but it is what we do with it which will have a profound and lasting impact on you.
I am thousands in debt. There you go, I said it, it's out there.
Obviously with a mortgage... but bare with me for a moment. This example can be applied to all areas of our lives.
I have a house. It is brilliant. God provided a unique opportunity to buy a house. And I am grateful. However, the excess of the world says to add, invest, make bigger, have more room, want more... Who cares? God does. Do I need that much?
Same with clothes. Cars. Even food. We live in the excess of the world more than the excess of heaven. More surely means better - better standing and status and whatever!
Well, lets look at it like this - Jesus commanded the disciples to take nothing with them. In Acts, we read that the church sold and gave away as was the need.
Who cares? God does. He wants you and I to live in the excess of heaven and not the world. I have been really challenged and agitated recently on our 'new' series here at HT, as well as new music and a fresh walk with God - all as we emerge from a pandemic.
I have been challenged to think about how God has provided in every way for me, and wants me to seek Him and His righteousness above all else.
What does it look like to go smaller instead of bigger? What does it look like to not get that takeaway but spend the money on something that really could be the difference? What does it look like to not buy those new trainers (yes, I have a weird obsession with trainers) but instead use that money to really make a difference?
What if (and don't tell Sarah), after we have done our house out of necessity, we downsized and used what God provided to make a difference.
God cares. When He is first, these things will be added. How simple and straight forward is that. Even though we don't deserve anything God offers, He is a gracious and loving God. And He does it because He cares for you.
Be a blessing today. Change your thought pattern. Access the excess of heaven now.