Before I get started I would like to make it clear that I am not speaking for any group nor anyone else for that matter but am simply attempting to put forth what I believe the Lord has revealed to me and hopefully continuing to reveal to me. Please do as scripture exhorts and prove (test) all things but I implore you that your test be kept strictly with what scripture says and not according to what other men say or have said or any tradition.
The phrase “take no thought” is only found five times in the King James Version. Below are those references (bold emphasis added):
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (Matthew 6:25)
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (Matthew 6:31)
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. (Matthew 10:19)
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. (Mark 13:11)
And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. (Luke 12:22)
The phrase “take no thought” comes from two Greek words. The two words “take thought” mean “to be anxious about, be careful”. The word “no” is a “primary particle of a primary negation” or in other words it means “no”. The believer is to take no thought, not be anxious, not be careful on these subjects that are mentioned.
Looking at our first reference verse in context with a few after it, this is what they say:
“Therefore I say unto you, do not be anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature? (Matthew 6:25-27)”
In these verses above there are two instances where the words “take thought” are mentioned. In both they are the same Greek word. Because of that I took out the words “take thought” and replaced them with a form of “be anxious”. Meditate on this for a little bit. Jesus says, “do not be anxious for your life; do not be anxious with what ye shall eat; do not be anxious with what ye shall drink; do not be anxious about your body, what ye shall put on.” These words should not be fearful to the believer but should bring comfort and peace!
This is so very contrary to modern so-called Christendom. Modern so-called “christians” are extremely concerned with how they look and how they present themselves. They have to be on the cutting edge of fashion or else they feel no one will listen to them or take them serious. They spend hours on end at the gym – not for the health aspect but simply for the looks aspect. They emulate their pastors and leaders in dress and talk to a pathetic point. In these so-called “churches” the pastors always seem to wear a certain type of skinny jeans and tight short sleeve shirts and their followers follow suit. The leaders not only dress like the preachers do but they also attempt to preach in the same style. With this they only prove they have no clue what true Godly righteousness is.
All five of these verses quoted above are commanding the believer to not be anxious about life, food, drink, cover, and what shall be said. Think how extremely freeing this is to the believer. In essence Jesus is saying “Stop worrying, I will take care of you no matter the circumstance!”
We see in the Old Testament where God sent the raven to feed Elijah who had no food to eat (1 Kings 17:4-6). After the brook dried up the Lord then sent Elijah to a widow (starting in verse 9) who, as he arrived, was preparing to serve up her last meal for her and her son and then she knew she was going to die of starvation because she had no more food. When Elijah arrived his first words to her was “fetch me some water” and she turned and started to go (without question). Before she got the water he then said to her “bring me a morsel of bread”. She didn’t argue but explained to him what she had and what she was doing. Her comments did not cause Elijah any concern and he says “Fear not…” He then tells her to do as she was planning but bring him the first serving and then serve herself and her son. He further explains that the “barrel of meal” will not waste away. Or in other words it will not go empty. She did it without question and she found out that Elijah was telling the truth (1 Kings 17:10-16).
We’ve also got the example of the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness for forty years. Not only did God provide water through the rock (Jesus) but He also provided the Manna daily. And we also can’t forget that their clothes did not wear out nor did their shoes. Nothing is impossible with God!!
We can’t forget the two exceptional examples of not being anxious for one’s life from the book of Daniel. First off we have the three Jews “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego” (Dan. 3:12). They refused to worship the golden image which in turn majorly ticked off the King. In his rage he called for them to be brought to him. He then personally questioned them and their answer was: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:16-18)”
They fully believed that God was able to save them from the furnace but if He chose not to, they were made willing to pay the price of their life to do what was right in not worshiping the golden image.
Then we have Daniel himself who refused a direct edict from the king. He was made willing to continue to do what he knew was right despite the consequences. Because of this he was brought before the king and still refused so he was thrown into the den of hungry lions. Did they devour him? No, the Lord in His providence kept him alive through the night and he was brought out of the lions den unharmed in the morning. (Daniel 6:4-23)
In the book of Acts we have an excellent example of God providing the words to speak. Peter and other disciples were out proclaiming the good news of Jesus when they were taken into custody and thrown in jail. They stayed the night in jail (for no reason) and the next day many of the leaders joined together as a group and confronted the men. They asked them “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” Peter stands up and boldly proclaims the truth as it was given him by the Holy Ghost (Acts 4:8-12). Scripture then says this about how the leaders felt: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (13)” Here we have a man who probably had little to no formal schooling whatsoever in his life and yet the Lord gave him the words to say. Did he meditate through the night on what he might say? But, how would he know that he would be given the opportunity to say anything? So, I would say no he did not meditate on anything other than the Lord’s grace and love.
