It’s so easy to get bogged down by the cares of life. It sounds crazy, but even in ministry, if we’re not careful, we can get caught into people pleasing and not pleasing God. So many things are always vying for our attention. However, God want us to prioritize and keep first things first. What are the things that we’re supposed to be keeping first? Well, thankfully, it’s not complicated. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
How do we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness in 2013? Some may wonder if the message is still relevant or even realistic in the midst of the fast-paced, anything goes society we live in, but His Word is always relevant and never changes. Seeking Him should be a lifelong, daily journey in the life of a believer, and it’s not a wild goose chase either. We seek Him; we find Him, and we continue looking for His direction, will, and goodness in every situation, no matter what.
Jeremiah 29:13 reads, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” The Lord has really been dealing with me in this area. Our whole heart must be open and seeking Him, not out of own selfish desires and even our needs. In fact, Jesus tells us not to worry about what we’re going to eat, drink, or wear (Matthew 6:25). Jesus goes on to say that He already knows what we need (Matthew 6:32). Yet, He instructs us to seek the kingdom of God. I’m no Bible theologian, but for me, His kingdom is everything that is God-related. It is understanding that God rules over all things, both heaven and earth. It also is understanding that we are saved by grace, through faith. Because of our submission to God and belief in Him (and that He sent His Son on earth to live, die, and be resurrected for our sins), we can be saved and dwell with him in eternity. We also believe in God’s Word and choose to live in obedience to it. We understand that it’s not just another religious book, but it’s the God-inspired, living Word of God. We understand that there is life in His Word. Through obedience to His Word, we can not only live forever, but we can also live our best life here on earth.
Seeking His kingdom also means that we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it’s difficult to hear the Spirit’s gentle prompting and instructions when we already have our minds made up to do this or that. Worry and depression certainly deafen the Spirit’s voice and direction. When we live one day at a time, trusting Him, listening to Him, reading His Word, and seeking Him, He will instruct us and give us peace that truly does surpass all human understanding.
On a final note, the verse in Matthew says that we are to seek Him and His righteousness. It can be so easy for us to look at situations and people and see the bad, negative, and worst, but that’s not seeking His righteousness. When we see the world the way He wants us to see it, yes, we see the negativity in much of the human condition, but we are compassionate—but not compliant to it. We choose to love the people, not the sin. We look for the good. We seek opportunities to witness and share God’s love, favor, and faithfulness.
Sometimes it’s good to examine ourselves, making sure that our actions, motives, and speech are really keeping first things first. When we have things in the right order, God’s way, the Word says, “all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 7:33b). We won’t worry about our lives, including what we eat, drink, or wear, when we seek Him, diligently, every day. We will be able to handle the challenges that God wants us to pursue and overcome, if we keep first things first.