January 7, 2011
What Really Matters
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Far too often I seek God's blessings instead of seeking God. I seek His hand instead of His heart. Like a child with a long Christmas list, at times I run to my heavenly Father as if He's a celestial Wal-Mart purposed to satisfy my every want. Instead of leaning in to hear the whispered will of the Lord, I selfishly shout my will - my desires - my demands. I'd rather have relief from life-pressures than gain the strength to endure them and the lessons I'm intended to learn from them. When I'm desperate to fill my over-sized heart-cart with things that I think I need, I rob myself of what really matters: the pursuit of God and the blessings found in Him alone.
Why do we desire God's intervention in our lives more than His presence? Why do we think that we know what we need? It's so arrogant of us to tell God how to be God. Isn't that what we do when we stomp our feet before His throne and whine about all the things that need fixing instead of praising Him for the strength He graciously gives us to endure? While we're certainly encouraged by Scripture to make our requests known to the Father (Philippians 4:6), the highest calling on our lives is to love God with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds (Matthew 22:37). What really matters is seeking God and seeking Him first.
God knows that our selfish and demanding hearts bring loads of unnecessary anxiety to our days. His Word gives an amazing solution to our priority problem. He promises that when we chase His heart, we can relax and rest in His peace. Our needs will be met because He loves us.
"And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
"So don't worry about these things, saying, ‘what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:30-34, NLT)
The Message version of the Bible says it like this:
"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, and do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes" (Matthew 6:30-34, MSG).
Set your list of wants aside today and seek God. Go before Him with a heart of worship and adoration. Get lost in His presence. Remember His mercy. Relish His grace. Love Him. Seek Him. Pray. Put first things first.
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV). Please know that I am not suggesting that we shouldn't go to God with our burdens. We must! But God wants your love before your list.
God loves us so much. His plan is perfect and His ways are mysterious. He knows our needs and He knows our desires. When we remember what really matters we can rest in the knowledge that He's working on our behalf, and in our best interest, to bring glory to Himself through our lives.
Dear Lord, You are all I need. Please forgive me for the times when I seek Your blessings before I seek Your heart. Help me to trust Your plan and rest in Your grace.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
How has God met your needs in the past? Do you trust that He is able to meet them today?
He's not just concerned with your needs - God also cares about your heart matters. Read, meditate on and memorize this verse: "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4, ESV).
Add ten minutes to your prayer time each day for the next five days, then stand back and see how God blesses you!
More from the Girlfriends
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29) Please know that today's devotion is not suggesting that we shouldn't go to God with our burdens. We must! But God wants your love before your list.
NEED HEALING for some heart wounds? Order Gwen's book, Broken Into Beautiful today.
LOVE TO WORSHIP? Order a copy of Gwen's new CD, Uncluttered. The songs of Uncluttered are purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ.
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