First the Kingdom, part 21, First things First
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ (For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things;) for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:25-34 NASU)
What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Does it mean when you wake up in the morning you cannot feed the dog or let him out until you have read your bible? Is it okay to wash your face or have a cup of coffee first? Of course prayer and Bible reading can help to start your day. Those who start their day with prayer and seeking the Lord know that it can set the tone for the entire day and impart confidence to face common struggles. Seeking the Kingdom of God first could definitely include things like morning devotions.
Sometimes important things need to be first in the sense of how we spend our time, but priorities are also ordered in the value we place on them. In fact, there might come a time when work on something I see as valuable and important is delayed so that I can give it the time and effort it needs. And if a delay is possible, that does not mean my mind cannot be working on the problem or issue while I get lesser things out of the way.
On the other hand, often things are not as urgent as they seem, Many should be set aside while we take care of things that matter most. If our values are in order, we can begin to resist the temptation to let really important issues be pushed aside by lessor things.
What do you value the most? Jesus continually pointed us to the real treasures that most people fail to see. If we are not careful, we too can become consumed with the pursuit of material things, even those things the Father knows we need. The beauty of the real solution is in the simplicity of Christ’s teaching. If we make the Kingdom of God and His righteousness our priority in life, our needs will be provided by God Himself!
The real issue here is the matter of trust. It has always been about trust. We have responsibilities in this life by God’s design. When we agree with God’s design and pursue them as He reveals, then our trust in Him is demonstrated. This is living by faith. On the other hand, when we take it upon ourselves to live by our own design we show that our dependence is not upon God but ourselves.
The wisdom of God is important to show us His plan for us. It also reveals the manner in which He empowers us to fulfill His plan. Jesus used a simple example in nature to teach the wisdom of God to His followers. Not only is He wise but He also cares for us as He cares for His entire creation! This understanding brings us to this choice: will we continue to struggle in our own way, or will we trust in His plan?
This might take the proverbial “leap of faith” for some, but this is not “blind faith.” It is a persuasion which comes in through God’s patient parenting. It is a leap in the sense that every detail of God’s wisdom will not always be fully understood. We know that life is full of situations where our uncertainty must be overcome by what we do know to be true.
Biblical faith is reasonable faith. It is also very practical. We must beware of those who insist that ours is not to ask questions. Our God and Father even insists through His apostles that we do in fact ask Him for answers. At the same time, we are not always able to comprehend everything, as a child might not always understand the reasons his or her parents give for saying “no.”
From where I stand, believing and trusting in God makes sense. Somehow, He has over the years dealt with my resistance and unbelief. He has opened my blinded eyes to a glimpse of the beauty of His plan for us all. He has placed a hunger in my heart to understand and appreciate his Kingdom as it comes to this earth in great and small ways.
He can also do this for you. Just ask Him, and patiently wait for His answers! A wonderful surprise awaits you!