“But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
Have you ever woken up and slipped into an immediate state of anxiety about the day ahead? Sometimes we can become so tunnel-visioned in our day, listening to what our flesh wants, that we slip into a self-inflicted mode of worry that leads us to do anything but seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness first.
Just before this verse in Matthew 6, Jesus is speaking to the multitudes in the famous sermon on the mount about not worrying about worldly concerns. He points people toward thinking of the birds and grasses of the field, and how much they are looked after by God. Jesus goes on to say that if God cares so much for these things then how much more will he make sure we, his children, have all that we need in life.
There are lots of things we unintentionally seek first in life. We can wake up and first seek food, or exercise or success in our work. If we’re going through a challenge we might first seek other people to talk to about it, or not speak to anyone at all! Some people might incline towards seeking a positive attitude to get them through a day, often successfully. Our everyday life brings many things we unintentionally seek first, but Jesus is very clear: …seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and He will add all that we need to us. This sounds great to me!
So how do we seek God effectively?
In a big way, fasting makes it easier. Not having to think about what to eat removes one element of decision making in our day that is usually governed by our stomach. Here we are telling our flesh it is not getting what it wants. With food removed, we are in a place where the presence of God can begin to taste truly amazing… if we choose to seek Him.
Fasting still requires discipline to seek God, if we are not faith-filled and focused on why we are fasting then it can be all too easy to forget why we are fasting in the first place.
Jesus says in John 4:34 that His food is to do the will of the Father who sent Him and to finish His work. That changes the way we can look at food. Physical food is vital nourishment for the human body, but there is another food which is to do the will of the Father. In itself, that provides us with all the nourishment we need.
What a powerful thing to consider during this fast, that there is another type of food we can eat more of this year – staying focused on doing the work of the Father. God will provide all we need if, above all things, we seek Him and His righteousness first.
– Pastor John Ratcliffe