In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us to not be "anxious" in a few different ways 4 different times. I think He is trying to tell us something...something important...something, if you are anything like me, something we need to hear over and over again. So much of my life was waisted being anxious. Anxious over things I had no control over. Anxious over things I had know way of knowing how they would turn out, whether good or bad. Anxious over things that in reality I should not have been anxious or even worried about. Anxious over things I had no idea about. But there I was, anxiously wasting my time and energy.
Being anxious robs us of our joy, steals away the "peace that surpasses all understanding", and keeps us from rightly seeing our reality and rightly seeing our Savior. And it is here that Jesus steps in and steps on our toes a bit. It is here that Jesus gives us the answer to our anxiety. And it is here that Jesus gives us the perspective that keeps our reality lined up with His.
You see, after Jesus tells us not to be anxious, He gives us these words in Matthew 6:33 "But, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL these things will be added to you". Brilliant! Jesus just told us not to be anxious or worry about our clothing, our housing, our time, food or really anything in life, for "your heavenly Father knows that you need them all". This is a great assurance! This would have been enough! That God the Father "knows" that we need all of these things is a great and glorious comfort. But, Jesus saves the best for last!
You see, Jesus knows we need a shift in our thinking when we become anxious and begin to worry. We need to realign our priorities. We need a divine intervention. And here, Jesus says verse 33. "Seek first the kingdom of God". So often when i fret and worry, I seek comfort in many areas and in many things, but not usually the kingdom. But Jesus here is saying "Get your mind back on things that matter, eternal things, life giving things, and it will give you a much better perspective". Don't seek answers. Don't seek fortune and fame. Don't seek wisdom and understanding right now. "Seek Me", Jesus is saying. "Seek me first, not last". "Seek Me", Jesus says, and then listen to this glorious news, "and all these things will be added to you". All the things we fret over, worry over, and are anxious over...all of those things, Jesus says, will be added to you.
How often have I sought the things first, and then add the kingdom to them? How often have I sought the things, and then asked God to bless them? But, even here, the anxiety never truly went away. No, it is only in seeking the Lord first...first and not last...only here does anxiety vanish. Only here does the enemy retreat. And it is only here that calm returns. It is only here that joy replaces our fear. And it is only here that peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding can be ours again. Seek Him today...and choose rightly, choose Jesus first.