“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 6:33-34
These are the words of Jesus in the gospel. Some of you, if you are like me, have heard them countless times, but how often do we actually listen to them and allow these instructions to penetrate deep into our lives, specifically at a transitional time when it seems worrying about our “tomorrows” is our subconscious mind’s favorite hobby.
It seems that the biggest question I have been asking myself is “What is God’s will for my life?”
But today, as I read Matthew 6, I wonder if the question I should be asking instead is “What is God’s will for my day, for my hour?”
I know. I know. Even as I type this, I feel a sense of naivety, because often, the last thing to help me in a time of confusion is a blanket scripture telling me to leave all of my worries at the door. But what I’ve come to realize is that Matthew 6 is not a cliché that Jesus throws on us, but it is a truth that He will give you everything you need and an instruction to approach him for our needs daily. What if I really lived by Jesus’ words and radically shifted my perspective to a 5-minute life plan rather than a 5- year plan?
Take a second to consider which of the following answers sounds most like you when you seek the Lord for His will over your life.*
- Lord, what do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go? What does the outcome look like?
- Lord, as you go with me day by day, tell me what to do one step at a time, and I will do it.
If you are anything like me, it sounds more like option 1, asking for details and long term vision. While I believe that God instills long term dreams and desires in our hearts, I also think that we too often lose sight of his daily plans for us because our eyes are looking far off into the distance and because it is honestly safer in some ways to sit in the unknown pondering of the future than to actually do what God has called us to today.
As Christians, we spend much more time having spiritual conversations about God’s “potential” will for our lives, rather than living in action of what he is calling us to in this exact moment—his immediate will for our lives.
Francis Chan talks about this in Crazy Love:
“I think dwelling on God’s plan for the future often excuses us from faithful and sacrificial living now…To be honest, I believe part of the desire to ‘know God’s will for my life’ is birthed in fear and results in paralysis. We are scared to make mistakes, so we fret over figuring out God’s will. We forget that we were never promised a twenty-year plan of action; instead, God promises us multiple times in Scripture never to leave us or forsake us...”
He goes on to discuss the story of Abraham. I love the story of Abraham because in it we see how God continuously calls Abram to places of which he does not know all of the details, and Abraham simply goes, knowing that God will reveal what he needs to know later. He will settle the practical logistical questions later.
“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you… so Abram departed as the Lord had instructed.”
“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go… and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
Abraham left and departed, before he even knew where he was going? Which mountain did God want him to go on? Which land was his family relocating to? Abraham did not have the answers to these questions. He just knew that in that moment, God said go, and he went.
SO, I have a suggestion and maybe it’s crazy, but I think it’s what Jesus suggests. Forget about the long term will for your life, and pray that God would reveal his momentary direction for you. It is only by stepping somewhere that you will get anywhere.
Sit in the promise that God is with you and he is speaking, not necessarily the vision for your entire life, but the vision for your each and every moment.
My prayer for us today:
Jesus, keep me steady, present, focusing on the daily breath in front of me, not the regret-filled memories of the past, or the anxiety provoking predictions of the future, but grant me the grace to have my eyes fixed on you, my mind filled with your wisdom and guidance, my ears tuned to your voice, and my heart centered on trust in you and your leadership over my life.
*Questions were taken from Lifeway’s Experiencing God workbook.