Since these things are true, the only thing that really ought to matter to me is the discovery of what God thinks about me. Once I begin to understand His definition of reality in general, and my life in particular, then I begin to have the hope of coming to some sense of fulfillment and power. Consider the words of Martyn Lloyd-Jones as he writes of the ultimate importance of God’s priorities being established in our hearts:

We are not meant to control our Christianity; our Christianity is meant to control us. I am to be dominated by the truth because I have been made a Christian by the operation of the Holy Spirit within. I quote that striking statement of the apostle Paul which surely puts it so perfectly – “I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” He is in control, not I; so that I must not think of myself as a natural man who is controlling his attitude and trying to be Christian in various ways. No; His Spirit controls me at the very center of my life, controls the very spring of my being, the source of my every activity.

You cannot read these Beatitudes without coming to that conclusion. The Christian faith is not something on the surface of a man’s life, it is not merely a kind of coating or veneer. No, it is something that has been happening in the very center of his personality. That is why the New Testament talks about rebirth and being born again, about a new creation and about receiving a new nature. It is something that happens to a man in the very center of his being; it controls all his thoughts, all his outlook, all his imagination, and, as a result, all his actions as well. All our activities, therefore, are the result of this new nature, this new disposition which we have received from God through the Holy Spirit. 

Again, Jesus’ point in Matthew 6:33 is that the pursuit of God’s rule and the conformity of all things to His character is the most important quest of the human heart. When righteousness is the goal of our seeking, then God becomes involved in a profound way to add “all these things” to our experience. The things spoken of here are the physical needs of life – food, clothing, provision – the things that fill our hearts with worry when righteousness is not the goal. But when righteousness is the goal of our seeking, and when in the power of the Holy Spirit we conform our expressions of life to that righteousness, then everything else that concerns us comes into place according to the purposes of God our Father.


Gary Wiens, 8/20/2019