I sensed that He wanted to remind us of something very important as we rang in the year of 2015. The verse He gave me is one we are very familiar with, but one which we may be so familiar with, that the heart of it is glossed over.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
It is no accident of this verse following the preceding text. (Suggested reading would be chapters 5 and 6) The last post was on Matthew 5, what believers call The Beatitudes. In other words, we should “be of this attitude”! Jesus then expounded on the importance of the Word of God and the effect it has on those who hear it and receive it. Affect. I believe that is the message. What effect has the Word of God had on you? And, more importantly, what affect is it continuing to have on you?
Obviously the disciples were beginning to realize that they were lacking in, and of, themselves. It finally registered with them that Jesus separated Himself from them, especially in the morning and night hours, to spend time alone with God. They wanted to know what to say to God, how to pray so that they, too, could walk in the fullness of which Jesus was teaching. So they asked Jesus how to pray. We are all familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. What Jesus spoke probably was not at all what they expected.
We will look at the Lord’s Prayer in detail in the upcoming days because it will, indeed, change our lives as the revelation of the Holy Spirit begins to unfold God’s truths. However, this too had to be taught before Jesus could even utter the words of Matthew 6:33. Why? Because if you take all the teachings, just in chapters 5 and 6 alone, we realize that Jesus is teaching us kingdom truths to live by.
Remember, Jesus stated He had come to fulfill the Law, not to do away with it. All the teachings were the walking out of the Laws, which would be fulfilled in living our lives in Christ! We could not stay the same in our thoughts, our beliefs, our words, or our actions and be alive in Christ!
The above scripture is almost a summary statement. Once you have been renewed, seek God in everything, listen to His heart, agree with His direction for you and He will add the blessings and favor you need to live. We don’t need a long lengthy prayer begging God to do something. Instead we come before Him, offering up the things that may be on our hearts, laying them at His feet and thanking Him that He knows the end from the beginning.
Have you ever just come into the presence of God and, sincerely, asked Him to show you His will? Most likely He will begin to address the things in you that concern Him. Because until we are “clear” of sin in our lives, we won’t be able to hear His direction for other matters. Let me give you an example. I have been navigating through some very personal situations that are breaking my heart. My first instinct was to go before the Lord and pour out my pain and sadness. That is exactly what we are to do because if we won’t admit the problem, God can’t address it. But now is where we can easily go off course. I really wanted to “fix” these problems. However, all the thoughts that were going through my mind would really have made the situations worse, even though the truth would have been spoken. Then as I was relaxing and began talking with the Lord, His love just engulfed me and I knew deep within my spirit that I hadn’t released the problems. I knew because I didn’t have a peace in my heart. I then asked the Lord a question and His gentle answer showed me the root and as I asked forgiveness for my “view” of the problems, I gladly released my concerns and began praising Him.
The problem was “my view”, I didn’t have God’s view of the problem. When we have God’s view, we know deep within our spirit that we do not have any authority to even be trying to “fix” the situation. That is when I knew this was the verse He wanted us to get deep within our spirits. The Word became so real to me that all I could do was rejoice in Him and praise Him that He is in control and I was not the “vessel” He had given authority to at this time.
This really was a working out of Matthew 6:33. I didn’t go before the Lord with an agenda of needs, I simply went before Him to love on Him and praise Him. Because my focus was on God, and not me, I could receive God’s truth. What a glorious freedom comes with total dependence upon God!
Let’s imagine for a moment what that blessed time between Jesus and His Father may have been like. For those of you who may have children, is there any better moment than when they run into your arms and just pour out their love? They are just so excited to see you and the joy on their faces is overwhelming. I imagine that is what was in the heart of Jesus as He came apart with His Father. There was joy to be in His presence! This is where Jesus received refreshment and encouragement and strength. The Apostle Paul describes this relationship wo well. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Affect. Just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit cannot operate apart from one another, neither can we glorify the Father, Son and Holy Spirit when we walk independently. Jesus only did as the Father told Him, He spoke what the Father told Him to speak, He healed who the Father told Him to heal. (John 4:34, 5:19, 5:30, 6:38,8:28-29, 14:10)
If this was the attitude and heart of Jesus, how can we truly believe we can live any other way and still be in right alignment with God?
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Abba, I personally thank You for this revelation and the walking out of it in my own life. While the situations have not changed, I have changed because I know You are in control and whatever Your will is, that is right and true. I pray for an imparting of the Holy Spirit into the lives of believers to experience this truth first hand and be freed from the bondages that deceive us to believe that we know how to handle the trials and tribulations in our lives. May we walk in a new found freedom in 2015 that will bring glory to You alone. We bow down and worship You in the spirit of holiness, through Your Son, Jesus Christ! Amen.