Seek first the kingdom of God!
15th of August
I want to share a theme that I myself think a lot about. I have mentioned this several times before, but it will be like a continuation of the theme: “resting in the Lord.” When we are supposed to rest in the Lord, we must first seek Him and we need to trust Him in order to rest in Him.
I will start by quoting Amos 5:4. “For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek Me and live.” He actually talks about repentance. If they had continued to live their sinful lives, the Lord would have come with consuming fire. We have to remember that this was before the redemption of Jesus on the Cross, before the era of grace, but it is still necessary to repent in order to get eternal life.
The Lord will not stop people to seek other means of satisfaction since He has given us a free will. In Amos He warns us and describes some of the consequences of being disobedient and He is still warning us and He recommends us to seek Him first. We must remember that God has created life and is life. If we seek Him, we receive eternal life as well as life here on earth. We can read verse 14 in the same chapter that we should seek good and not evil. God is good and everything that belongs to Him is good. In Rom.12:21 it says that we should not be overcome by evil, but we should overcome evil with good. The Bible describes what is good and what is evil. Love, peace, joy, mercy, good deeds, grace and forgiveness are some of the words belonging to the good part. Hate, revenge, murder and lying are a few of the words belonging to the evil part. Since we live in the era of grace, we have gotten the Holy Spirit to help us and we have a realistic chance to overcome evil with good. We choose and the Holy Spirit helps us. Do you want to live? Then you must seek the Lord with all of your heart.
When the Holy Spirit started to talk to me this summer, I discovered that I had so many things that took my attention. Jesus lived in my heart and I did read my Bible and prayed every day, but I found it hard to be still and commune with God without coming with all my own desires and all of my wishes for other people that I cared about. I am not saying that we should not do these things, but could I be alone with my Lord without talking and begging for help? We can compare our relationship with the Lord to a marriage. We do not only commune with our partner by coming with a long list of questions and petitions. If this is the case, the marriage would be characterized as a bad one and the partners would be recommended a course in communication.
We are created in the image of God in order to have a relationship with Him. Do you look upon the Lord as the One you want to spend time with, more than anyone else? This question is directed to myself just as much as to you. What do we seek when we get up? Is it the newspaper, TV or Jesus? Do you know that the One who has created you loves you more than anybody else can do? Is this too abstract for you since you cannot see Him? It is now that you need faith. As a Christian you have received a measure of faith and the Bible says that even the least seed of faith can move mountains.
Some people use an empty chair and places Jesus there in their fantasy when they talk to Him. This is not quite natural for me since I can talk to Him at any time. I am not dependent on the place either. I can almost “hear” some of your questions. Should I just sit quietly and wait or should I talk to Him? What are you doing when you commune with a human being? Sometimes you are both sitting quietly or you may have a lot of nice things to say about the other person. You might have a lot of things to tell the other person. Maybe you play the role of a listener. The Holy Spirit will help you in your search for the Lord. He wants to teach you how to commune. Don’t you have anything to thank God about? Of course, you must have a long list. You would not live without God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God created you. Jesus has saved you from death and has sent you the Holy Spirit as your Helper. The Bible has given us a recipe for a good life. Maybe you have many answers to you your prayers. Do you remember to thank Him? You can always praise Him in tongues and in the natural. It might take some time before you find it natural to just “be in His presence.” In His presence we find peace, love, power, health and life. The Lord is not a machine, but a person longing for an intimate relationship with us. I do not want you to become like the boy in a child’s story who said: “Just wait, I shall just……..” Is everything else more important than to be with the Lord? In Matt.22 we read about all those who were invited to the wedding, but many of them came with excuses. Jesus said in verse 8: “The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.”
Go with me to Matt:6:33. We read: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and and all of those things shall be added to you.” This was an answer to all their worries about food and clothing. In the next verse we read: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” I feel that this is a word that is hard for many of us to live by. It is not a suggestion from the Lord, but an order. He knows that we would save a lot of energy if we could follow this word.
What should we do instead? We should seek His kingdom and His righteousness. What is the kingdom of God? In Mark 4 we can read a few comparisons about the kingdom. One is comparing the kingdom with a small seed that is planted in good soil and it grows and it has the ability to become what it was created for. In Luke 9:60 Jesus says that the disciples should preach the kingdom of God. In Luke 17:21 Jesus says that the kingdom of God is within us and John says that God’s kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36) When I think about the kingdom, I think about the Lord’s prayer where He said: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”(Matt.6:10) We know that there is no sorrow, no sickness or any pain in heaven. We will not find any sin nor any poverty there. In heaven there are no conflicts and the best of all things: No devil. We are supposed to preach the perfect way of salvation and to bring some of heaven down to earth. Only God’s people can build the kingdom of God here on this earth.
What happens when we first seek Him in order to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness? We will enter His rest, the rest of faith. We become sure of the fact that He will help us with studies and jobs. He will find us the right partner. He will help us in our relationships. We will have enough money for clothes, food and a place to live. He has not promised us a life in luxury, but to have what we need. He shall take care of our daily bread.
We live in a very uneasy world with lots of conflicts, hate and injustice. We really need to seek His righteousness. He thinks differently than the world. I believe that people will become so desperate that they will seek the Christians for solutions and help. We will therefore become totally dependent on Him who is the solution and has the solution. We need a constant relationship with Jesus. He is the first and the last and must always be the alpha and the omega in our lives.
In 1:Cor.4:20 we read that the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. I am desperate for His power and I have met many others who are the same. I do not only want to hear about healings, signs and wonders, but I want to see it happens when we preach about God and His kingdom. I can do nothing and I am totally dependent on Him. If Jesus is remote in my life, I will not experience much of this in my life. In James 2:5 we read that He has promised His kingdom to those who love Him. Do we love Him more than anything else? If I do not, I have idols in my life and maybe you have the same. The Holy Spirit will be more than happy helping us to get rid of them.
GIVE JESUS EVERYTHING AND YOU WILL GET MUCH MORE IN RETURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!