By Bobby Blanton
Several years ago as a young pastor, I decided to visit an elderly couple who were members of my new church. I knocked on their back door and was told to come in. I walked in, but my entry caught the couple off guard. It took a few seconds for the startled man to realize I was the new pastor. I told him I thought I had heard someone tell me to come in.
He smiled. He told me that I must have heard his talking bird. The only two things the bird could say were “Come in” and “Do you want to go to Greenville?”
I’ve carried a grudge toward birds ever since. But Jesus used birds to remind us of a very important principle in the Kingdom of God – our need to trust God every day.
Consider the ravens
Jesus said, “Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds (Luke 12.24)?”
There is an Old Testament story that illustrates what Jesus is saying. In 1 Kings 17, God promised to provide food for Elijah twice a day, brought to him by ravens. Ravens brought just enough in the morning to last that morning and just enough in the evening to last that night. The ravens did not bring in groceries once a week.
Jesus taught this principle in the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread (Matt. 6:11).” God is willing to supply our needs, but only on a daily basis. He didn’t promise to meet our needs tomorrow, only today, “this day.” Most of us have refrigerators and freezers filled with food. It’s hard to pray as Jesus said we should.
The Bible doesn’t forbid us from planning ahead – we should do that. The Bible just forbids us from worrying ahead. There’s a big difference. Some of us won’t spend a dollar today, because we are so fearful of what tomorrow might bring. Enslaved by fear, we refuse to live today.
Jesus was approached by a rich man who boasted that he had done everything he needed to enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 19:16). But Jesus told him to go and sell everything and then follow him. Why? Maybe it was because the young man could not express the one thing most needed in his life – faith – as long as his freezers were full and his 401K was strong. Maybe Jesus knew that the one thing most needed in his life could not grow unless put into a situation where he had to trust Jesus day-to-day.
Maybe faith is for the birds … and for me!
Bobby Blanton has served as senior pastor of Lake Norman Baptist Church since 1997. His first book, entitled “The Trail of Transforming Faith,” was released in August 2013.