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- Jacob Ninan
"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Mt.6:33). So what do some people do? They make sure that as soon as they get their salary they set aside a part for God's work. The first day of the week they spend time in the church. They pray before they start out on a journey or eat their meal. But the sad fact may still be that what their heart is really after are "all these things" that they want God to give to them, earthly blessings, protection, comforts, etc. In other words, even behind what we do for God may be a wish that if we do these things God will take care of us in our earthly life. What we do for God or give Him may be just like an insurance policy for our protection.
That is not what God means by seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. Jesus said that where our heart was indicated what our treasure was (Mt.6:21). It is not just that in whatever we do we think of God first, which is a good thing in itself (Pr.3:6), but that the priority for our heart is God's kingdom, His righteousness, His name to be glorified and His will to be done (Mt.6:9,10). Of course He promises us that He will take care of all our needs. But we want to glorify God and do His will as the topmost priority in our life, and not as a means to getting God to do things for us.
When we do anything on earth, the topmost priority in our heart and mind needs to be on how that will affect His kingdom, how that will manifest His righteousness, and how that will execute His will. When we choose a job or take up a business, a place to stay, someone to marry, a school or college to put the children in -- what are the thoughts and aims that guide our decision? If we look over the way we make decisions and go on doing the various things of this life, we can see for ourselves whether we are actually seeking God first or not.
It's a fact that we are living on this earth, and we do have a lot of earthly needs and earthly tasks to be accomplished. God is very much aware of these, and He is committed to providing these things for us (Mt.6:31,32). But we are prone to forgetting about God in the midst of the whole process and end up seeking our own earthly goals first. Jesus warns us that we cannot serve two masters (v.24). That is why we need to consciously set up God as our priority in life, and check up on ourselves now and then to see whether we have reverted to seeking earthly things first in our lives.
When we do set our heart on God and the things above (Co.3:2,3), we will be amazed to see how God begins to take care of us in many different ways. He will even turn the bad things that happen to us to do something good for us (Ro.8:28,29). The more we experience this, the more we lean away from the earth towards Him in our heart and in practical life. On the contrary, if we are trying to use God to help us while we are pursuing after earthly things, we will find ourselves with more doubts and confusion.