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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yesterday and Tomorrow - A Wrong Perspective on Life

34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
(Matthew 6:34)

If I were to ask you what God is doing in your life right here and now, would you know?  Or would you be so consumed with worrying about what might happen sometime into the future that you are missing out on the here and now of God's tremendous love?  Worry is a limiting device in our lives - it consumes time and energy that would be best spent in other ways.

Look at Jesus' words here - give your ENTIRE attention to what God is doing RIGHT NOW.  The focus we maintain today determines the response we will have when we face our tomorrow.  That is the key to living strongly rooted lives - focus.  If God has our entire attention, there is no room for worry, anxiety, calculations, and schemes. 

Jesus also reminds us that if our focus is correct today, our pathway will be directed by God in our tomorrows.  Even if the pathway is a little rocky or riddled with all kinds of jagged things just waiting to "trip us up", he is there to help us deal with whatever comes up.  We don't get caught unaware of the "pathway objects" that attempt to pull us down because he is pointing them out to us along the way.

This is the closing verse of the chapter, so it is also important to consider the context in which these words were spoken.  Jesus has spent a great deal of time educating his disciples (his followers) in kingdom living.  He has elaborated on the necessity for being "real" in our walk - not being caught up in the pursuit of things that fluff up our ego and diminish the glory he receives from the testimony of our lives.  He pointed out that we can be ignorant in our prayer life - using all kinds of "formulas" to attempt to communicate with God, but God really only desires the transparency of our heart.

In addition to these principles of living, he reminds us that there is a connection between prayer and what we do - teaching us about the importance of forgiveness as the basis of all we do and all we are.  Then he caps it all off with the concept of "treasure" - reminding us that wherever our treasure is (what holds our attention) is exactly where we will end up spending our time!

In the verse just prior to this closing verse, Jesus reminds us to not worry on missing out on stuff in life.  When our focus is right from the beginning, we will enjoy all the treasures along the way that God has provided for our good.  Now, see the verse above in context - God's kids need to get focused on what God is doing today!  It is not about yesterday, or even about tomorrow.  Kingdom living is about today - the events, the moments of opportunity, the lessons to employ - all exposed to us in the very passing of this day.

Since we cannot affect yesterday (it has passed us by), nor really be assured of our tomorrow (we don't have any guarantee it will come) - today is our focus.  In our "today", God needs to be the primary focus.  What new aspect of his care are we realizing today?  What lesson about his provision are we given the opportunity to embrace?  Who is God placing in our path that needs to see forgiveness modeled so they can better understand the forgiveness of God?

Today awaits!  Focus your mind on Christ and see what riches are laid up in the day that stands before you.