Are we seeking God’s Kingdom and his righteousness, or just his Kingdom?
In the sixth chapter of Matthew, Yeshua gives one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the life of faith. In it, he describes how our constant striving for material things can set us at odds with God’s purpose for us in his Kingdom. He describes how we cannot equally serve God and money, and then he goes on to explain the examples of how God’s creation provides for all the needs of its creatures.
Matthew 6:26: “See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you of much more value than they?”
Through the examples of birds and the beauty of flowers which are so temporary, Yeshua masterfully relates how all of God’s creation is maintained, even though much of it is transient in nature.
Matthew 6:30: “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?”
Because that is the case, we also should trust or have faith in God’s provision for us as his children. But all of this hinges on the conclusion of Yeshua that makes this type of faith possible.
Matthew 6:33: “But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. “
When we align our actions and priorities with God’s purposes and his Kingdom, only then will we recognize how bountiful his provision is for us. Yeshua makes this out to be a type of law of nature: seeking God’s Kingdom and doing what’s right according to his purposes brings the necessary provision. However, when we focus on the provision more than the Kingdom and doing what’s right, we are guaranteed neither.
If that’s what it takes for God provision in our lives, then why aren’t more people experiencing God’s provision? The answer may lie within the premise itself. The command to seek first God’s Kingdom has two parts: seeking the Kingdom and seeking his righteousness. There are many people today seeking God’s Kingdom it is true, but are they also seeking his righteousness with the lives they lead? What Yeshua is demonstrating is that a righteous life cannot be separated from a pursuit of the Kingdom; they are one and the same. If someone is seeking God’s Kingdom, then they should by default be living righteously. However, if one is not living righteously, can they really be said to be seeking God’s Kingdom first?
The carefree attitude of recognizing God’s provision in one’s life is the privilege of those who are living faithfully according to God’s word, not just in speech or beliefs, but with their actions and their lifestyles. This is what it means to seek the Kingdom: to be an expression of God’s righteousness in this world. This should be the goal and aspiration of every believer, and when it is, God has promised to provide the needs of those who do so.
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