I Know What You Need
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
I remember the first time I visited Times Square in New York City. I was probably 10 years old, and I can recall being awe-struck by all the flashing lights from billboards advertising different products. Each claiming to provide exactly what I needed. I was blinded by a sea of consumerism. I can remember thinking, as my mom led me by the hand toward our destination, that a person could find anything here.
As Americans, most of us have had the same experience. In fact, part of growing up in our culture is, learning how to navigate and manage the pull of all the skillfully, crafted marketing to influence what we believe we need. Part of being a successful company in this country looks like, having a team of focused professionals create marketing plans that manipulate the way we as consumers shop and buy things for ourselves. Whether we like it or not, it’s part of our country's identity. A recent gallop poll revealed that 46% of Americans believe that they couldn’t survive without their smartphones. While smartphones obviously make aspects of life better, they certainly are not a necessity to sustain life.
You may be thinking, well I'm a Christian I don't think that way. You may even have a NOTW (Not Of This World ) bumper sticker on your car symbolizing your disconnect from the systems of the world and consumerism. I applaud you for your awareness and desire to be Kingdom focused. Truth be told, you most likely, as have I, been raised thinking there are things we need, that God has not provided for yet.
The spirit of poverty is empowered by the fear of believing you don't have what you need. That fear then drives you to continually chase more of what you think you need in order to distract you from engaging what you were made for -- the Presence of God. Whenever I catch myself saying “I need”, I know I have forgotten that God has already promised to provide everything I will ever need. If I don’t have it yet, then I don’t need it yet. This simple reminder positions me to engage and relate to God as a generous father who desires the best for my life. The poverty spirit would have you believe you have what you deserve and if you worked harder and were a better Christian God would give you more. Once again, distracting us from relationship with God and trapping me in my own works. Sneaky stuff isn't it? If there is something you desire that you don't have, engage God. Let him show you why you don't have it yet, allow him to lead and correct you. Knock, so you can receive, but also know you have already been provided for. God's desire is to give you much more than what you need, but Holy Spirit does not give gifts that lead us out of our relationship with the Father.
God’s desire is for us to rest in his provision but also seek his heart for more and be willing to adjust our lives and hearts to receive. I would never give my child a gift that would harm them. Even if they really wanted it, and cried to get it. I would explain to them why they are not ready to receive the gift they want, and show them how to grow and prepare themselves to receive said gift. This is what a loving father does. Giving my daughter a knife set at the age of 6, because she wants to be a chef, would be ludicrous. See the picture? God is too good to let us hurt ourselves with gifts we think we need. Our Heavenly Father loves providing for us. Let’s search his heart and allow him to teach us how to receive.