Sometimes, we forget. When things are not going quite the way we would like to, we strive and put a lot of effort to make things right, but forget the first thing we really should do — check ourselves against Matt 6: 33.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” It is a verse we are taught when we begin the walk of faith as Christians — to always put Christ first in everything we do. As we do it, it shapes our life choices and our lifestyles begin to reflect it.
Then, we grow older, more mature and more confident of what we can do in Him, and we act by faith doing the things we believe are for God. Nothing wrong with that — until something happens and things don’t go quite as planned or expected. Then, we wonder what went wrong?
Well, firstly, nothing went wrong. As long as we are living here on Earth, we can expect a spanner to be thrown in the works. Problems are going to happen. The issue isn’t that a problem happened; the issue is how to deal with it.
Secondly, we deal with it with all the resources at our disposal. Again, nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is precisely what we must do to address the issue at hand. Pray and search for the resources and apply them until the breakthrough occurs, then we find a way out.
But, sometimes, we do all these “right” things, and still, somehow, we see that things are not right. On the surface, it appears good, but, if we just stopped and looked into ourselves, we realise that something has gone awry and we are at a loss as to how to make it right.
I have been at that point many times and I would struggle and press on until it hit me recently, go back to Matt 6: 33. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Thirdly, when we come to that point of being “stuck”, that’s a good time to consider Matt 6: 33 again.
Seeking His ways in our lives isn’t a series of actions leading to a set of goals. It really is an attitude of the heart.
We are taught to put Christ first by fulfilling our spiritual obligations like going to church, giving to the church, getting involved in church activities — doing things for God. After a while, it just becomes a routine obligation.
Why? Because our attitude is not in seeking His ways, but in doing things for Him. We need to go beyond the act. Going to church is very important for me, but, sometime ago, a conflicting priority came up at the same time I was going for a service.
This person needed help and I could have asked someone else to be with her and went to church. But, I thought, wouldn’t I be putting Christ first by attending to her need myself now rather than going to church to get blessed?
I did just that and the next service I attended I found myself worshipping from a grateful heart.
God doesn’t want to be first in our lives to feed his ego. He doesn’t need it. It’s an attitude that lifts us from the bog of our circumstances and sees a God who wants to be involved in the everyday things we grapple with and help us through.
We see a relationship with Him and in that relationship we enjoy room to be who He created us to be and to act not because it is expected of us but because we want to. And we find we have the freedom to do things we never imagined and become increasingly grateful to God who help us along.
I was “stuck” for a long time. The last two months I got to “unstuck” by simply ignoring the circumstances and looking to God. In the process, I found the freedom to make some unconventional decisions, and it set me free.
Fourthly, it doesn’t mean that when we seek His kingdom and righteousness, we get everything we want. We may not. But, because we have this attitude of looking to Him, it won’t matter whether we have it or not. With or without it, we have Him, and, somehow, that makes us content with what we have.