The Book of Luke, Take No Thought, Part I - Lesson 161
One very old women in rural India was going on foot to the nearby market to sell oranges from her own orange tree. She had placed a large amount of oranges in a basket and put the basket on her head as she walked down the road. She was followed by a young man of her village, who was also going to the same market in his bullock cart to sell the vegetables from his farm. He offered a lift to the old lady in his bullock cart since both were going to the same market. The old lady accepted the offer gladly. After two kilometers of journey, the young man looked back to the old lady to see if she was comfortable. He was amazed at the old lady to see her sitting in his bullock cart with the basket still on her head. He laughed at her and said, "Mom why don't you set your basket down on my bullock cart. My cart is able to carry your load as well as your basket's.
I Peter 5:7, Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
From the Amplified Bible: I Pet. 5:7.Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
Luke 12:22-34, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Paul in his epistle to the Philippians sums up the principle by which a follower of Jesus Christ is to live.
It is well in line with Christ’s instructions to his disciples which we have just read in Luke 12.
For he writes in:
Phil: 4:6, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Being careful in this verse means being anxious, so Paul is telling the Philippians the same thing that Jesus Christ said when he told his disciples to Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
Faith and anxiety do not function together.
George Mueller, the great man of prayer who founded many orphanages in England said - The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
If anxiety appears, faith disappears.
If faith comes on the scene anxiety takes a hike for faith understands that our God, the creator and sustainer of all things has promised to take care of his own.
But anxiety disregards those promises and promotes an independence from God’s provision.
Anxiety loves to inhabit a go-it-alone spirit.
The meaning of anxiety from Webster’s 1828 dictionary is:
Concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasiness. It expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. It usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct
Anxiety is directly related to sin for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
We are so quick to consider the horribleness of sins such as murder, and lying and perversion, but we also are so quick to excuse our anxiety concerning things.
We think of that as minor compared to what we define as major sins.
But in God’s eyes any discounting of His provision, of His care, is great sin on our part for he tells us over and over again in his word to trust in him in all things and to be careful or anxious for nothing.
When you come right down to it there is not any greater sin than not trusting God, for in not trusting God you doubt His Word!
So anxiousness is a product of unbelief.
The words of Christ consistently tell those who have faith in Him not to worry or be anxious.
Why is this? Because to trust in Christ is to trust in the One who is the source of all security and all blessing.
This is how he is pictured in Psalm 18:2, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
This psalm brings to mind every place of safety.
It brings to mind the rock, the fortress, the buckler which means shield and the tower and the Lord fulfills all those places.
It is only those who reject Christ, who reject the rock, who reject the fortress, who have good cause to be anxious, not the child of God!
The fortress is there but those who reject the fortress choose to stay outside the walls where anxiety rules.
They reject the rock, and the shield, behind which is safety.
They refuse the high tower and stay in the place of danger which is the place without Christ.
For the Christian to be anxious is in a sense to reject Christ.
Satan promotes anxiety about basic things like food and clothing and shelter.
He does this so that he can keep men’s attention off of that which they should be most anxious, that of facing God when He comes to the earth in the Person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we said last week the Marine recruit has no business concerning himself with himself and being anxious about things that the Marine Corps is taking care of for him.
But he is to concern himself about his mission, that of becoming and growing into a Marine completely trusting that others will take care of his needs while he defends his country against all enemies.
And so this should also be the case concerning God’s people.
They have a spiritual cause to be concerned about, leaving to God those things which are necessary for physical life.
The child of God is to know that life lies in Christ, and not in things.
Jesus’ instruction to the disciples not to worry is based upon the following truth:
Luke 12:23, The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
It is obvious that food and clothing are essential to maintain physical life, but the life that Jesus is talking about is greater than either, greater than both.
Life is more than that which keeps it going.
A car is more than its fuel, a light bulb is more that that which powers it.
Regardless of common conclusions you are not what you eat!
Jesus Christ was without that which kept him going physically when he was in the desert being tempted by Satan.
Satan preached his old message that life is in food, life is in the physical, but Jesus Christ corrected him when he refused to turn the stones into bread and said:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Jesus clearly implied that “life” was to be defined in terms of more than mere physical existence.
He was also teaching that this “true life” was produced by the Word of God, not by physical food.
We too are not to think of life as that which food sustains for when we do that, that kind of life is treasured far beyond any life that God provides in Christ.
Having confidence in the flesh pushes out any desire to have true life in Christ.
This is another example of how we as Christians are to think.
The world defines life according to its knowledge, but Christ defines life as himself.
We are to think biblically and think around the fact that Christ is life and there is no life apart from Christ.
We are to see that you gain this life by losing what the world defines as life.
The world tells you to hold onto your life at all costs, whereas Christ tells you to lose it at all costs.
John tells us in his Gospel that Jesus is the Bread of life, and greater than the bread that was provided by God through Moses to the children of Israel.
This “Bread” is the source of true life:
Having this understanding of true life should bring a calmness about the need for things.
Any worry or anxiousness about food and clothing is wrong for that is focusing on that which is most unimportant to the neglect of that which is most important.
If true life in Christ is more important than “food,” then worrying about food is worrying about a minor matter.
While all worry is wrong for the Christian, worry about minor matters is even more foolish.
Another reason why anxiety is wrong is given by our Lord in the verses 24 and 27.