We all know the story. It happens in homes all over the world. It happens almost daily. It’s the simple story of when the newest greatest toy, game system, or clothing item comes out. The children of the house want it. They want it so bad that they can taste it. The parents take a look at the price tag, snicker, and say no. Then it comes, the ultimate play by the children of the home.
“You don’t love me. You don’t care about me.”
The game is on. How do the parents respond? What do they do? Do they give in? Do they stand firm?
Do you want to know a secret? We do this all the time with God. We don’t get what we want and so we don’t think that God cares about us.
Check out this passage from Luke,
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:13-34 ESV)
This passage comes right after Jesus talks about the leaven of the Pharisees and how we need to be most concerned about fearing God (respect, reverence, and honor) as opposed to people. Here Jesus shifts to the issue of covetousness. We want what we don’t have, we know we don’t have it because someone else does. When we realize that we don’t have it, it creates worry and anxiety in us.
I love how Jesus drives home his point at the end, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Are we OK with receiving the Kingdom of God?
Think about this for a minute. It is the Father’s good pleasure good pleasure to give us the kingdom. Oh, and he’ll make sure that we are clothed and fed. Why? Because he cares about every bit of who and what we are. If we’re experiencing worry and anxiety it’s because we are like the little child who is screaming “You don’t love me!”
Oh, child, he does and he wants to give you the kingdom. He cares so deeply that every hair on your head is numbered. You don’t need to worry about clothes or food. You don’t need to compare yourself to the people across the way. The Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
So, where is your heart? What do you want more than anything? Is it the kingdom or something else?