Putting God First
Let me share a little insight that might transform how you apply the principles of this familiar little passage.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
God wants you to live a carefree life; not careless, but carefree. Think about the difference for minute. He has in mind for you a Kingdom centered life that is full of the power, promise, and purpose he ordained for you. He sees a life where your every need is supplied. Often though a believers prayers and thoughts are not kingdom focused, but self-centered. They are filled with requests to obtain something or get completely consumed with pursuing God for some immediate need. It is possible to become so overly concerned about material things and personal comfort that you lose sight of the bigger picture. You are God’s greatest asset on Earth. For example, God tells you to do something and instead of doing it immediately, you set up a prayer schedule to ask for all the things that you think you must have in order to get started instead of just obeying. You find more ways to stall than the one good reason to get started. Now don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate of planning and I am persuaded that you must count up the cost before building, but sometimes believers hide disobedience behind the mask of waiting on God. He knows what you have and will never set a requirement beyond what you are able to handle. Hasn’t he already promised to supply all your needs? If more is needed then your obedience becomes the key to opening up God’s provision.
Jesus knew you would have needs and requirements. His instructions is to remain Kingdom focused. The promise is this, when you are kingdom focused God takes complete care of you. He meets all your needs—spiritual, physical, emotional, and material. He gives you access to his plans for your life. He gives you direction. He gives you certainty. He gives you peace. First with him, then within, and finally with those around you. You must be kingdom focused. Excessive concern for the temporal things of life may be an indicator that your focus may be a little off. There is a promise for increase in your life as you focus on the Kingdom.
So how do you get or stay kingdom focused? It essentially comes down to two things: perspective and obedience.
Gain perspective. A God-centered perspective involves more than mental assent but forms the foundation of your thoughts, words, and actions. Recognizing and bowing to the authority of God is a critical component of living a successful faith-filled life. In order to gain proper perspective you must intentionally seek God’s perspective on an issue. God has already taken a position on everything. He is not trying to figure out what to do or how to handle a situation. He has already decided. You must find his position and align yourself with it. The imperative, “Seek ye first the kingdom,” is designed to influence your behavior and your will. You must investigate how God’s authority can be honored or revealed in a situation. Then you must acquiesce to his authority. Once you do that, you are prepared to move point two: obedience.
Walk in Obedience. A commitment to obeying God is essential for your success. Let’s be clear, the full benefit of following God will never be realized in your life until you radically obey. When you gain God’s perspective on an issue set your mind to obeying the truth. Let God’s truth override your own thoughts. Let his truth put your emotions in check. Let God’s truth be the driving force behind your actions. Commitment to God is an all or nothing situation. You can’t be “sort of” committed; half-hearted committed locks you out of the blessing. You can’t try to commit; trying to do something assumes there is an opportunity fail. When God is a part of the equation there is no failure. Your real decision to obey opens the door for God to send a helper. The Holy Spirit is given to ensure your successful completion of God’s intent. He is the, the “Paraclete.” He comes along side you to speak, coach, push, and pull you along. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is more than just speaking in tongues or giving charismatic gifts. As you raise the level of your obedience an added benefit is that your intimacy level with the Holy Spirit will increase. Finally, you must develop the heart of true worshipper. As David wrote in Psalm 15, you must swear to your own hurt and change not. This means fulfill your commitment to God even when it hurts your feelings or challenges your established thought patterns.
God is the author of transformation and the keeps every promise, but your obedience is required. Gain perspective and walk in obedience and you will soon experience the spiritual, emotional, physical, and material increase you seek.
Blessings to you,