31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Familiar verses today. But one phrase in particular stands out.
“For after all these things do the Gentiles seek.”
In this setting, Gentiles are those who don’t choose Christ (rather than a nationality). What He’s saying is God our Father is fully aware of the needs of mortality. He knows we need to eat and be clothed and have shelter. He knows that.
But worldly people make those things the priority. That’s what they seek. It’s what they work for. It’s what they think about. Even if it’s for a good cause, it’s what they worry about.
The Savior is trying to shift our focus. He says, center your lives on the things of God and don’t get caught up worrying about your worldly needs. He knows you have them. And He will provide. Put Him first.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have to work for our daily bread. That’s part of the arrangement of the Fall. We have to work hard. But it means our focus is on Him. He provides. Not us and our efforts.
It’s a finite distinction, but important to understand. When we work hard and have faith, He provides because He understands the needs of mortality. When our efforts are focused on Him, He works out all the temporal details of our lives.