Someone else’s experience that they shared with me has really prompted me to think about what it means to seek first the kingdom of God. I mean, to be honest, I’ve heard a lot about it growing up in church and have even had conversations about it with friends over the years but pretty much as soon as I pray about it for one day it’s gone from my mind for days or months or years.
Now I find myself at this place of having so much worry in me that my shoulders are weighed down by it, my chest and heart are burned up with it… worry feels to me like a horrible, heavy fire that is always there, in the background of every moment, burning me up. I carry it with me from work to bed, bed to work. I worry about money all day long – that’s a big one for me. Sometimes I worry about the death of loved ones… I fear bad things that could happen. I worry about going to work and hating it. I worry about my son being sad when I leave him at the babysitter’s house. I worry that I am not listening to God. I worry about my step-sons or nieces. I worry about Patrik and I. I am becoming more aware of the toll that worrying is taking on me. I feel it. I hate it. It’s got to go.
So, what does it mean to seek the kingdom of God first? I don’t know. I’ve been going around for days now praying, saying to Jesus, “Lord, I seek your kingdom and you first.” I have tried to let go of the heaviness of knowing how little we have in the bank when payday is still 10 days away. I’ve tried to capture the fearful thoughts about the death of loved ones. I kind of had to just let the worry and fear float away when it overtakes me. I’ve been asking Jesus to help me know and experience what seeking His kingdom means in the instant that the worry overtakes my thoughts again. Is it an action? An action of the spirit? A physical action? A mindset? Is there some certain part of His kingdom I should be looking for? What does God mean by seek Him? My heart is looking for Him and for His kingdom now for these past days on a more regular basis… seeking Him first… but I told Him that I don’t want to seek His kingdom just so He’ll take care of my worries. I want my heart to just want Him and look for Him and let those things take their place where they belong.
I read Matthew 6 in The Message sitting at my desk at work. It made me cry because it’s beautiful to me today and I guess the question is, is this the truth? Does He mean it? Do I believe Him? and will I actually keep on looking for Him and for His kingdom, learning what it means to give my entire attention to what God is doing right now. I’m so tied up in knots He is going to have to give me the eyes to see again what He is doing so that I can give my entire attention to Him and what He is doing right now!!
25-26“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
27-29“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.