We all seek after things. Some students seek good grades. Some people seek a spouse. Some seek financial stability. Some seek to have a family. Some seek happiness in one form or another.
Regardless of what you seek, if you make that the number one thing in your life, it becomes your god. If there is something you seek more than anything else, it is, in fact, your god.
God, the one true God, says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Martin Luther teaches us that “we should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” This is the First Commandment. All the other Commandments, as well as the whole Law of God, flow from this Commandment.
Our Lord invites us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (v. 33a) This simply means we are to believe in God, to fear, love, and trust in Him above all things, to love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. God wants you to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5 NIV), and to “call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Ps. 50:15).
God has promised to take care of us, even more so than the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, and you see the great care He has given to creating them and taking care of them. Imagine how much more He takes care of you, the crown of His creation. God did not create us to serve Him; He created us to love us. He has given us all that we need to support this body and life, and He continues to give us our daily bread.
God desires that we seek Him, for He gives us what we need. Seek Him. Believe in Him. Fear Him. Love Him. Trust in Him.
That may sound good, but the fact of the matter is, we do not. Our faith in God gets taken over by worry. We seek other things because we worry about our needs being fulfilled. God wants to take care of us, but we won’t let Him. We are so worried about the troubles of this life that we lose sight of the One who truly takes care of us.
We get frustrated with God because He doesn’t act as quickly as we think He should. We want God to take care of us on our terms. And so we seek relief elsewhere. We don’t ask for God’s help like we should, because we like to rely on ourselves. We want to be in the driver’s seat; we want God to be our co-pilot. Either that, or we are so afraid of approaching God, as if we would be bothering Him. We see Him as the Creator of the universe and, therefore, too busy to deal with us. We don’t want to interrupt Him.
We all have things we worry about. We worry about the bills getting paid. We worry about our jobs and whether we can hold on to our health insurance, 401(k)s, or IRAs. We worry about making the honor roll or just surviving academically. We worry about our health — or the health of those we love. We worry about so much. We worry about things we cannot control. We worry about things best left to God … and that’s everything!
It is best to leave everything to God, for He has made all things and given us all that we need to support our bodies and lives. We have a God who gives us what we need, even in spite of ourselves. That’s because we have a God who is full of grace, undeserved love, for us, the crown of His creation. He has seen our greatest need — to be forgiven all our sins.
Out of His great love for us, He sent His only-begotten Son, Jesus, into the world, born in human flesh, willingly placing Himself under the Law for us, and taking our sins upon Himself all the way to the cross, where He bled and died — where He won your forgiveness — making the payment for our sins only He, the Lamb without blemish or defect, could make for us.
The blessed apostle St. Peter encourages us, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:6-7)
He cares for you so much that He sent Jesus to die for you. He cares for you so much that He raised Jesus from the dead, so that you also would live in heaven with Him forever! Jesus has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, so that, by the Holy Spirit at work in you, you would seek His kingdom and His righteousness, which He brings to us at our Baptism, and as Jesus comes to us in His Supper.
Mark Schalmann is pastor of First Lutheran Church in Tooele.