READ Matthew 6:25–34
All people who lead others or carry organizational responsibility find more than enough reasons to worry—deadlines, financial pressures, market insta- bility and other pressures (you fill in your own blanks here) make stomachs churn and account for many a sleepless night. But Jesus cautions us against worrying about anything—even the food we eat or the clothes we wear. In this passage, Jesus gives his disciples (and us) six reasons for trusting in God rather than worrying.
First, the same God who gives us the greater gift of life will certainly supply the lesser gifts of food and clothing (v. 25). Second, the God who cares for birds will care for his people. After all, humans are of much greater value than any bird (v. 26). Third, worry expends energy pointlessly—it doesn’t change the reality of the situation a single bit (v. 26). Fourth, worry ignores God’s demonstrated faithfulness in our lives (vv. 28–30). The same God who so wonderfully clothes the flowers of the field is responsible to care for them. Every blossoming flower is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us. Fifth, we are God’s children (vv. 31–33). God will never treat us as orphans who need to fend for themselves. Sixth, when we worry about tomorrow we miss out on today (v. 34). Any problem we face can be handled, with God’s help, one day at a time.
As leaders who want to impact our generation for Christ, we need to lead in a way that allows oth- ers to see our faith in God. One way we can do that is by depending on God in the face of our daily pressures. The next time you’re under pressure, pray for the grace you need to depend on God, who is perfectly and eternally worthy of your trust. Remember that those you lead will see how you respond to such pressures and will follow your actions.
Dependence on God and Who God Is
We live in a time when all forms of external authority are being challenged in favor of subjec- tive, inner authority. The quest for autonomy rather than accountability has become rampant. Yet the Scriptures tell us that an autonomous mindset is a mark of foolishness, since it ignores our fundamen- tal need for dependence on God. Turn to Lamentations 3:22–26 to consider the importance of an attitude of ongoing dependence on God.
Dependence on God and Who I Am
Faith is a universal experience—everyone, including the atheist, lives by faith. The issue is not whether we will trust in a belief system or trust in people or things, but whether we are trusting in that which is reliable or untrustworthy. Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. Turn to Jeremiah 17:5–8.
Dependence on God and How it Works
Ever feel overwhelmed? Zerubbabel’s task was so huge he needed a prophet of God to give him perspective. And man, did he receive a helpful truth for harried leaders! Thankfully, Zerubbabel’s encouragement is as true today as ever before. Turn to Zechariah 4:6.
Personal Development — Dependence on God
Every leader will discover there are times when it’s hard to trust in God. In an effort to help us do that R.C. Sproul reminds us of the absolute dependence of God as demonstrated in his promise to Abraham. Read this amazing story in Genesis 15:9–21 (p. 19).
Passage to memorize this week:
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?…It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
– Bible Gateway.Com