Trust at the Core: Why Jesus Lived in a Different World than We Do



So don’t worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

Jesus lived in a different world than most of us because the Father was at the center of it.

The Fatherhood of God was the number one fact in his day-to-day existence. Not need. Not lack. Not scrabbling around looking for purpose or self-esteem or something to do so he wouldn’t be bored.

For him, the whole world revolved (and revolves, I presume) around this fact: God is Father.

Father knows. He sees. He’s listening. He loves. He honors you. He thinks you’re worth more than grass and birds. He’s powerful. He cares. He does stuff when you ask him to.

Simple beliefs.

Life-changing, though.

When Trust Is at the Core

The idolaters didn’t believe they had a loving father, so they invented gods and made deals with demons. They obsessed over their needs. They obsessed over power.

They obsessed over all the stuff we obsess over when trust is not at the very core of how we relate to life.

Interesting to me: the great religious leaders and thinkers of other religions have been those who largely eschewed idolatry in favor of trust. Trust in the universe, trust in process, trust in the forces of life and death themselves.

They danced along the edge of truth, I think. Sometimes their devotees are better than we are calming down and “centering”—turning off the clamor of noise and need and tuning into the inward, invisible things where life truly is.

But Jesus gives us something much better than an impersonal universe, a life force, or an energy: he gives us a Father.

And he tells us pivotal, important things about what KIND of Father this is, and what he prioritizes and thinks and does.

This Father loves. This Father creates. This Father sees. This Father knows. This Father will meet with you in secret, share his heart with you, and give you what you need.

He knows you so well, he knew your needs before you even expressed them.

Seek First the Kingdom

Knowing that frees us up for something better than the pursuit of sustenance and hardscrabble existence: it frees us up to seek the kingdom.

We feel that we can’t seek the kingdom because we have to provide for ourselves, we have to get our ducks in a row, we have to take care of things, we have to worry.

But if we don’t have to do that, then we’re free.

It’s not necessarily a change in your circumstances Jesus has in mind. Paul gives pretty good advice to new converts in 1 Corinthians 7: Whatever your life state when God called you, stay in it. Don’t rush to make some massive circumstantial change; find out how to meet and serve God and seek his kingdom where you are.

He might move you. Even probably will. But there’s usually something to learn where you are first.

In the midst of a massive transition in my life I told the Lord I wanted to change my career because I wanted freedom to seek him.

He spoke to my heart and said, “You will never be more free to seek me with your whole heart than you are right now.”

I WRESTLED with that. I knew he was in fact calling me to make a change, and that it did have something to do with spending more time in the Word, in study, in prayer, et al.

My work at the time was all-consuming mentally, exhausting physically. I knew I needed more head space.

But if my heart wasn’t fully God’s there, it wouldn’t be fully God’s when I got my head somewhere better.

If your heart isn’t fully God’s where you are physically, it won’t be more fully God’s if you move.

That’s the principle.

One Master, All the Way

Jesus said, earlier, you can’t serve two masters. You’ll love one and hate the other; be devoted to one and despise the other.

Some of us try to shift masters but we still want to hold on to one with a few fingers, because after all, that’s where we’ve got all worries banked.

We end up halfhearted in our work and halfhearted toward God, trying to walk a line and mostly falling off.

The worries aren’t necessary, Jesus says. They’re not necessary because you have a Father. You can be a child.

So you’re free.

Free to seek.

Free to serve.

Free to be a bird, or a beautifully adorned stem of grass: to show up, to do, to receive.

You are free to lay your head down at night tired and aching but in the kingdom.

You are free to smile up at the Father and know he’s smiling back.

(This is Part 76 in a series on the Gospel of Matthew, which you can access here. Unless otherwise marked, quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)



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