The Bible tells us that we need to seek the Kingdom of Heaven before everything else. When we do this, the stress and anxieties of life all fall away.
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:28-34
In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus tells us that the remedy to a worrisome life is seeking His kingdom and His righteousness first above all else.
This can be hard to do especially in today’s chaotic world. So much is going on all around us and so many different things are competing for our attention. When we allow the world to take priority in our lives that is when stress and anxiety creep in.
Anxiety is the mark of a life preoccupied with material things. As Christians, we know from the word that life is about so much more than the material things we so often sought after.
I know from personal experience that when you really get involved in a lot of different things your schedule can fill up fast. Even if it is filling up with all kingdom work, we need to keep the focus on the kingdom or else we will quickly burn out.
All that we do needs to be focused on more of Him and less of us. When we get in this mindset, the worries of this world quickly slip away as we move steadfastly toward the Kingdom!
How To Seek The Kingdom First
Seek Yourself Last
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
All we are and all we do comes from love. Love is the reason we are here and the reason that God sent His son to redeem us from our sinful lives and to call us His children. In 1 Corinthians Paul describes this love to the church in Corinth.
One of the greatest aspects of true love is that it is not self-seeking. True love is the opposite of that, it is Heaven seeking. If we want to truly seek the kingdom first, we need to learn to seek ourselves last.
This is one of the greatest aspects of love. The whole world is plagued with selfish desire and pursuits which is the main cause of sin and sorrow. From birth, we selfishly cry out in need of love and care.
Obviously, as infants, we are in need of this care but it doesn’t end in infancy. We continue to cry out our entire lives as we seek ourselves first. This is the same in our spiritual lives as well. As we come to Christ, we need to be growing up spiritually through the word and go from a position of need to a place where the grace of God flows out from within us to fulfill the needs of others.
Jesus was our example of servant leadership while He walked the earth, loving those in need and even washing His disciple’s feet, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps. All the way up to His selfless death on the cross for the sins of the world.
Only once we truly put ourselves last can we realign our priorities and start truly seeking His kingdom first.
Seek To Set Priorities
Most of us have a lot going on in our daily lives and when we start seeking the kingdom we typically add even more to the calendar. There are some people who are just constantly “busy” I’m not talking about that, I’m referring to schedules that are filled with meaningful, impactful things, when we have full calendars it is important to set priorities.
Even if you do not make a list numbering your priorities, you are already prioritizing your life without even consciously doing it. An easy way to see where your priorities are is to look where your money goes.
For most, this is a big wake up call, even if you are tithing to your church what percent are you tithing to the world and to your own selfish desires? Now I’m not saying you should never buy anything for yourself, all I am saying is if your life is filled with worry and stress, take a look at your priorities and straighten them out.
It’s easy to “say” you are seeking the Kingdom first, it is a whole other thing to put your money where your mouth is and start pouring it into the Kingdom instead of into earthly treasures that moths and vermin destroy.
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:20
It’s not just our money that needs a realignment, we also need to see where we are spending our time. When we start getting serious about setting priorities, we will begin to effortlessly seek His kingdom and His righteousness first!
Seek To Set Forth Towards The Kingdom
Maybe you truly have begun to put yourself last and serve others. Maybe your priorities are already inline with the priorities of the Kingdom. If so then NOW is the time to set forth towards it!
It’s not enough to just get your motives and calendar in order, you need to actively pursue righteousness and the Kingdom of God! This doesn’t mean that you “go and do good things” but that you allow this new life alignment to bear fruit.
As we seek the Kingdom and fill up on the love and joy of Christ, that love and joy have nowhere to go but to pour out into the lives of those around us. As we remain in Him we will bear fruit that will last and be a light for the Kingdom wherever we go.
When we achieve this kingdom mindset the worries and stresses of life begin to fall away. We truly begin to trust in the Lord with all our mind, heart, and soul and we know that He will provide our every need.
This is when we become most effective for the Kingdom and when our testimony becomes the strongest. People see the true change in our lives because the way we live, the way we serve, and the way we love is drastically different from what they see in the world.
We can’t just fill up on the Jesus and become stagnant. We need to set forth towards the Kingdom, accomplishing the Lord’s will on earth as it is in Heaven!
Jesus said that if we seek His kingdom and His righteousness first then He will take care of our every need. This isn’t just some hope we can hold on to as we try to scrape on by. If we trust in Him and seek His Kingdom, the worry of this world falls away and we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy!
This all comes from a true and intimate relationship with the author and creator of the universe, the one who knew you before you were born, the one who spoke all things into existence and is now calling you to Him with that same voice. Jesus gave His life for you because He loves you and wants to set you free from the bondage of sin and spend eternity with you.
All it takes is to turn toward Him and He will make you new. He will replace your heart of stone with a heart of flesh and put His spirit in you. There is no one like our God and through Him, life is never the same again! When we put ourselves last, reset our priorities, and seek forth towards His kingdom, all worry fades away and we can truly seek His kingdom first!