podcast link below:
Matthew 6:33 Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
I learned this verse many years ago in my mind. I’m just now starting to learn this verse in my heart. Why is it so hard to live as if I really believed this truth? Kate Bowler answers this question well with “Control is a drug and we are all hooked.”
Despite much data of answered prayers, including those which never even made it to my lips, I still struggle with “letting go and letting God”. As if I can fix a situation I have no influence or impact on, much less control. As if I can fix a situation with my limited resources of finitude, ignorance, and impatience. And worse yet, I know well that even these limited resources quickly dry up in the heat of arrogance, envy, and discontent which burn unchecked.
Those things seeming to need immediate attention and resolution are those things best at teaching me to receive. And honestly, waiting is the worst for me. Even the hard things don’t seem as hard if I can be moving, doing, preparing, or at least making lists for what I think is right around the next corner.
But in the moving, doing, preparing, and list-making, who am I obeying? My God or my self? I can choose to be Jacob and wrestle that angel all night (see Genesis chapter 32). Or I can choose the better way of Mary and sit at Jesus’ feet (see Luke 10:39). Both require focus and work. Both require more than I have. But the better way is the receiving way. Many other Scriptures point to the receiving way, including James 5:7 Be patient, therefore brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains.
A farmer can’t do anything about the weather, including the rains. He can only imitate as with irrigation. Yet nothing can duplicate the life-giving power of a good lengthy ground-soaking gentle rain from God for crop productivity. And in turn, the fruit produced at the appropriate time to nourish many more than just the farmer or his family.
I want that. And I know that only God can do that in my life if I receive that starting today.
Here’s an acronym that helps me to receive God’s way, timing, and methods in and for my life every day.
This acronym doesn’t make things easier or faster. But it does help reframe my thoughts and thus, my choices to receive what God has as best. For I know that God’s way is best, even if I don’t understand it.
Because no matter what happens, God is always there with me in the receiving way.
Psalm 139:5 You hem me in before and behind, and You lay Your hand upon me.
Thank You that You are always with me in Your way, even through flood, fire, or desert wastelands. Thank You that Your way is always for good, even if I can’t see or understand it. Thank You that You hold me close. Please help be brave, patient, and strong in the receiving way. Please help me hold hard to abiding in You in the now of today.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
if you’d like to read more on this, here’s the link to part 2:
written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021