Seek First the Kingdom of God!
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
In Matthew chapter 6, right in the middle of the most famous and well known of the teachings of Jesus, we have this passage that tells us we have no need to be anxious. This seems especially appropriate as we survey the world around us these days. There seem to be numerous potential sources of anxiety, and I’m sure that many of us are tempted to be anxious about a variety of things. It seems unlikely that Jesus intended to say that we need not be anxious in only the three areas he identified specifically in this passage. After all, many of us will be concerned about whether our finances will hold out until we get back to work. Many will be concerned about how badly their 401K will be battered by the economic uncertainty. And then there is concern about getting the daily necessities like paper supplies, eggs, and on and on, to say nothing of wondering whether we might inadvertently step into the path of the virus.
Jesus’ intent was to be sweepingly broad in terms of what we need not be anxious about. He also meant to gently chide us for our natural inclination to be anxious about a host of different things. I say gently because, in large part, his purpose was to encourage us to believe that God truly does abundantly care for his people.
This is a wonderfully great promise. Seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness first, and all that we need will be provided. Could we hope for a greater reassurance?
But what does it mean that we should seek his kingdom and righteousness? At the most basic level, it means that we make him our first priority. We do this by the faithful reading of the word of God, so that we grow in our knowledge of who he is, and what he desires of us and for us. And we do this by nurturing the daily habit of coming before him in prayer. Many of us seem often to struggle to find time to do this, and where that has been true, for many of us there is now an abundance of time!
Let us be eager to take advantage of the time that we have available in our lives right now, and begin to cultivate some new patterns of life that will set us on a trajectory of seeking after our God wholeheartedly, and before all other priorities.