Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33
In the second and third petitions of the Lord’s Prayer we ask, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” These are bold and confident requests of an almighty God, requests that Jesus gave us to speak, requests truly heard by God when spoken in faith. We pray this prayer together in church on Sunday. Perhaps you say it with your family daily during the week. For as often as we make these requests, do we truly expect God to give us what we need?
The words recorded in Matthew chapter 6 are Jesus’ words. The section in which we find verse 33 was when Jesus’ commanded us saying, “Do not worry.” He points to the birds of the air that lack nothing to eat and the lilies of the field that lack nothing to wear. If God can provide for them, will he not provide even more adequately for us?
Take, for example, an unexpected tax return check. That is money that will go toward food and clothes to provide temporarily for the needs of individuals and families. That is a blessing from God, an outpouring of his grace. How he provides for us will sometimes be different from one day to the next, but he never lets us down. Past experience tells us that God will provide all the things we need. Even in the face of evil that works against God’s kingdom coming and his will being done, the Lord will provide.
So why do we worry? Why do we let evil work against us and convince us that God is not a gracious and loving God? Why don’t we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness? As you answer those questions for yourself, you will only come to recognize your inherited weakness. We worry about food and clothes, about money and relationships, about markets and mortgages because we are sinful.
Total dependence and trust in God can never come from inside us. It must come from outside us. It must come from God. By grace, God has brought us into his kingdom and sends his Spirit to rule in our hearts. God has filled us with the righteousness which Jesus won for us. And now, God never kicks us out of his kingdom nor takes away this righteousness. That is his promise, a promise that cannot be broken.
By faith, God leads us to believe that when we ask we will receive, when we seek we will find. God’s kingdom and his righteousness are there. He provides for us ever so adequately with all things: food, clothes, and all your bodily needs. He strengthens us with the ability to totally depend and trust in him.
So then, say “thanks” to the God who takes your worry away. Cut him a portion of your check, dedicate you time and energy, but most of all seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Find him first and he will take care of the rest.
Savior, I long to walk
Closer with Thee;
Led by Thy guiding hand,
Ever to be
Constantly near Thy side,
Quickened and purified,
Living for Him who died
Freely for me. Amen. (TLH 422)