But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34
Even though we will point to the long list of things we need to get done, the real reason we keep moving is what being busy helps us avoid. When we slow down, we become restless and begin to squirm. Speed makes everything a blurry distraction, yet when we push pause, clarity about the true state of our heart becomes clearer. Stillness forces us to hear the whispers of regret, doubt, shame, and fear.
To avoid this tension and level of vulnerability, we pick up the pace. We reason it’s easier to stay busy than dealing with the things that emerge when we slow down and become still. At this moment, what we look at determines what we wonder. If all we see is our mistakes and insecurities, we will begin to wonder if we matter. If all we see is our fear and uncertainties, we will begin to wonder if everything will be okay. If all we see is our wants and desires, we will begin to wonder if we’ll ever feel fulfilled and satisfied.
We respond to these doubts by calculating how we can ensure that all of our wants and desires are fulfilled. This doesn’t get displayed in overt arrogance or self-importance, just a simple belief that our will is more important than everything and everyone else. Our desires become demands that must be fulfilled by those around us and even God himself. These behaviors and thought processes are fueled by entitlement. Pride prevents pursuit, but gratitude paves the way to humility.
Gratitude helps us measure the depth to which Christ is being formed in our hearts. Gratitude only rises from stillness. We see through the lens of what we want the most and that’s why Jesus invites us to seek Him. By taking our eyes off ourselves and placing them on God, we heal the distorted perspective of our heart. But, this doesn’t take place by simply seeing God. We can’t just notice Him; we must seek Him.
We have encounters where we see Him in undeniable ways, but something has to shift. God acts on our behalf. He works out a situation in our favor – a bill gets paid, a relationship gets restored, a good prognosis is received at the doctor, etc. These are ways in which God reveals Himself to us, but seeking God’s kingdom is something different that requires intention on our part.
God will catch our attention, but we have to pause and consider whether He has captured our heart. Both are encounters and both are important. Seeking first the kingdom of God is an invitation to align our heart with, not only what it truly wants, but what it was made for. The first step in seeking first the Kingdom is first seeking the King.
When expression is hard, pursuit becomes essential. This takes place not from our effort or our good behavior. It takes place as we worship. If things have become stale or stagnant in our relationship with Christ, the call isn’t to work harder, but to worship and wonder.
- Where is worry consuming your thoughts? How can worship and seeking Him be utilized to combat those things?
God, instead of worrying, today I will worship. Rather than rush, today I will rest. Instead of simply seeing You, today I will seek Your heart. Rather than attempting to control my circumstances, today I will lay them down at Your feet. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.