By Amanda Detweiler
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Can you help me figure out why my child is acting this way?
I need help in my marriage what would you suggest?
My pastor, boss, co-worker is… that’s not okay, right?
These are just a few of the general advice-seeking questions among Christian circles that I have seen posted to social media on a regular basis. Following the posed questions and petitions for prayer are comment after comment giving advice based on similar experiences and agreements with the expressed feelings of the person posting.
I believe that the true heart cry revealed in this is the desire for understanding and direction so that action can be taken. The mother, the spouse, and the ministry leader; those just being a few examples, are seeking to take impactful action in their situation while at the same time being assured that they are not the only one to have ever had this experience, boosting their faith that it won’t always be this way.
Scripture makes it clear for us that God has created us for and called us to community.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
“So, in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Community is essential in the Kingdom of God to accomplish His purposes here on the earth, to encourage one another, to support one another, to build our faith by sharing experiences, and the list goes on. While community is important, valuable and God created us for it, nothing is greater than our one-on-one intimate relationship with our Creator, Father, God.
I read recently in a devotional by John Piper, “God’s great desire for His people is that we feel secure in His love and in His power. Since God does all things for the praise of His glory [Eph.1:14], and since believing His Word magnifies that glory, God takes decisive steps to secure for Himself the magnification of His glory forever.”
God’s love for us is immeasurable and He desires to be revealed in every area of our lives so that His children who know Him can grow in the security of their sonship to Him and the children who are still lost will begin to see the Father who is drawing them to Himself.
Community is invaluable, but for us to grow secure in our identity as sons and daughters of the One true God we must daily or even more so, moment by moment, heed the Words of Jesus found in Matthew 6:33.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
This verse may sound a bit lofty with the use of the words kingdom and righteousness, which can feel so out of reach for us. What Jesus is saying here is both simple and powerful. By seeking the Father, the God of the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness first, in everything, means we are filling our thoughts with His desires. We also allow His character, as He reveals it to us, to transform our minds and become the regular pattern of our thinking and actions.
You see, God desire is for us to seek Him first, because He is the One who not only knows your heart, but the hearts and motivations of every person involved in what you are going through. He wants each of us to be in communication with Him first and foremost for everything, and for some situations He wants us to be in communication with only Him. Once we begin seeking Him first for everything, He can begin to reveal more of who He is as Father by forming our hearts to respond to our children, our spouses, our co-workers, our leaders, complete strangers according to how He created them and not based on our interpretation or others’ interpretation of the situation.
When we seek the Kingdom first, we become aware of our inheritance and all that is available to us as children of God. We have access to peace that surpasses our understanding (Phil. 4:7) and not just peace beyond understanding, but wisdom beyond understanding, revelation beyond understanding, physical and spiritual provision beyond understanding, guidance beyond understanding, joy beyond understanding and I could go on and on. Philippians 4:19 reveals all that God wants to do when we need help, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” ALL our needs, He desires to meet ALL of our needs. Jesus promises us that if we will seek His Father’s kingdom and righteousness FIRST, not only will they be revealed to us, but “all these things will be given to [us] as well.”
Can we join together today and challenge ourselves to truly seek Him first in every experience that comes our way? When questions, needs, confusions, and discomforts arise, before we ask another person, can we go into our prayer closets patiently and expectantly seeking the Creator of the universe to change our hearts to respond like His?
When we do this, our experiences become the praise of the glory of God. We get to receive all that is in the Kingdom of God, in our own lives. We get to share with others how intimately God knows us and what we go through. And we get to participate in building up faith in others which the God who heard us and met our needs in ways that surpass our understanding, knows them just as intimately and desires to meet all their needs too.
This challenge won’t be easy, but as we practice seeking Him first in every situation we will become more secure in the love and power of God and our ability to recognize His voice, as He shows up in ways we cannot even imagine.
About the Author
Amanda is happily married to her wonderful husband, Josh, and is a mother to two amazing little boys. Together, Josh and she pastor a campus of Morningstar Fellowship in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and love being a part of that community.
This is Amanda’s first venture in writing, but it has been a desire of her heart for a long time so, she is thrilled to have this opportunity. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys listening to various messages to grow her relationship with the Lord and spending time with her family and friends.
You can read Amanda’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 1st Sunday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.