Seek The Kingdom
The well- known writings of Matthew chapter 6 have really begun to take on new light for me in the past few weeks. Recently, I witnessed a lady going through the dumpsters and garbage bins on the street outside my apartment. Although I can’t be sure, from the way she was dressed and her overall outward appearance it was possible that she was without a home or disadvantaged in some way. I felt an impulse to take her some food and water and possibly share a bit with her about the love of Jesus. Sadly, in this instance, I debated about it and my fears won out and the opportunity passed. One of my “fears” was, “what if she then keeps coming back? Then I’d have to supply more food etc.”
In talking with the Lord about it afterwards, His response impacted me. It was as if He was asking me, “So what if she did keep coming back? How “bad” is that really? And what if she brought others?” I began to imagine a different scenario in which many others just like her came and I was able to give them a snack to provide for the physical need. Then, the opportunity to share about the love of God might open up freely allowing them to receive Him.
Yeah, what if THAT happened?
I pray next time I won’t pass up the opportunity to let the Kingdom of God come through me and influence the world around me.
Known as the great commission, Matthew 28 mandates us to “go and make disciples of all nations...” To do this effectively we need a radical shift in our thinking and priorities. Many times as we focus on accomplishing our dreams of wealth, success, promotion, popularity, etc., His dream goes unrealized.
This does not mean pursuits are bad in themselves or that all of us are called to sell everything and go to a foreign country. In fact, I would say it’s much simpler than that.
Matthew 6:33 reads, “Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” What is being presented here is a shift of focus. To be honest when we read this verse I think a lot of us read the first part as a means to get the second. What’s it look like to truly seek the kingdom though? What really impacts and changes society? Good deeds and timely words certainly help out but with all the social programs we have in the world does it not still feel as though everything’s just getting worse?
Radical transformation in our societies requires the infiltration of a more powerful kingdom.
There is nothing more powerful or effective at bringing change into an individual’s life than the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel demands change. When we accept Christ as Lord we become new creatures, (2 Cor.5:17). We are brought out of “the power of darkness and into the Kingdom of Christ” (Col.1:13) and this new kingdom is the one we are to be seeking. The kingdom of God is, “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom.14:17). Could our world not use a whole lot more of these things?
We are God’s change agents on the earth. We seek the Kingdom in order to bring the Kingdom into every facet of our lives to effect the world around us.
I used to be one for believing that the way to a city or nation being changed is to remove all the evil stuff within it. God recently shifted that theory a bit one day while driving by an establishment of darkness in my city. My usual routine was to pray that it would close but this time I was presented with a new approach when I felt the Lord say,
“Don’t worry about it having to close. Just pray that I increase so much in this city that it won’t even matter whether places like this are open or not”
You see the reduction of evil in our lives and the world around us is the natural result of the more powerful kingdom of God being enabled through us to take up residence. For, “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world…” (1 John 4:4). Although there are times for protesting and publicly standing against the onslaughts of the kingdom of darkness on what is pure and right in our society, we must not underestimate the power of the work every individual Christian has been enabled to do daily. It’s not just for the evangelist. It’s for all of us because, “Freely you have received, freely (we must) give!” (Matt.10:8 Paraphrase mine). As we seek first His kingdom we become vessels through which His kingdom reaches the world. We fulfill the call for us to be the “light of the world” (Matt.5:14) and darkness always runs from the Light.
A new goal of mine is to listen to Holy Spirit more when He impresses me to do something and to seek the Kingdom of God until it consumes me in order to infiltrate the world around me.
Never underestimate the power of the One working within you. His heart has not changed. He has not stopped moving in this day and evangelism still matters! His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Excited to be linking up my blog today with #RaRaLinkup over at www.purposefulfaith.com!