I have always loved that phrase – “seek ye first”. I know it’s totally the old fashioned way to quote Matthew 6:33, from the King James Version published in 1611 (SO OLD), but it sounds so adventurous! The word “seek” already brings to mind a clever mystery or a playful game, but slap that “ye” in there and BOOM: you have a pirate ship on high seas traversing dangerous waters in search of treasures from fabled lore in ages past! Okay, so maybe that’s a little over dramatic, but you get the picture! The phrase inspires thoughts of difficult journeys, inspiring views, and life-changing discoveries.
The thing about that visual picture, though, is that seeking God and His Kingdom before anything else isn’t as romantic as sailing for treasure every day. For me, it usually looks really mundane, and sometimes frustratingly difficult, and, worst of all, my bumbling around while trying to pursue His Kingdom exposes just how weak and sinful I really am! And, more often than not, life seems to get overwhelmingly stressful when I least expect it! Between sickness, money problems, family issues, heartbreak, failure and disappointment… well, the idea of “putting God first” feels a little paltry. Waking up early for devotions “first thing” and tithing the “first bit” of my paycheck don’t seem to form a real enough relationship or a strong enough balm to make life less worrisome.
My dad gave me a lovely piece of wisdom that has taken the past few years (my rough-and-tumble growing up years) to really sink in. He told me that whatever life brings us is really out of our control! In choosing to seek the Lord and His Righteousness before anything else, we are surrendering our right to sit in the driver’s seat of our own lives. Essentially, we are along for the ride! This could be terrifying, but the closer you are with Jesus, the more you can see His absolute, un-ending goodness and love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18)! Just because I love the metaphor, let’s go back to that adventurous treasure-seeking ship conquering the rough seas. Letting go of control over that wheel is very uncomfortable, but you’re giving it over to the one being who actually knows what’s going on, and who loves you sacrificially. Life is hard, but God is good: embrace the ride of your life.
Two things for you today:
First, REMEMBER that God cares about you. Can you list several specific things where God has proven His goodness to you? Small or large, these moments in life are proof that you are important to Him! If you are feeling overwhelmed with worry right now, take a second to recognize that He is strong enough and good enough to carry you through the stress of daily life!
Second, DETERMINE to seek the Kingdom of God before all else. Our stress levels are determined by our sense of control! If we are giving up that control to the Lord and His purposes, then we have no call to worry! Figure out ways to show that you are giving up on worry and letting God direct you. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)