Lord, as You speak please help me listen with my whole heart and Holy Spirit please meet me today and make me more like Jesus.
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
“do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Firstly, what does it mean to “Seek the Kingdom?” We should define this first, as the title of this devotion.
I think it means to seek God and seek his way of doing things on earth. Looking at chapter 6 as a whole helps us to see this idea. It gives us some great examples of seeking God and bringing His Kingdom to earth.
Giving to the needy (vs 1-4) – With so much need in the world we have to seek God on who to give to and how to give. And God’s way is that we must do it in secret.
The Lord’s Prayer (vs 5-14) – This teaches us intimacy and relationship with God (seeking him) and God is giving us a framework and structure for how to pray also.
To help us understand the concept further, if you left your old home and entered a new kingdom/country you would discover there was a different ruler/king and they would have a certain way of dictating life that you would then have to follow.
Now in earthly terms this could quite easily leave us feeling anxious. What if the taxes are too high? What if there are conditions limiting you from finding a job? What if you cannot find a place to live? What if this ruler’s dictates are unfair and strip you of everything? It would make sense that you would want to lay up treasures for yourself – you need to make a plan to ensure that you can survive and take care of yourself and your family.
But when we believe in Jesus and become part of his eternal kingdom we now submit to a perfect king, who is good, who is love, who is truth (John 14:6). We no longer need to fear what happens on earth and be anxious about what we will eat, drink and wear. It does not mean we are not wise with what we have (God gives us a whole book dedicated to wisdom in Proverbs) but we do not need to cling to material treasures to calm our anxiety and have peace. Our hearts now belong to God and so our treasure must be there also.
Do you know what is super cool? In vs 32 it says that “God knows we need these things” – food, clothes, houses etc. So God doesn’t dismiss this “stuff” as irrelevant, it’s just that it goes on to say “BUT seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” God is addressing our needs but giving us his number one priority and asking us to focus on that.
So what does this mean?
It means that when we are a part of God’s kingdom we submit to him. We need to seek him to know what his way is. I read a cool quote the other day: “You can’t know God’s will until you know God’s Word”. This perfectly sums up how we seek God then seek his will. Read the Word.
When we seek him, we understand who he is, a powerful yet good king who cares intimately for us. Psalm 8:3-4 says,
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
God knows what you need (and what you want) which is great, because sometimes we can’t differentiate between needs and wants and that’s where we can start seeking to build our own little kingdom. As you discover God’s character you learn to submit to him and trust that he knows what is best.
Seeking God and his righteousness will mean that our ways are challenged. But when we learn to do things God’s way we store up our treasures in heaven which cannot be taken from us. That might mean doing things in secret when we want to tell someone, it might mean being persecuted, mocked or being falsely accused because of what God has asked you to do. It might mean giving more generously than what is comfortable for you. It may mean giving up an attractive opportunity for another. But when you can seek his Kingdom and his righteousness he says that “all these things will be added to you” (vs 33) God knows what we need and we can trust him. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (vs 34.)
God, how can I help bring your Kingdom to earth today?
What am I letting rule my heart? Where are my treasures?
God, I am sorry for the times I have chosen to rely on my own flawed righteousness and build my own kingdom. Help me to seek you and your righteousness and submit to your awesome ways. Help me with my anxious thoughts and show me how to better trust you. Thank you for your righteousness.
Promises, by (feat. Joe L Barnes & Naomi Raine) – Maverick City | TRIBL