Sunday, March 8, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 57)

Jesus said, “That’s why I am saying to you: Don’t be anxious about your life, as to what you are to eat or what you are to drink, nor, as far as the body is concerned, about what you are to wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?”
— Matthew 6:25 (USC)
Jesus has been building to this very point right through the chapter. Does it not seem odd to you that Jesus now speaks of the underlying preponderance hiding beneath the want for recognition and the coveting of all sorts of worldly pleasures?
The subject of our clamouring after everything not of God is anxiousness.
God, and our Lord alone, can help with our anxiousness, yet, in our desperation to feel safe we go the very opposite way, into any number of directions that will spell the propagation, and not the alleviation, of our anxiousness. We fall for a lie of the devil. He says he can help. He can only make things worse, taking us farther from a true healing experience from our anxiousness.
Now anxiousness is buried deep beneath many evident sins. The struggles and temptations we have are due to anxiousness — a fear that we will be abandoned without a crutch.
Even if we are to experience what Job experienced, we are counselled to not be anxious, though we will certainly be understood and forgiven for feeling abandoned by God. Again, it’s the Evil One who ushers the lie into our inner being: “God cannot and will not help you; but I know what you need — come my way.”
Satan is an imitator of God, but he’s a counterfeit of the worst conception — for what looks the goods is never good at all.
What are we to do? Not be anxious. Continue to trust in God. And when we are anxious, prefer it to go to God. Pour out yourself to him, for he, who is the only one who truly knows, understands, and cares, will make it for you to cry out in the evening — even to exhaustion — so as to wake at peace in the morning. That peace will abide for the day, because peace that bears fruit in hope is not easily surrendered.
We are to cry out not in the mood of indignation for the external circumstance against us, but for the internal circumstance for which these external circumstances are doing to us internally.
God knows what you need. He knows what we need.
God will give you what you need, ultimately, as a process of having faith to trust him, especially when his promise is full and the fruit of his promise seems emptiest.
1.     Think of a time you were beside yourself in the grief of anxiousness. Have you ever experienced such a communion with God in prayer, that, through exhaustion, which is to be brought to the end of yourself, you experienced the sweet peace of the morn? If not, what have you got to lose by crying out only to him who alone can help?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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