Now one might say: “All that’s fine and dandy. But, we don’t see those things today anymore. What good are these truths other than for just good stories?”
Just because that person isn’t hearing about God working, doesn’t mean that God has stopped! We mustn’t forget these verses:
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)”
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)”
If one is given the eyes to see, then you can’t help but see God’s mighty provisions on a regular basis. How many times have you been given the right thing to say to someone who needs a rebuke or say something encouraging to someone who needs some words of comfort? Those words cannot be premeditated or prescribed but they flow from the spirit within.
Please bear with me as I close this with a couple of personal examples. Neither of which are to the magnitude of those scriptural examples above but I believe they still show God’s love and grace towards His children in a magnificent way.
For most of our married life, my wife and I have struggled financially, at least as far as the world is concerned. One day when we were first married we were at a grocery store and my wife had a craving for mixed nuts but we couldn’t afford them so we passed them up. Later that week she went to a baby shower. Normally she prefers not to play the games involved with those showers but this time she did. She actually won one of the games and they gave her a prize for winning. The hostess presented her with two options, both of which were in identical bags and she was to pick which one she wanted. She opened up the one she was given to pick and what was inside brought tears of joy to her eyes. It was a small can of mixed nuts. As she was sharing this with me later she was still crying because she was sure that the Lord had given her those nuts. Not because of anything she had done but simply because of His love and grace!
Another example was when we moved across the country. We moved because we had no fellowship where we were and thought we found a body that was like-minded. Once we got there we started attending the church but that ended up being a major disappointment because basically there were not what they promoted themselves to be! Not only was the church a huge disappointment but the job situation was very trying as well (with my last job I hurt my arm and was on light duty) and we had four children (ages 2 through 13) that we were responsible for. So, three months later we ending up coming back home.
My wife had never driven that far before and in fact she hadn’t had her driver’s license for all that long before we made the trip. On the way there we rented a U-Haul truck and a tow-dolly to tow one of our vehicles. I drove the U-Haul and my wife drove our other vehicle. The Lord granted her the sustenance to drive that distance. And to make it more obvious she was given to drive wonderful! She was behind me all the way and would get over first to give me room to get over when we needed to change lanes. On the way home we also saw the hand of God magnificently working in His providence and protection. We had essentially the same set up in that I was driving the Ryder truck this time and pulling another vehicle on a tow-dolly behind it and my wife was following me. One night all of the sudden my wife radios me and tells me to stop. She thought she could see that one of the tow-dolly tires had gone flat. Sure enough it had and I was extremely concerned as to what we were going to do. We had no cell phones back then and we were out in the middle of nowhere. Out of nowhere it was given me to think about checking to see if the spare tire in the car we were towing might fit and sure enough it did. After I was able to change it, we got back on the road. Shortly thereafter it started raining like cats and dogs to the point we were having a hard time seeing the road. The timing of all this was impeccable. What I mean is that if my wife hadn’t noticed the flat tire then it would have been extremely unsafe to drive in the heavy rain with a flat. Not to mention that I would have had to change the tire in the middle of a rain storm. We see the Lord’s grace and love in this!
This enabled us to make it to the next town where we found a room in a hotel and spent the night. The first thing we did in the morning was to find a Ryder store there. They only had one tow-dolly left, but what was even more amazing was that the tow-dolly was only there because it was actually on hold for someone that was supposed to have picked it up the day before and didn’t show up. If that person would have showed up then we would have had to wait for another tow-dolly to be shipped there. But, as the Lord had seen fit, it was there waiting for us!
This again got us back on the road but then the truck started having some power issues. So, we pulled over as soon as we could and found an automotive garage to look at it. We found out that it needed a specific filter. The garage did not have any of those filters in stock and would have to order one which wouldn’t get there till the next day. We told him to order it and we payed for it. What we didn’t realize at the time was that there “just happened” to be someone in the room where the mechanic was sharing this with us who overheard. He “just happened” to have that exact filter in his truck as a backup and approached us to say that he was willing to give his filter to us and he would get the new filter when it came in the next day. This again was so overwhelming to my wife and I because we felt that God’s love, provision and protection was being shown to us in such a mighty way! Nothing! absolutely nothing is outside of God’s providence and control!!
I hope these have been words of encouragement to you!
* All scripture references are from the KJV.