Sometimes a person can talk about praying first and then expecting whatever God brings. Yeah, a girl can talk about it but then, you know, it gets hard and can get forgetful in the middle of all sorts of stuff, forgetful about praying and expecting and all that. And that is when a girl, this girl, has to decide to go back to square one and start again.
Some of Jesus' most influential words, right in the middle of The Sermon on the Mount Matthew 6 :24ff) are these...
No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other;
you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—
whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.
Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns,
for your heavenly Father feeds them.
And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.
They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory
was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today
and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.
Why do you have so little faith?
So don't worry about these things, saying,
'What will we eat?
What will we drink?
What will we wear?'
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers,
but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously,
and he will give you everything you need.
So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today's trouble is enough for today.
I read these words, words that I practically have memorized for all the times I have come back again and again to remind myself of them, the assurance of faith that He has it all in control, and the reality that my job here isn't to create anything more than a secure nest egg in order to survive, and that trusting God to do the unexpected will take care of the rest. We work hard with what we have and then, we trust God will use our efforts and he will take care of us, just like the birds and the lilies.
I am humbled because every time I take my eyes off the real prize, that of HIS KINGDOM, and nothing else, that is when the worry begins for me. The minute I put my hands around things and start to work them out myself is when I forget that He's going to take care of me, even if it isn't how I expected. And when I start worrying about this or that, whether it be my health or our savings or whether or not 'this or that' will happen as we planned, when I worry, I am always, always, always not praying first about it.
So it's back to square one... (Psalm 46.)
God is MY refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
So I will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
All I have to do is as he says, "Be still. Know that I am God!"
He is God! He is God! Why do I think I have to take over from God??? Why???
Be still and know that he is God. Seek first His Kingdom. He'll give us what we need. He'll help in times of trouble. He will. I pray. He works. And it is so.
That's square one.