Yesterday I was making my way through some of Matthew’s gospel and I came across one of my favourite verses. The verse is found in Matthew 6:33 and says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. This is a very well known verse and most Christians could probably quote it off the top of their heads. However as i read this verse again I began to question how many Christians actually live by it, and do I live by it?
I think that because Christians are so familiar with this verse, they automatically believe that they obey this verse. We can believe we obey this verse if we attend church on a Sunday, if we do our quiet times, and if we are seen as a good person. I want to challenge this though as I believe this verse has a much higher command of us than we first think.
I think that the word seek has a key bearing on the whole meaning of this verse. I believe that we do not understand the meaning of the term seek or at least don’t give the word its full importance. Seeking is not just recognising something, it is not just believing something and its not even just following something loosely, but seeking means to actively pursue.
If I replace the word seek in this verse with the words actively pursue, the verse begins to take on a much more significant meaning and as a result is much harder to obey. Seek is a doing word. It is not just a case of reading the words of this verse and agreeing with them but actions must follow our agreement.
To actively pursue God’s Kingdom and his righteousness means that we take steps to see his Kingdom come to earth and we take steps to become more like Jesus. These are things that we must consistently pursue every single day.
The second half of this verse says that everything else will be given to you when you do this. So often as people we are constantly thinking about ourselves. If most Christians were asked what is their goal in life I can safely say that the majority will respond, to have a good job, nice house, a family and to help out around the church. These things are not bad things and God wants us to have these things but he wants us to put Him first.
I used to find this concept hard as I couldn’t work out how to apply it practically in my life. Then the Holy Spirit began to speak to me and showed me how to live this out. I believe there is a simple way to practically apply this verse to our lives…
In every decision we make we have 2 choices:
1. What do I want
2. What does God want
Everytime you do something you want without first asking God what he wants then that is disobeying this verse. We have to always do what God wants first irrespective of what we want. When we became Christians and chose to follow Jesus we died and we gave up all our personal rights to serve and follow God.
When we make decisions we must always ask God what does he want us to do. More than that everything that we decide must bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth and bring glory to the name of Jesus. We are on this earth to bring glory to God and to tell others about Jesus. Everything we do in this life must be filtered through that lens. Everything we do must advance God’s Kingdom, make us more like Jesus and bring glory to His name.
The last bit of this verse is an amazing promise. God promises to give us everything we need to live if we actively pursue His Kingdom and His righteousness first.
I think that this is one of the most important verses to live by as a Christian and is the key to living a life that is pleasing to God. I hope this has challenged you as much as it has me. May God bless you as you have read this :)“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (NLT)