February 21st, 2103: The Eighth Day of Lent
February 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Christ gives us both a command and an assurance here, and we find that the two are linked together. Christ commands us to pursue God’s Kingdom – to pursue the heavenly realities we’ve been discussing through our study on the Sermon on the Mount – above all other things. Last Lent, we discussed how the realities of the Kingdom of Heaven will often run counter to the paradigms of our contemporary culture. It was so in Christ’s time, and it remains so in ours. Christ tells us to shed our old ways of thinking and living and he commands us to adopt a new way of living – seeking the Kingdom of God.
When we do so, we live righteously, which means we live in proper relationship with God and others. It’s not as easy as it sounds! Our fallen, human natures think of ourselves first and foremost. It’s natural to think of what is best for us and what we want. It’s natural to pursue these things and expend effort in that pursuit. However, seeking God’s Kingdom first means that we step off of the throne of our hearts and allow Christ to take that place. From that point on, we no longer live for ourselves – we put Christ’s desires and aims in front of our own.
It’s important to note that this is more of a process rather than a once-for-all event in our lives. It seems that our fallen natures try to re-assert control over our lives daily, and we get caught up in the struggle… Daily. It will be a struggle, but that’s what Christ calls us to.
When hearing this verse, most people want to jump ahead to the “…and he will give you everything you need” part. However, we cannot skate past Christ’s call to pursuing the Kingdom. We’ll discuss the second part of this verse tomorrow, but for today, let’s think of the areas in our life in which we do not pursue Christ’s Kingdom – the areas in which we willingly pursue our own selfish aims and ambitions. Odds are, we’ll find that our petty worries spring from these areas as well. What keeps you from seeking Christ’s Kingdom wholeheartedly?
Lord Christ, I confess that I worry because I chase my own goals and desires rather than pursuing your Kingdom. Please forgive me for placing my own fallen, broken wants before your Kingdom and the redemption of your Creation. Please help me daily in placing you upon the throne of my life. Amen.