By James Mead,
Guitarist for Kutless
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV
Seek first the kingdom of God? Well, by my nature, I don’t usually seek Him first. Maybe second…sometimes. Lately, I’ve been thinking about this paradoxical conflict between my soul and my flesh. The first 17 years of my life were spent trying to do things my own way and solve problems as they came along. My will was independent, or realistically, devoid of godly counsel. I hadn’t asked Jesus to be my “all in all”. Since becoming a “new creation” in Christ like it says in II Corinthians 5:17, I have, sadly, dragged this habit along with me.
It may start with seemingly innocent thoughts, such as “I’ll just figure out what to do with this medical bill” or “I don’t need to pray about that”. You may even figure that it’s too small of a problem to bring to God, whose ears must only be inclined towards BIG prayers, such as healing a family member of cancer or the safety of a nation. One problem with this way of thinking is that it’s totally unbiblical. The scriptures declare that God hears us and that He speaks back to us.
“The LORD said to him: I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me.” I Kings 9:3
“Give ear, O My people, to My law; incline your ears to the words of My mouth.” Psalm 78:1
Moreover, the Word of God instructs us to ask Him for help.
“I sought the LORD and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
This will also change the way we expect to feel about problems, because “If we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (I John 5:15). When we live with the expectancy that God is listening and that He cares, it will transform our faith and be an encouragement to others.
The other problem with thinking we can handle life on our own is that it is carnal and self-worship. This may be hard to accept, if this is a struggle of yours, but please heed this warning. When we elevate anything above God in our lives, it is idolatry. When we have the view that God will not help us with our problems or that we would rather deal with them ourselves, then we are not accepting what God has told us about Himself. The scriptures listed above are just a few from, literally, hundreds of passages in the Bible where we see God telling us over and over again that He knows what is best. When we don’t include Him in our decisions, we are in a sense, saying that we don’t believe Him. Do we really know better than God? Are our ways glorious?
So, what’s your reaction time? Whenever a problem arises in life, we are to seek God first. How quickly do you take your worries to the foot of the Cross? I’m not so good at this, but I’m trying to go to God quicker.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
When you are aware that every moment presents itself as a means of trusting in God and you allow the “old things to pass away” (II Corinthians 5:17), then you will have a quicker reaction time. Hopefully, we can all develop this skill so that it becomes more of an instinct…a spiritual instinct. We will instinctively feel when we need to come to God with something. Like a response to movement in our peripheral vision, as we train our eyes upon the LORD, the problems of the world will cause us to react instinctively, and our “block” will be asking the LORD to help us.
Heavenly Father, please help all of us to develop quicker ‘reaction times’! Amen