In Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount, he exhorts us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 CSB). Whether you lived in the stone age or the new age, these words just seem counter-cultural. How does one do this well? It’s so ingrained in our mortal beings to survive, that unless we feel stable in our long-term wellness, we will inevitably begin to stress. Surviving doesn’t have to include only one’s physical well-being, but also his financial, relational, spiritual, and more. With these numerous facets of life constantly seeking our attention, how does one actually take Jesus’ advice and live by faith in the way He is teaching us?
That passage is one that is hard for me to truly feel at rest with. Take no thought for your life? Trust in God and everything will be fine? I appreciate what Jesus is teaching and know that it is true, but I struggle with the implementation of it. Being a person of action causes me to focus on what I can do; what I can control. And maybe that is the root where many stresses stem from. We want to be in control. We want to have the last say. We don’t want to rely on someone else. And at the core, maybe if we are honest, we don’t want to rely on God as much as we want to rely on our own strength.
We are not alone in this struggle. Ages have come and gone with Christians constantly struggling to find the balance between “learning from the ant” (Proverbs 6:6) and “don’t worry about your life” (Matthew 6:25). I don’t want to masquerade as one with infinite wisdom on the subject, for I too am learning, but I conclude that one way for us to exercise finding the balance is by observing the Sabbath.
Verse 33 of Matthew 6 states, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” What do “these things” mean to you? Fill in the blank. That’s the easy part. Now draw on faith and seek the kingdom. Even before man needed a rest, God hallowed the day (Genesis 2:2-3). Honoring the Sabbath is seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and not as an obligation, but as a privilege. And seeking first His kingdom is the first step to finding the balance between navigating life here in Babylon and living life in anticipation of the New Jerusalem.