“Seek first the kingdom of God …” [Matthew 6:33 ESV]
As I lay in bed last night thinking about my life and more especially the cost of discipleship, I realized that the more I meditatively read God’s Word, the more I understand and accept that there is little room for “looking the other way” mentality, as it relates to doing life in God’s kingdom. I was not designed for a playground, but for a battleground. It is clear that the enemy’s battle plan is to “put boots on the ground” of my faith, create strife in my family, invade my purity, sidetrack my fidelity to Christ, shipwreck my very soul. I missed this before because I did not want pay the costs.
Jesus calls His followers to make His kingdom a priority. This is more than just having an awareness that God is greater than other sources, we are commanded to seek His kingdom. Here is the interesting part. We are commanded but our seeking is volitional and must be intentional. Jesus made it clear that God does not force us to seek Him when He said: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” The Bible says His spirit draws us but He does not force us. We do not seek God by accident. Seeking is a deliberate choice to search for God with the eyes of your heart.
People mistakenly think that God is far away, especially when there seems to be no response from Heaven in our time of need. But God is closer than you realize. Pursuing God is a difficult task in an age of “show me” mentality and instant gratification … it is a mysterious task. Seeking God as a priority in life is hard. I am reminded of the movie A League of Their Own. One of my favorite scenes is when Dottie quit the team right before World Series. There is a conversation between her and Jimmy with one of the most unforgettable lines for me. She says that baseball is hard. He looks intently at her and says something to the effect: “It is meant to be hard. If it was easy, everybody would be playing.”
We are called to pursue and submit to the reign and rule of almighty God. When life seems unfair and difficult I have discovered that one reason I am experiencing this [God seems distant and the worries of life are dominant] is my reluctance to submit to His authority. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, but He is also the reigning King of Kings.
In the Kingdom of God there is only one Commander and Chief whose rank and power surpasses all of our futile attempts to govern our own lives. Securing the provision that God promised in Matthew 6:33 flows from this basic understanding that God is not interested in building yours or my kingdom, no matter how urgent we think the needs to be. He is extremely committed to meeting our needs that empower us to build His kingdom.