For those familiar with Scripture, you are more than likely aware of the command to “Seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). This is pretty clear and straightforward. If you are a list oriented person like me, you may be wondering what numbers two, three and four might be. We’re good with seeking the Kingdom first, but what are we to seek next? In truth there is no next. There are two reasons why this is a list of one, and why one is all that we need.
First, we are never able to check off the first (and only) item on the list. We never fully accomplish seeking the Kingdom of God first. Seeking the Kingdom of God is a moment by moment endeavor. We may successfully seek the Kingdom first in one moment, but in the next we are back to our own selfish pursuits. Since we are no longer seeking the Kingdom first, we must return to number one on our list. In fact the very moment we cross off “Seek God’s Kingdom” from our list, we immediately nullify its completion. At that moment we have become self-serving and are no longer seeking the Kingdom first. Seeking first the Kingdom of God is a lifelong activity. We must consciously choose to seek His Kingdom every moment we live. Since He never told us to stop seeking, and since He never rescinded that command, we must continue on with the last instruction we received. We must continue to seek Him. It can be a daunting challenge to constantly seek His kingdom first; daunting, but not impossible. God is with us at every moment. He is with you right now. We often forget that His Spirit is alive and at work within us. If you are a sincere follower of Christ, the Spirit of God is part of your life at all times. He gives us the ability to consult with Him at any moment, for as long as we need. Our job is simply to remind ourselves that He is with us; we must master the discipline of becoming intimately and consciously aware of His constant presence in our lives.
The second reason we have a list of one is that this one item encompasses all that we are to do in service to Jesus. Seeking His kingdom first means we will see Jesus in everyone. We will see Him as the hungry child orphaned by the plague of AIDS, and we will feed Him. We will see him in the hollow eyes of the crippled homeless man, and we will shelter him. We will see Him sick and in agony, and we will care for his needs. If we seek first God’s Kingdom, we will behave like citizens of that Kingdom. We will love God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our minds. We will love our neighbors more than we love ourselves. We will seek to do the things that Jesus did and we will carry on the mission He left for us to do. If we seek first His kingdom, we will live lives that look like Jesus. We will know what it means to walk as Jesus walked, and to love as Jesus loved.
Seeking the Kingdom is not simply the first thing we are to do as followers of Christ; it is the only thing we are to do. If we will follow this single command, we will do all that Jesus told us to do. Begin recognizing that God is with you at all times. Seek Him out in every situation; get in the habit of engaging in non-stop conversation with our King. As we shift our focus, moment by moment, onto His Kingdom and His plans, we will find that burdens and sins begin to melt away. There is no room for sin in a life that is wholly devoted to God. There is no burden so heavy that it is not diminished in the presence of God. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and seek nothing else. In seeking Him first we will find His peace, His patience and His love. Seek Him first, and seek Him only; then you will be fully and truly whole.