Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Why is it so easy to slip into pursuing our own little kingdoms, seeking our own desires first?
I think one of the big reasons is that we don’t trust God. We think that we have to make sure we get ours. If I pursue the kingdom first and God’s righteousness, who is going to look out for me? Who’s going to take care of my needs?
How did we get this way?
Mistrust is at the heart of our sin. When Eve took from the fruit of the tree, she was wondering the same sorts of questions. The serpent made it look as though God were really just trying to hold them back, stifle their potential. Suddenly, it was as though they couldn’t remember that God was trustworthy. Suddenly, they were worried about themselves. Who would take care of their needs if they didn’t act for themselves? Would God? For the first time, they felt like they didn’t know.
And so it goes with us. We think that we have to look out for our own in order to get what we want and what we need. We don’t trust that God will provide for us in the end, and so we put ourselves first.
But we see in Jesus a fresh confirmation of God’s willingness to take care of us, to provide what we really, truly need. Because the Son of God did not eschew suffering and shame but grasped the thorny reed, we can be forgiven, even made righteous in God’s sight.
How are you mistrusting God? What are you afraid you won’t get if you put God’s kingdom first? Where are you afraid you won’t be taken care of if you pursue him first? Ask God to reveal these things to you, and he will teach you the way of the Lord.
Jesus, we need you to reveal to us our idols, the things we pursue before we pursue righteousness and the kingdom. Please reveal our hearts.
But more than that, please teach us to walk beside you, to follow you in every area of our lives. We are weak and often foolish, chasing fool’s gold instead of things of eternal significance. Renew our minds and our wills, and teach us to seek first your kingdom. Teach us to trust God.