“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12:29-31
As I was walking through Wal-Mart late one night, I was irritated.
It seems like there is no such thing as a “short trip to Wal-Mart.” No matter how detailed my list, it always takes me twice as long as I anticipated to get my shopping done.
Then it hit me.
I already had everything on my list. I had everything I needed that night.
So why was I still in the store, instead of at home in my PJ’s drinking hot apple cider?
It was the stuff I didn’t need that was causing the problem. Those things I was looking for but didn’t need were keeping me from being where I should’ve been.
Then God showed me that we’re the same way in our daily lives.
He supplies our needs. We have no cause to worry about what we’ll eat, or drink, or wear. He’s going to take care of us.
It’s worrying about the things we don’t need that gets us in trouble, that keeps us from being where we should be – spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and often physically and financially as well.
It can cause us to spend more time at work than we really have to, to pay for things we don’t need and shouldn’t have bought. It can keep us from having the peace of mind that we should have as children of God. If we’re worried about keeping up with the Joneses, we’re using energy we should be putting into our families, our spiritual life, and our outreach to this lost and dying world.
It can keep us from being able to support God’s work, because our resources are tied up in “things.”
This year, as we enter the holiday season, I think God would want us to be mindful of some things.
In a world that tells us that we never have enough, we need to remember that He is all we need.
In a world that tells us that the measure of success is the size of our bank account, our house, or our SUV, we need to remember that He measures success by the condition of our souls.
In a world that tells us that we need to seek the next big thing, we need to remember that He says to seek Him and His kingdom, and the rest will fall into place.
We need to remember that anything that takes our focus off of God can become an idol. And we need to remember that we serve a jealous God who won’t let idols stand. (Remember what happened to the statue of Dagon when it was placed in the same room as the Ark of the Covenant!)
As the “pagans” of this world run around during the next month trying to out buy, out bake, and just plain out perform each other, the children of God need to remember what this season is really all about.
We need to keep our eyes off of what the world tells us is important, and remain thankful for the simple blessings He has bestowed upon us.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Tim. 6:6-8