“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:28-34
Rather than worry, we are to seek God first.
THE SETTING: These verses made me think about a story that takes place in 2nd Kings 6-7. I encourage you to read it for yourself. The events of this story took place when Elisha was a prophet in Israel. It seems that Israel always had enemies. One of these was Syria. The king of Syria was warring in Israel, but he was having some serious problems. Every time he went to a new site to wait for Israel to show up so that he could ambush them, they wouldn’t ever show up because, it seemed, they were being warned by someone. The Syrian king was upset and was certain that someone in his own army must be giving information to the enemy. His servant told him that Israel was actually being warned by Elisha. Naturally, the king of Syria made it his mission to eliminate this man who was ruining his plans. He tracked Elisha down and found that he was staying in a city called Dotham. He sent his army of soldiers and chariots to surround the city.
A REASON TO WORRY Elisha’s servant woke up early in the morning. He was probably just expecting another ordinary day. Isn’t that how it is for us? On the days where our lives are changed forever, we often aren’t expecting anything extraordinary. The servant looked out the window and saw the surrounding army. He ran to Elisha to warn him. He came to Elisha and said, “What should we do?” Elisha answered in verse 16 and said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Totally confident. Totally at peace. Totally not worried.
PERSPECTIVES It is interesting to me that both Elisha and the servant were looking out the same window, but both saw something different. Both people had a different perspective. Elisha was a man who had woken up that morning and, upon looking out the window, was not worried about what he saw because he had made a habit of continually seeking God first.
BLESSINGS FOR SEEKING GOD FIRST
#1: One blessing Elisha received from seeking God first was peace. Where another man saw a reason to panic, Elisha saw a reason to praise. Wanting his servant to experience the same peace, he said a prayer, asking God to open his servant’s eyes. Immediately his eyes were opened and he was able to see the vast, mighty army of God standing ready. All too often I am like Elisha’s servant. It is easy to become discouraged, frightened, or worried when I see Satan at work in my life or in the lives of those around me. If I were to seek God first, I would see that while Satan is powerful, God is much more powerful. And He is on MY side! If we could see the battle being waged all around us between the powers of light and the powers of darkness, what would we think? What an awesome thing that this servant was allowed to experience as a result of Elisha’s prayer.
#2: The second blessing Elisha receives is power. God answers Elisha’s first prayer immediately and when he prays a second time, asking God to blind the Syrian army, God does it. There is truly power in prayer!
#3: God gives Elisha courage. He goes right out to the Syrian king and has a conversation with him. Rather than cower in the presence of his enemy, he shows courage and confidence. Elisha ends up leading the king and the rest of the Syrian army into Samaria where they are put into a vulnerable position. (to say the least!)
#4: The final blessing God gives Elisha is grace. Elisha is able to show grace to his enemies and rather than having them slaughtered, he makes sure they are fed and then sent home. We cannot extend grace towards others unless we have first accepted the grace of God.
Elisha made a habit of seeking God first and was greatly blessed because of it. Not only was he blessed, but he was able to share those blessings with those around him.
Why waste your time worrying? Imagine all that you are missing out on.