February 22nd, 2013: The Ninth Day of Lent
February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Today, we will discuss the second part of Christ’s teaching in this verse. Yesterday, we discussed his command to pursue God’s Kingdom above all other things. Now, we move on to the assurance associated with this command: That our heavenly Father will give us all that we need.
This is a popular verse in Christian circles; the idea of us getting all that we need is an attractive one. Sadly, this verse often gets twisted in such a way that allows some to teach that if we just seek God’s Kingdom, we’ll get everything we want. The unfortunate implication of this teaching is that the best way to get what we want is by seeking God’s Kingdom. However, as we discussed yesterday, a big part of living righteously and seeking God’s Kingdom involves stepping off the throne of our lives, letting Christ rule and reign, and surrendering our fallen wants and desires to him.
Let there be no mistake about it: our fallen desires are incompatible with the Kingdom of Heaven.
So, then, how do we interpret this verse? Fortunately, context helps us here. Christ has been commanding his audience not to worry about the basics of life – food, clothing, etc. So often, our worries spring from a lack of faith in God or from our desires that run counter to God’s Kingdom. When we pursue the Kingdom of Heaven, our faith is built and we surrender our desires. In the process, we find that the worries associated with our doubt and our improper wants disappear.
Again, this is not an overnight transformation. Like so many things in the spiritual life, it’s a process. However, we can take comfort in Christ’s assurance: When we seek God’s Kingdom, our needs will be met. We don’t have to worry about food or clothing or other basics of life – Christ tells us that God knows, God cares, and God is active and powerful. These things are matters of effort, but not matters of worry.
Lord Christ, I repent of my sinful desires. At times, I have even tried to leverage my faith and your power in order to get what I want, without even thinking of what you want or what you have called me to. Again, please help me trust you in all facets of my life. Help me to lay aside sinful desires that run counter to your Kingdom. Amen.