You take care of My people and I will take care of you.The Lord
Heading down the highway, on the way to Pittsburgh for the first time with my friend 8 years ago, these were the words the Lord spoke to me. At the time, I was still trying to figure out how I was going to take care of myself, lol. I was newly unemployed, pursuing a dual Master’s degree and in the midst of the daunting task of launching a mentoring and coaching program for young girls. I had no idea what I was doing. How on earth was I going to take care of God’s people?
Consider this: From the very beginning, God has always been concerned about caring for His children and His creation. It’s this reason why He established a plan, even before Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3, to send His only Son to die for this entire world. That includes you and me!
As I was reminded, a few days ago, of these words He spoke to me back then, I had to ask myself, “Who told me I had to figure out how to take care of me? Where did this idea come from?”
This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided…So then, forsake your worries!Matthew 6:25, 31, TPT
Clearly, the Lord knows His children, which is why He thought it necessary to include this in His Word. (Maybe not for you, if you don’t worry about anything, but definitely for this child of His!)
It’s also why He spoke those words to me about caring for His people. I was never supposed to figure out ways to take care of myself. And yet, I have tried and tried to the point of frustration and exhaustion, at the expense of neglecting the very things He has instructed me to do regarding my purpose and fulfilling my God-given assignments. (In case you are wondering what your assignment or purpose is, it involves serving His people and creation in some way. You can find out more here.)
This can be a trick of the enemy–to pull our focus away from the things that matter– especially the most important thing, which is what God said. He has been doing this since the beginning (Genesis 3:1).
But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.Matthew 6:33, NKJV
If satan can draw our attention away from that one task, naturally we will end up not doing the things God has asked or called us to do–to take care of and serve His people.
The mere fact that God has called me to do anything for the Kingdom is a blessing in itself, especially considering all that I have done.
I’ve been trying to figure out ways to take care of me for far too long. In this season, God has constantly had to remind me that I am simply to seek His Kingdom, to “above all, constantly chase after the realm of [His] Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33, TPT). In this same verse, Jesus deems everything else as less important and promises that they will be given to me abundantly.
Matthew 6:33, TPT
So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom[a and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.
The work He has assigned for me (and you) to do goes so way beyond us. As we carry out our daily assignments, God is more interested in who we are becoming in the process. When we are more focused on trying to figure certain things out, instead of fixing our focus on Him completely, our motives are instantly shifted from a Kingdom vision to a “me” vision. How can we take care of, i.e. serve His people if we are so me focused? How can we even know what this serving entails if we are so absorbed in ourselves?
Furthermore, in my pursuit to serve others, God clear states in His Word how He desires for me to take care of His people.
Abandon every display of selfishness. [And] possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of my own interests.Philippians 2:4, TPT
This verse helps to move me further away from this anti-Kingdom, selfish mindset that is pervasive throughout our culture today, telling us that we only need to be concerned about or look out for our own interests.
So… ok, God, you said: no more trying to figure out how to take care of me.
Check. Got it.
Stop looking out only for my own interests and place a greater concern for what matters to others.
I also was never supposed to be worrying about taking care of me either. That’s the Good Shepherd’s job. My focus is simply seeking Him and His Kingdom. That’s it. One task. He always gives us simple tasks, just as He did back in Genesis 2:16-17. We make it complicated and thus, begin picking up things He never asked us to do.
In Matthew 6:31-32, Jesus says don’t worry or be anxious about the things that unbelievers are worried about–our basic needs. He follows up in verse 34 to not concern ourselves with the future either. Verse 33 is sandwiched in between that, telling us what we should do instead.
As you are becoming God’s best right now, while you are waiting, don’t allow your focus to be on the things you weren’t supposed to figure out. Do this one simple task of seeking God’s Kingdom and righteousness–a Kingdom vision–and everything else, including how you are to serve and care for His people (your purpose), will be revealed to you.
What has God assigned you to do in this season of waiting? How has your preoccupation with taking care for yourself affected your ability to carry out your purpose & assignments?
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (New King James Version, The Passion Translation)
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