“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matthew 6:30-33 (The Message)
I came across this verse again over the weekend and that highlighted phrase “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions”, just jumped right off the page at me. Let’s take a moment to look at the 2 vital parts of this verse. First, let’s tale a look at the second half – what is God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions? We more commonly know it from the following version, which is much more common: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (NIV), but I love the way The Message put it, because we can sometimes get lost on what God’s kingdom really is. Ultimately, His kingdom is living out his message to the world, right? It’s living His initiative, His reality, which is to touch lives and make a difference – for eternity. That’s what we are asked to do each and everyday. So if that is our mission in life – to make an impact for God on the lives of everyone we meet, how do we actually do that? How does it actually happen?
The answer to this question is found in the first part of the verse, you are to “steep your life”. I know that sounds a bit weird at first, until we unpack that a bit more. I want you to think of your favourite beverage for a moment – it might be coffee, or tea. It might be chocolate milk or a can of Coke – whatever it is, at some stage in the process you had to steep the flavourings into the water or milk, right? You had to bring the two together in such a way as to make them one – one taste experience. The only way to make this happen is to bring the two together and let time (some can be done very quickly, others may take some time) do its work. You can’t keep the tea bag in the box and pour boiling water into a mug and expect to have tea. What a great illustration of what God asks us to do. If you want to make an impact on your world you have to steep your life in God. You have to steep your life in His reality, His initiative and His provisions, and when you do that you don’t have to worry about missing out on anything. You will have also make an impact on the lives you touch each and every day. Isn’t that what life is all about?
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Francis of Assisi
Neil Richmund is a marketer who has a passion for helping churches impact the world – starting with the community that surrounds them.