2 Hidden Things That Will Ruin Your Spiritual Life

Posted on January 26, 2011

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Matthew 6 contains exposes two hidden things that will stop a believer’s growth in life.  I will reproduce two verses from that chapter here, but before I do, I should set up the context.

Constitutional Context

Matthew 5-7 has been called by several names: “The Sermon on the Mount,” “The Be-attitudes,” etc. I believe the most fitting name is the one coined by Witness Lee: “The Constitution of the Kingdom.” Why is that? Here’s the definition of “constitution”:

“The basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it.”

Every country must have a constitution, a statement of the basic principles and laws that govern its operation. The kingdom of the heavens is no different (1 Pet 2:9).  For the kingdom of the heavens to work, it needs a constitution. Matthew 5-7 should be considered that constitution.

But a constitution by itself is not a nation. A nation also requires some inhabitants, and those inhabitants have to have the caliber of life to live by that constitution. Otherwise, the constitution is no good. See “Only As Good As Its People.

Think about the preamble to the U.S. constitution: “We the people of the United States….” It starts with people. If it started, “We the moose of the United States…” the constitution would be worthless. Moose cannot live by the U.S. constitution. Only people could live by the constitution.

Similarly, Matthew 5-7, as the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens, requires a caliber of life that matches it. It requires the divine life. That’s why 5:9 mentions “sons of God”, 5:48 mentions “your heavenly Father”, and 7:11 mentions “your Father who is in the heavens.” To try to live by this constitution by our human life, and not by the life we received from our heavenly Father, will be as successful as a moose trying to exercise the right to vote.

So here’s the context, restated:

1)      The constitution of the kingdom, Matthew 5-7, contains the principles which govern the kingdom of the heavens.

2)      To live in this kingdom and by this constitution can only be done by living by the divine life, not by our natural human life.

Right in the middle of that constitution (chapter 6) are these two verses:

25 Because of this, I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you should eat or what you should drink; nor for your body, what you should put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of heaven. They do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father nourishes them. Are you not of more value than they?

Anxiety

Verse 25 says “Do not be anxious for your life.” The driving force of human society is anxiety. I have heard stock traders say that there are only two things driving the market up and down: greed and fear. Greed is anxiety about not having enough. Fear is anxiety about losing what we have. Anxiety is the basic driving force of human society.

If we as Christians are similarly driven by anxiety, we will end up serving money instead of God (Matt 6:24).  If we have no anxiety, we won’t be trying to serve God and serve money at the same time.

The words are simple to write and read, but the practice is not. How could anyone be free from anxiety? What is the secret? It is this: there is no anxiety in the divine life. As sons of God, we have received this life. Living by this life will free us from anxiety.

Laziness

The danger of not being driven by anxiety is that we lose all drive at all. We could become lazy and say “Look at the birds of heaven. They do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father nourishes them. Why do we have to work at all?” This logic can be a trap to many young people.  To answer it, I will quote Witness Lee:

Both sloppiness and anxiety will delay your growth in life. No one who is idle, who does not fulfill his duty, will ever grow in life. Everyone who grows in life is diligent and industrious.

We have a duty to work. In the parable of the talents, one of the slaves of the Master was cast into outer darkness because he was “evil and slothful.” In addition, in Matthew 25, the men and the women were working when they were raptured.

How to Avoid Anxiety and Laziness

How can we accomplish both of these things? Do our duty, yet trust our needs to our Father? Some think that we can just enjoy God. Like I said, two men were working. One was taken, one was left. So they were both laboring but their inward condition was different.

So what do we do when we encounter anxiety? We need to talk to the Lord. If we do this, the peace comes. This will keep us from anxiety in the midst of doing our duty. To be free from anxiety, we should spend some time with the Lord. Think. Talk. All with the Lord. In this way, in the midst of our duty, we will have the peace of God.

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