'But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.' Matthew 6:33 Sometimes we get things the wrong way around. Sometimes, we seek 'all these things' primarily; and then pray fervently for God to implement our plans. Sometimes we chase after our desires - putting too much emphasis on material things, financial status, cars and holidays - and then fit our faith into the space that is left. Church on a Sunday. A quick prayer when things go wrong in the week.
Sometimes we try to behave our way into His kingdom. Serving in every ministry going, giving our money, charity work. These things are important - the Bible says that faith without deeds is dead. But our deeds should be the fruit of our faith - the result of being in relationship with God - rather than instead of a relationship with Him.
God's kingdom is eternal; and the nature of our eternity is affected by how we live our lives. We can live for what we can hold in our hands now; striving to acquire treasures on Earth. Or we can live our lives with our eyes fixed on God; knowing that we are heavenly citizens, only here for a brief time. Knowing that the treasures we build up in eternity far outweigh anything we might acquire in this world.
We need to seek God's righteousness; to seek His will and strive to be right with Him. What does this mean? It certainly isn't the same as being self-righteous. A self-righteous person believes themselves to be made holy by their own actions.
But we are only made righteous through Christ.
In Him, God sees us as free from sin. 1 John 1:9 tells us that when we confess our sins, He [Jesus] will make us righteous. He will cause us to be holy and pure. But while righteousness can only be achieved in Christ and is not a result of our behaviour, we are required to repent. This means confessing and receiving forgiveness; and turning away from that behaviour we know to be wrong.
This is not about laws or obeying your way into heaven. This is about seeking God first in all things; above all else. This is about growing in relationship with Him. As we draw closer to God, the desire to walk in His will becomes stronger. As we root ourselves in Him, we produce healthy fruit.
In order to draw closer to God, we must devote time to our relationship with Him. This means making it a priority to spend time reading the Bible; to spend time in prayer. Listening to Him as well as speaking. It is so important to serve, to do good; but these things alone do not lead to righteousness. We must seek God first and then these things will be the fruit of our relationship with Him.
You can't compartmentalise God. He's still there when we're arguing with our husbands or beeping the horn at an elderly driver to make them go faster. God doesn't stay in church all week, waiting to see us on Sunday. Let Him into your every day, every activity, every friendship. Seek His will in all you do. He will supply all of our needs, He will guide our steps and He will never leave us or let us be alone.
2 Timothy 22-26 Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights.
God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil's trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands. (The Message).
About the Author: My name is Ruth. I'm a Christian, wife, mother and nurse. I share openly and honestly about my eventful journey through life. You can find me on the web at http://sparklymess.blogspot.com