righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as
well" (NIV). The key to living the abundant life God has for us is
learning to make Him our first priority.
So, why do many people seek the "things" first? Many people's
top priorities seem to be jobs, houses, cars or other material
things. To seek means "to crave, pursue, to make sacrifices to
get, to go after with all of your strength and all of your heart." It
is a mistake to crave and pursue possessions, believing they will
give us the lasting peace, joy and contentment that only come
from God's presence in our lives.
Take a moment and ask yourself, "What am I seeking? What do I
spend most of my time thinking or talking about? How do I invest the majority of my energy?" These are important questions you need to answer from your heart.
Deep and WideI got to a place in my life some years ago where I had a bunch
of material things but I still wasn't very happy. Have you ever
been in this place? Maybe you've wondered what's wrong with
me , like I did. Well, when I asked God that question, His answer
to me was, "Joyce, you're shallow. It's time to step out into the
That was a wake-up call. I was a shallow Christian. I wanted
the "fruit" of God's Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience – and all
operating in my life but I wasn't seeking that, so my "roots"
weren't very deep at all. I had it backwards…as many of us do at
times. We want the money, the house, the platform or whatever
our thing is. So we pursue that rather than the true treasure of
Just like a tree needs roots to go down deep and spread wide in
the soil for it to grow strong, healthy branches that can
withstand the elements, Christians need to develop deep spiritual roots in Christ. Our lives need to be deeply rooted and grounded in the Word of God and in His love – not our "stuff." We soon find that out when the storms of life come, and our "things" don't make us so happy anymore. That's because those things can't give us what we truly need. And it doesn't matter how much stuff you have if you're miserable.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying it's bad to want nice
belongings or to desire a good life. But we need to examine our
priorities when it comes to those things. We need to learn to
seek God's face and not His hand. If we will seek His face, His
hand will always be open to us.
CultivateYou may wonder what it means to seek God's face. Maybe you
aren't used to hearing that term. It just means we need to take
time to cultivate a relationship with God…to get to know Him. We need to learn who we are in Christ and trust what His Word says about us. And with prayer, Bible study and time , we will.
We are to pursue God in prayer, crave time in His Word, and go
after a relationship with Him with all of our heart and strength,
even if it means sacrificing some of our desires. Because the
Bible never tells us to seek things, but instead, "seek first his
kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be
given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
Getting What We Really Want Out of LifeIt seems that so much of the time, we get it the other way
around, going after possessions as if we'll never get what we
want if we don't. But I encourage you to think about what it will
be like at the end of your life. I know that's not a pleasant
thought, but do you really think you'll be concerned about your
stuff? Or do you think you'll want family near?
We must establish our lives in Christ. If we are to be truly happy
– with or without all the stuff—we must learn to trust our lives to
God. If we will pursue His kingdom and His righteousness, we
will see what it means to be content in life. As the apostle Paul
said, "…I have learned in whatsoever state I am, to be
content" (Philippians 4:11).
The key is to seek the Kingdom first. Pursue God; seek His face
and not His hand. Go after a relationship with Him as if it is
everything ! You will find that if you seek His face, His hand will
always be open to you. So, learn to be content in your
relationship with God; He knows everything you need.