Many great leaders have studied motivation because they want to make things happen. The initial task is about the “what” to do. But in order to make things happen you need a “how?” It’s no good being told to do something if you don’t know how. Deeper still lies the question “why?”
Victor Frankl in “Man’s Search for Meaning” expressed this idea, he was probably quoting Friedrick Nietche in his book “Twilights of the Idols” when he said ‘if we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how’ or to put it another way ‘those who know the why for their existence will be able to bear almost any how’
The Son of Man said do not worry about tomorrow. That’s the what. Is there a “how” and a “why”? Absolutely, and in his words, they are wrapped up together in a profound phrase containing, in English, seven words.
How do you not worry about tomorrow, why do you not worry about tomorrow? Answer; “Your heavenly Father knows what you need”.
Let me try to pick out some truths from this phrase for you. The Son of Man is talking about food, clothing, drink and shelter. He doesn’t want you to be running after these things with a heart full of anxiety and worry.
He is not talking about luxury and prosperity; he is talking about need. Your heavenly Father knows what you need but he does not necessarily supply you with everything you may want.
Because he is your heavenly Father, he supplies lovingly for the needs you actually have not those that you imagine you may have.
You might consider thinking about the phrase “if I don’t have it maybe it’s because I don’t need it”. Looking at what your heavenly Father actually supplies can be seen as a diagnosis of what you actually need.
You might like to consider how much of your worry is associated with things you don’t need.
Then there are the words “your” and “you” among the seven. It is personal for sure, but over the years I’ve come to realize it is not just personal. The “your” and “you” can refer to a group, a family or a community. In this case our heavenly Father has supplied all we need and now calls us to share these supplies.
God knows we need to learn to give and receive so he supplies us with enough to share so that all needs are met. Is he calling you to give or receive right now?
The Son of Man is wanting to bring you to a deeper sense of trust. It’s no accident that the subject of prayer, giving, and worrying are all so close together in his sermon. He’s wanting you to pray to your heavenly Father who knows what you need.
But that’s not all. There’s another even deeper how and why in his words which empower you to not worry about tomorrow. He adds three words to this phrase in connection with prayer. These words are “before you ask”.
‘Your heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask’ is a recipe for trust. But it also begs the question, well what do I pray about then?
That’s exactly what the Son of Man wants you to think about and we will, seven tomorrows from now.
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
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