“Do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:31-34
If there is a God that designed and created and continues to sustain this earth, it really is a reasonable assumption that He knows what is going on better than we do. He knows what works and doesn’t work in life. He knows what is good for us and what is harmful to us. He knows more than we do. Living under God’s Kingdom is actually very practical –denying God’s Kingdom and demanding our own way is foolish.
If there is a God, it seems fairly obvious that demanding autonomy from God, demanding to live our own lives without the benefit of His wisdom and goodness and blessing, is foolish. Yet, we all do this to some degree or another.
The problem we have then, is that to whatever degree we deny the authority and sovereignty and wisdom and goodness of God –we are in rebellion against Him. Rebellion against God is not a matter of any specific sin –it is a heart attitude. It is the opposite of loyalty –it is the opposite of surrender.
Rebellion is the little voice inside of us that says, “Why can’t I do it my way? What about what I want? I just want to live how it seems right to me. I trust only myself.”
Whether we make a conscious choice to reject God’s Kingdom, or the more passive choice to ignore God’s Kingdom, the end result is the same. Rebellion leads to spiritual blindness and ultimately to spiritual death. Rebellion against God –Living as if God has no say, is a dangerous and hurtful way to live. Bad things happen.
Rebellion leads to spiritual blindness. The problem with blindness is that if we are blind we can’t see. The problem with spiritual blindness is that we can’t see truth –we can’t see reality. And if we insist on living by our own agenda instead of God’s agenda when we can’t actually see reality, we are always going to be in worse condition than we realize. When our perceptions are clouded by spiritual blindness, we don’t realize the danger we are in.
One night a long time ago, I was suffering from allergies. We had just gone to bed, but my eyes began itching so badly I couldn’t stand it. So I asked Sarah where the eye drops were. She told me that she thought they were in the living room on top of the computer monitor. So I got up out of bed and groped my way to the living room–all of the lights in the house were out, and it was very dark. But I found my way to the living room, and located the computer monitor, and found the little plastic bottle sitting on top –all in the dark. And I tipped my head back and let a drop fall into my itchy eye. And I quickly realized that what I had was not a bottle of eye drops. As it turned out, what I had actually picked up in the dark was a little plastic bottle of tape recorder head cleaning fluid –mostly alcohol. And it did not sooth my eye –it burned my eye more than I can even describe. It was horrible. My eye felt like it was on fire. And I yelped, and I started jumping around in the dark yelling. And while I was jumping around, I managed to bang my shin into a chair, which caused me stumble, which wrenched my back. All the commotion got Sarah out of bed to see what the problem was. And as I remember it, when she turned on the light and saw what had happened, she thought it was kind of funny.
So basically, I had burning eyes, a wounded shin, a wrenched back and a bruised ego –all because I was trying to operate blindly. Just as my physical blindness caused all sorts of problems for me –problems that I had not anticipated –spiritual blindness causes repercussions and consequences all throughout life, because the only way to actually see reality is to see life from a Kingdom perspective. This is because the Kingdom perspective is based on what God knows, not simply on what we think we know.
If we are desiring to be Kingdom people, when things in life go wrong –as they always eventually do, we have someone to turn to. We turn to our owner with full confidence that since He designed and created and sustains all things, He also know how to take care of the problems in our lives. We can turn to the One who know the way things really are.
On the other hand, if we are living in rebellion against God’s Kingdom (either actively or passively), if we are insisting on being the owners of our lives and are usurping God’s sovereignty, when things break down, when things go wrong –as they always eventually do, we are stuck in a bad way.
So, for me, I will choose to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. It's a practical thing.