SEEKING FIRST THE KINGDOM
Matthew 6:33 NKJV: But seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Here the Lord Jesus instructs to seek FIRST the Kingdom and ALL other things: our physical, material needs will be added unto us.
It is instructive to note that the Lord did not say seek ONLY the Kingdom; He said seek FIRST the Kingdom, because He knows we need the physical and material things: what we will eat, drink and wear etc.
So what then is the Kingdom and how do we seek it FIRST and have the other things added unto us?
The Kingdom is the TOTAL dominion of God’s nature and character in our entire being: SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you COMPLETELY; and may your WHOLE spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we get born-again, we experience the Kingdom in a measure: the dominion of God’s nature in our spirits, but NOT in our souls and bodies.
Acts 14:22 KJV: Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Romans 14:17 NKJV: for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Observe that the righteousness (right-doing), peace and joy of the Kingdom (the dominion of the character of the King: the Lord Jesus) are ONLY possible in the Holy Spirit: by the power of the fruit and ability of the Holy Spirit!
Luke 17:20-21 NKJV: Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; (21) nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Now why MUST we seek the kingdom FIRST?
We MUST seek the Kingdom first because it is the condition upon which we can receive answers to ALL our other prayers:
1 John 3:22-24 NKJV: And whatever we ask we receive from Him, BECAUSE we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (23) And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (24) Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
The Lord Jesus echoes this same condition in the Lord’s prayer showing that we should FIRST pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done BEFORE praying for our daily bread:
Matthew 6:7-13 NKJV: And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (8) “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (9) In this manner, THEREFORE, PRAY: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (10) YOUR KINGDOM COME. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (13) And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
In our article next week, we will see in more detail HOW to seek FIRST the Kingdom in our DAILY prayer life.