In Jesus’ teaching on the Mount, He instructs His followers to not worry about how they would get their needs met. But, seek first the kingdom of God. That the Heavenly Father knows what their needs are and that He would provide for them. This is a promise Jesus made to all Christians that when we seek His kingdom first, all our other needs will be met. We need to activate this promise whenever we have unmet needs. Having said that, we must be actively seeking His kingdom first for our prayers to be activated and receive fulfilled promises.
Many times as Christians when we are unable to meet our own needs, our first instinct is to worry; and it doesn’t even cross our minds to take our requests to the Lord in prayer. Then, we try to handle things on our own without even seeking God’s wisdom and guidance and run into problems. When it’s as easy as just praying to the Lord to make provisions for us.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”Matthew 6:33-34
As we know, this teaching on the Mount is in the context of not worrying about how we’d get our life’s needs met and trusting God to provide them for us. If Jesus deems it unnecessary for us to worry about anything, then why should we waste time worrying? He’s the only one who has the power to affect change in our lives, in ways we ourselves can’t even realize. We only need to trust Him to provide for us, because this is His will.
In this post, I will discuss a little about what seeking the kingdom of God means and what it looks like, and ways to actively seek Him, such as refocusing your mind on Him, even when you have unfulfilled needs, and not worrying, instead trust in Him.
What Does Seeking First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness Mean?
“And He said unto His disciples, therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, and neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”“Luke 12:22-23
Jesus was clear about why we should seek His kingdom first: our spiritual lives are more important than food and clothing. Therefore, we must feed our spiritual lives by seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then our physical needs will be met. Seeking first the kingdom of God means that we seek Him first and everything relating to Him, including advancing His causes, and helping unbelievers to know Christ and obtain salvation. In particular, when we seek after His righteousness, we strive to live in His will, living uprightly and righteously by shunning everything contrary to Him and His Word and living a life of devotion to Him. Then, whatever we need, we can go to Him in prayer with faith and ask Him.
Moreover, it is essential that we cultivate a personal relationship to grow spiritually in Christ and continually seek Him. If we do not have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father and are not living in His will, we’ll have a hard time getting Him to fulfill our requests and meet our needs. Therefore, we must yield our hearts and lives to Him and allow Him to take control of us. When we grow spiritually in Christ, we get a zeal and passion to keep seeking and serving Him, and advancing His kingdom in whatever small ways we are able to.
Having said that, it is particularly important to know that to connect with Christ on a spiritual level, Christians must consistently live a ‘clean’ life – one without sin present. Because we know that Jesus is holy and pure. So, He cannot connect with a sinful, unholy spirit. So, when we grow spiritually in Christ and continue to live in His will it shows that we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Jesus Knows What Our Needs Are and Their Importance
Jesus, as the Omniscient – the all-knowing God, knows what our needs are before we even ask Him to fulfill them. And He knows the importance of our needs for life sustenance. Therefore, He will never reject us when we go to Him to have them fulfilled. However, it is important to remember that all needs are not equal and according to His will and purpose for us. And He will decline “needs” He may deem frivolous. For instance, food for the nourishment and health of our bodies, as well as needs such as shelter and clothing are fundamental to sustain our lives, are necessary and important. Unlike a fancy, expensive car, He may decline to provide.
Having said that, God knows what’s best for us better than we do ourselves. Therefore, if we request something that He deems inappropriate, He may decline. He knows what’s in our hearts and thoughts, as well as our motives for desiring certain things. He can also foresee if certain desires were met will serve us well or bring us issues in the future.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit and when I rise. You understand my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down. You are aware of all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, you know all about it, O Lord. You have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.”Psalm 139:1-6
Refocus Your Mind on Christ
When we have unmet needs, we tend to only focus on these needs until they are met. We get consumed by our lack and it preoccupies our thoughts and minds, making it difficult to keep our minds on Christ. This is not how we seek first the kingdom of God. This is us being self-absorbed, stressed-out and worried; placing our needs above Him and His kingdom.
So, how do we refocus our minds on Christ when we have pressing unmet needs that are keeping us awake and distracted from Him? Well, we must keep up with the daily surrender of our hearts and lives to Him, reading and meditating on His Word and applying it to our lives. Carry Him in our hearts and minds every day, praying and thanking Him for His blessings. By doing these things, we minimize ourselves and increase Him in our lives, and prove that we seek first the kingdom of God.
Do Not Worry, Trust in Him
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
In another of His teachings to His followers, Jesus asked them, “would worrying about your needs add one measure to your lives?” Worrying does not change our situation, nor does it get our needs fulfilled any faster. It only causes us emotional stress and anxiety and drives us to a place of desperation where we venture out of His will to get our needs met. But, if we seek Him and offer up prayer and supplication, and thank Him in the process, He will meet us where we are and oblige us according to His will.
“Which of you by taking a thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”Matthew 6:27
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Therefore, humble yourselves under the might hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
In the above scripture, the Apostle Peter tells us to humble ourselves under God’s control and He will exalt us. This means submitting to Christ’s power and control and trusting in Him to provide for us. As well, we must have faith and patience to believe and wait on Him to “exalt us in due time.” Therefore, when we banish worry from our lives, we must also trust in Christ. We must not have a care in the world about how or when God will work things out for us. Just do not worry, but trust in Him.
To conclude, it is Jesus’ will for us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Therefore we must prioritize our needs: we must seek to fulfill our spiritual needs first, then our physical needs will be met next. When we put Him first by serving Him righteously and advancing His kingdom, there isn’t anything that He won’t do for us according to His will. Thus, we must seek God’s kingdom by refocusing our minds on Him while waiting on Him to meet our needs, refraining from worrying, and putting our trust in Him to fulfill our needs.