That Three Letter Word

Read:  Luke 12:22-31
Have you ever noticed how the tone of a conversation can change when one little three letter word is used?
For example:  We have a leak in our roof.  It’s not to the point we have to get out the buckets to catch the drips, still its’very annoying.  I asked my husband if he could fix the leak.  “Sure,” he replied.  “I could fix it.  No problem.”  This was just what I wanted to hear!  Until “the word” entered the conversation.  “But, I can’t find it.”
There it was.  The game changer.
The word “but” is a conjunction.  It connects words, phrases and clauses.  Sometimes it connects two main clauses and sometimes it connects a main clause and a subordinate clause.  It doesn’t really matter if we understand the usage of the word.  It does matter that we understand the importance of what comes after that little conjunction.
In the above scripture passage, verses 22-30, Jesus has just told his disciples that they are not to worry about the necessities of life.  He instructs them not to worry about what they will eat or wear.  Then he describes how God provides for the ravens and wildflowers.  Wildflowers don’t spend time working or spinning thread.  (Then my favorite part) “Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these.”
Yes!  God will supply all my needs.  I love reading that.  Then there it is.  Take a look at the last verse in the passage.  Verse 31 says, “BUT seek his kingdom, and these things will be provided for you.”  The little conjunction “but”.  God desires that we have our eyes fixed on him.  That we put his kingdom first.  If we are focused on the things of this world, will we spend so much time worrying about losing those things or worrying about not having them or worrying that what we have is not enough that peace will become nonexistent in our lives?
God tells us to focus on him and his kingdom.  Seek him.  The word “seek” actually means to continually seek.  Don’t stop.  When we take our eyes off ourselves and turn them to God and his kingdom, then we will begin to look at the things of this world with a different perspective.  They will lose their importance because God and his kingdom will take the prominent place in our lives.  We will gain the peace that God desires us to have.  Worry and peace cannot exist together.  One will rule over the other.  Which would you rather have?
One little three letter word, and it is a game changer.  In this passage it reminds us that, yes, our needs are important, and we have a God who can provide for every one of them!  BUT we must seek his kingdom.  Don’t stop.  “And these things will be provided for you.”


Sure Steps

Read:  Isaiah 30:21
           Psalm 119:105
           Jeremiah 29:11
There are two things my husband really likes. It’s a mystery to me, but to him, they are very important.
The first one is the maps app on his cell phone.  With these maps, he can go virtually anywhere and his chances of getting lost are minimal.  It even tells him when there is a backup on the highway and where to turn to detour around it.  When we travel, he will ask me to check the information given on the map and tell him where his next turn is.  Why is it necessary to know that you will need to exit right in 157.9 miles?  Doesn’t he have plenty of time to get in the correct lane?
God has a travel plan for us too.  He has a path for us to follow.  It was set in place before we were even born.  That plan will get us where He desires for us to be.  However, He doesn’t show us the end from the beginning. He doesn’t tell us when our next turn will be.  He doesn’t even tell us how long the trip is!  He shows us one step at a time.  Which brings me to the next thing my husband really likes…flashlights.
In our home we have big flashlights, small ones, those that are very, very bright and some that are not so bright.  When the power goes off in our house, from the outside you wouldn’t know our power was out.  If he has to go outside at night, his way is clearly lit for several feet in front of him.
God lights our way on the path He has chosen for us.  However, He only lights one step at a time.  In the Psalmist’s time they used a clay dish with oil to light their way.  This didn’t provide much light–only enough for a step or two at a time.  Obviously, it was in the best interests of the traveler to take slow, sure steps.  The Psalmist didn’t have a clue about GPS or LED flashlights.  But he did know how God guides us on our journey.
Often we are tempted to run ahead of God’s leading.  The situation we are in seems unbearable, and the sooner we get out, the better.  If we think there is a detour around our situation that will make things easier, are we not willing to give it a try?  Even though God knows what is best for us is the path He has planned.  How hard to slow down and take one steady, sure step at a time.  How hard to stay on a path that seems too steep, too difficult.  Yet, God has told us in His Word if we will have faith in Him, trust Him, obey His Word and follow His leading, though it seems impossible, He will lead us through.
Steps taken too quickly often lead to a fall.  A detour can extend the length of our trip or cause us to lose sight of the path altogether.  Follow God.  Trust the leading He provides through His Word and time spent in prayer.  He wants what is absolutely best for us.  Remember He works in the realm of PERFECT, and He wants His perfect will to be active in our lives not just for us, but for others to see and for His glory!