“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”1 -Jesus Christ
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”2
Jesus and the first apostles said often that God’s children are not to fear. The ultimate reason behind that exhortation is always the love of God the Father. I believe fear and love are opposites. Fear is a driving force of the blind soul (mind, life) of man, while love is a driving force of man’s divine spirit. Fear is rooted in insecurity and leads to self-focus of a million different forms. Love is rooted in being secure in God and is absent of self-awareness.
*Note: You can skip this paragraph if you’re familiar with the parable I examined in parts 1 and 2 of the “Rich Toward God” blogs. If not, here’s a quick refresher: a man has fields that produce a harvest larger than his barns can hold. He reasons within himself and decides to build bigger barns, store up all his produce, and take it easy for years to come. God then visits him and tells him he’s foolish, because his life is being taken and all he planned or worked for will not benefit him at all. Jesus says this is how it will be for everyone who stores up treasure for themselves and are not “rich toward God,” meaning to have an abundance of the spiritual things God finds valuable.
The verses immediately following this parable (22-34 or so) are probably more well-known to most Christians, but many (like me until just recently) don’t seem to realize they are a continuation of the train of thought which began with the preceding parable. It’s important to note that while the parable was given to the crowd that gathered around Jesus, the teaching that followed is said to be given exclusively to his disciples; to the few who truly and consistently followed him. Therefore what he said doesn’t necessarily apply to those on the “broad way” who claim to follow Jesus but in reality just want their needs supplied.
In these verses, the first thing Jesus instructs his disciples is to “take no thought” or “do not be anxious/worried/preoccupied” regarding physical needs such as food and clothing! He then reminds his disciples that life goes beyond what is sustained by physical food, and the body goes beyond the physical shell we clothe. Jesus said that though we are worth much more than birds or flowers, His Father yet provides food for the birds who have no barns (unlike the rich man) and He beautifully clothes the flowers though they don’t toil (unlike the rich man again). Worrying about and trying to prolong or benefit our natural life (like the rich man did) is contrary to the way of a follower of Jesus, and storing up earthly treasures for ease or security will actually tie down one’s heart (awareness, devotion) to the earth. That’s “no bueno” for a someone seeking to follow the spiritual path of their master.
Here’s Jesus conclusion:
“For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”3
It’s interesting, there are two different Greek words used for “seek” in this passage. The nations of the world “epizeteo” selfish needs such as food, clothing, ease and security. Epizeteo means to seek selfishly, in order to satisfy a desire or craving. Jesus said that instead, or differently, his followers are to “zeteo” the kingdom of God, which means to seek with no strings attached, simply for the worth or beauty of the thing sought. Zeteo is actually a form of worship.
Again, God is well aware that His children have physical needs, and His kingdom (rule, dominion) includes them. Therefore, Jesus can say this next: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.“4
Isn’t that beautiful and exciting? God found it good and fitting to give the kingdom to the “little” flock that followed Jesus. In the first chapters of Acts, we can see some of what the spirit of Christ in them began to do, under his headship. There are two types of seekers: needers and worshipers. I think still today it is God’s “good pleasure” to give the kingdom to those who seek it as worshipers, as those who want God to be glorified regardless of their own ease or security. Those who seek the kingdom and righteousness of God in order to know and worship Him don’t need to fear or worry about their physical needs.
Do you ever find yourself, with no ulterior motive, stirred to know, worship and give glory to God? Do you have even a small desire or inkling to be free of religion, pat answers and bland doctrines? If so, I pray that desire is fanned into flame. However small or weak your desire may seem, use it. I think the “flock” of true disciples today is still relatively little, but I also hope and believe this flock will grow. It will require a revolution, though. Come, Lord Jesus.
- Luke 12:32 NASB
- Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV
- Luke 12:30-31 ESV
- Luke 12:32 ESV