“Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
-1 John 2:15-17
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus is saying, "don't worry about your stuff- your life, your food & drink, your clothes, but instead seek God's kingdom and God's righteousness. God will take care of all your needs." In other words, some of us need to stop or fast from worrying and instead seek God's kingdom. How many of us are worried about stuff? Fast from that and replace that worrying energy with seeking God's kingdom.
Worry means divided, distracted, or to go to pieces. It's like something in the back of your mind, or out of your mind keeps pushing it's way to the front of your mind, or the front of the line. Jesus says, "no cuts, stop it". Jesus does not say not to plan for, dream about, or anticipate tomorrow. Jesus says to not be distracted from today, from what is before you, by questions about tomorrow. He also says to replace that worry with kingdom desire. Instead of worrying, seek God's kingdom. Worship, pray, or play with God. Give to others, encourage someone else, or do an act of faith (spelled r-i-s-k). Fast from the worries to make way fro the kingdom. The King will take care of all your cares in your tomorrows.
John's words in 1 John 2, reflect the same ideas of our worldly desires needing to be fasted from in order to find God. I noticed the word craving here.
What do you crave? Do you crave God, heaven, Jesus, God's kingdom? Is anything wrong with craving something like a piece of chocolate? No. God created chocolate and our ability to enjoy it. So, what is the problem that John is writing about? The problem is when we put the things of the world before God. God loves the world and so should we, but we need to love God more than the world; more than we love the people of the world or the things of the world.
Part of fasting is to renew our appetites in the right directions by disciplining them towards God. Disciples go through discipline. Disciplines are not optional. Being a disciple is not optional.
Christians who have a lot of trouble finding God in their lives may not be disciples. Disciples do the stuff. Many of us have made listening to the word and reading the word an end in itself. We feel good. We feel inspired. We gain knowledge. But, if we don't do something, there is no growth and no change in our whole lives. It would be like watching videos and hearing lectures on parachuting, but never putting one on and going up in a plane and jumping.
We have a 'bizarre world' christian culture that implies that, "it is enough to just know and be inspired about the word." No one usually says that, and the people who speak and teach and preach do encourage the listeners to do it, to live the life. My point is that because we don't do discipleship, not much growth happens because discipleship is not lecture and inspiration, but hearing and doing; then wrestling and working it out together.
Many people who know the word have never launched their lives in the kingdom off the pad. God guides people who are moving. Discipleship is something you do.
There are many exceptions and many disciples, but I am writing about those who are not disciples and are not doing it. The Christian life for us, that Jesus died for, is a life walking with, in the world.
Disciples, seek the kingdom and stop the worrying. Disciples, unplug from the world to be undistracted from seeking the kingdom in your lives. Christians are called to a life of temperance all the time and abstinence when appropriate.