In todays world we walk through life always asking for more, always asking for God to provide more for us than he already has, always asking for things that we do not need. It is a disease that has infected the Church, the disease of never being satisfied, never being thankful and never giving thanks for the great providence the Lord has already blessed us with, but rather, we have become people of dissatisfaction and un-contentment. The Church, specifically the American Church has an enormous black stain within it that is living and active and it ought disgust us as the people of God, that we are seeking the things of the world rather than our greatest joy and our only joy for that matter, God almighty.
The Churches only prayer when it comes to our need ought to be “Give us this day our daily bread.” When we unpack that we find several things that we as individuals need to root out of our hearts, by it being exposed as sinfulness within us, and as a body how we ought to react to and perceive the things in which we actually need rather than the things we selfishly want. When I say this I do not mean that we ought not to pray for a new promotion, or a raise, or a new car. If that is within the needs of your life pray boldly and steadfastly for those, but rather that our selfishness that is rooted in never being content with today and always being worried about tomorrow. The Church of today has become a control freak, a worrying creature of un-contentment with today and constantly seeking to control tomorrow rather than live within the satisfaction and joy of our God today and by doing so, we have become stagnant, short lived and the modern Church has been swept up in the fear of what tomorrow will bring.
Fear has taken over our Church in that many believers constantly talk about the “end days” rather than being satisfied in what God has planned for today and fearful for what is to come tomorrow. Helicopter parents seeking to perfect their children in every possible way rather than love their children unconditionally and go after their heart and push them towards being men and women of God, they push them towards an Ivy League worthy grade point average, sports practices five nights a week in fear that if their children are not taught to “stick with something” they will become no body’s one day regardless if their children are actually passionate about the sport they play or not, parents are living through their children. Most likely because Dad did not make varsity football, his son now has to attempt something that he barely has interest in. This teaches the youth of today that living in constant stress and anxiety of tomorrow is more important than the only message that really matters for a young persons life, God is your Greatest joy above all things and everything else is rubbish compared to him. The message we ought to be teaching our youth is not, how does God fit into your life of being a good student or being an athlete but rather how does being a good student or an athlete fit into your life as a child and servant of God? Our design is to rely fully on God and to be completely content within him through worship, and everything else is utterly temporary and meaningless compared to him.
The modern Church lives in so much fear that we even fake giving up control of our lives, when we are called to give up control of our lives once and for all the first thing many people do is start to scheme, “how can I control the lack of control I just handed over to God?” How can I give money to the Church while still having enough for my $5 morning latte every morning. “I cannot continue mu tithe because its almost December and my Children deserve more than God this month.” This is the type of ‘Christian’ life we falsely walk in, and regardless of all the abundance God has provided us with, the prosperity of the Gospel which is the Cross of Christ Jesus alone, we always are seeking after more and more and constantly living in fear of tomorrow and will we have enough when tomorrow comes aorund.
We have become a people of fear, if every Pastor across America asked their congregation this Sunday “How many of you have had points in your life or currently are walking in fear about what is going to happen tomorrow?” If people tell the truth, everyone above the age of 6-7 years old would raise their hands because even elementary school aged children are fearful of getting their spelling tests back because God Forbid they get a B- in the eyes of their parents! It is foolish and it is unbiblical to live this way. It is a fear that is built on the false promises that world presents to us such as; having stuff satisfies us, safety is our number one priority, even financial security is good stewardship. It most certainly is not! None of that is biblical neither is it moving the Church more towards being formed into the image of Jesus, but rather the it is doing the opposite. We have lost trust, and therefore rest, in our Lord. The Lord has marked out my days! How foolish am I to try and fight him on what he has already planned for me!
The Church desperately needs to gain a satisfaction with the person and work of Christ alone and put off all fear and anxiety of tomorrow. Jesus has the most crucial and even harsh words about this for those living this way, he says in Matthew Chapter 6 starting in verse 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
From this we learn that the end game of life, this life, is not to gain peace and prosperity but rather we obtain those two things as the result of overflowing goodness and grace from God himself while we walk in him alone! God did not put us here to gain things, to walk in earthly fame, and he certainly did not put us here to earn enough money to feel safe about our 401k! He put us here that we would walk in him alone and have him as our greatest joy and enjoy him forever! That we would be content in him alone today! And within that he roots out the fear that we have falsely built up for ourselves as well as strip off anxiety that has no place in the heart of the children of God!
The Church needs to be people who are not anxious about anything, who do not walk in fear but when we walk through trials would we realize that at the end of trials God turns us around to show us that it was not that bad, he walks with us! The truth is that on yours and mine last day on earth we will see all the worrying we have done as utter foolishness and a complete waste of time. For our joy rests in God alone and our hope is built on absolutely nothing else. Would we have the faith to believe that God truly is good and reigns over our lives with more wisdom than we could ever do for ourselves! Would we be present in today, would we ask for our daily bread with the knowledge that God has blessed us abundantly as a God of providence, and he will continue to bless us regardless of the things we are surrounded with and the circumstances that we find ourselves in. Would we truly lose the false promise that we have bought into that we have control of our lives, would we live in the freedom of having absolutely no control and trusting abundantly in our Heavenly Father.