But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
Before you read this post, you may want to first look up the word first. See what I did!? I used first in the context of time which I suspect is our first inclination. (puns intended)
If you did look it up, you noticed it could apply to order, rank, importance or other items, things, preferences. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that our Lord was not saying first seek the kingdom of God – now that you’ve done that, go, eat, drink, be merry.
I think the idea he is getting to is closer to primary or essential or foundational. If you do that thing, all the other things will occur and will make sense. But don’t expect that to be true the other way around. Everything that comes after fits on that foundation or framework. But the various pieces won’t hold together on their own.
Putting the kingdom of God first makes sense considering that the son of God is the speaker – but what does that mean? Clearly he is not saying, seek to get past this life to heaven as he intentionally left us here. – see John 17:15,18
A clue may be found in the many Gospel references that the kingdom of God is at hand or has come near. It is Jesus that was at hand and available to men and he alone enables us to enter the kingdom of God. But he is not out there somewhere to seek. He is here, at hand. Our seeking is not outward – to find a place in the world – but inward to find him who placed the world into the universe making a place for his life in us and therefore a place for everything else in our world to fit is a way that makes sense.
As we grasp that Jesus is our very life and how that makes all the other stuff in our life come together, we realize there really was no life beforehand. We realize who we really are as a son or daughter of God in Christ – and this is real freedom and real life abundant.
Taken all together, our seeking first first of the kingdom of God is seeking who we really are – by asking the only one who really knows to reveal it to us. Seek you first – by asking him who knew you first before the foundations of the world. It is the height of arrogance to assume you could know yourself any other way or that you could construct a better you than God has designed – yet that is exactly what we are doing if we aren’t seeking him first to find out who we really are.
- Are you still seeking success rather than God.
- Have you realized that seeking freedom from something is seeking success? What would happen if we sought him first and let him free us?
- James said, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives” (James 4:3) What wrong motives do you have? Can you see that this are not seeking God first? What would happen if you swapped motives.
- When you seek God about who you are in Christ, what are you hearing him tell you? Hint: you are my child! I love you. what you do or have is completely secondary to that. I will always love you.