When we as people hear the word first, it denotes order, priority, some form of list. We see first as there is something that comes second. Most of us, when we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33, it says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”, we take that as an order of way to prioritize our lives.Therefore, what we do is our quiet time first, pay our tithe first, give God our first, whatever. Then once we have done what we were supposed to do first, we do whatever we want, second, third, and so on. While I was fasting and praying with a group of people last week, the Lord began to speak to me that first does not denote there is a second, first actually means only. To God, when He says, seek first, He means seek only. We are called to seek only the kingdom of God and His righteousness, not first, but rather only. As I began to meditate on this idea of only, rather than first, it made me realize how many idols we have in our lives and we do not even realize it.
If we pursue anything in addition to the Father, it is an idol. An idol is anything we look to, we pursue in order to meet a need we have. Look at Matthew 6 again, it says in verse 1, “Take care not to do your good deeds publically or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward with and from your Father Who is in heaven”. The good deeds Matthew is referring to are noted in the following verses, he says, when you give, when you pray and when you fast, do it in secret, why, because you need affirmation and if you seek approval or affirmation from men, it is an idol and the Lord does not compete with idols, so you lose your reward.
In the former age of Christendom seeking God first was acceptable, it was expected, but we have crossed over into the kingdom of God age, and in this new normal we have entered, we are to seek the kingdom of God only. That is why the call to secret is so critical, because our affirmation needs to come from the Lord only. If others affirm us, it is appreciated, but it is not needed. This is powerful, because if you need the affirmation of man for what you do, you will eventually do what man expects in order to get their affirmation, instead of what God wants and then man becomes an idol.
Seeking the kingdom of God only, means the only one in front of us is the Father and everything else is behind us. It can be likened to driving a car, if you spend your whole drive looking over your shoulder behind you, you are going to crash, but if you are facing forward, looking forward and your focus is forward, then if you glance in the rear view mirror now and then you can see what is following you, but you are not focused on what is behind you. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first (ONLY), the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (your needs) will be given to you.” Your needs are behind you, when you are seeking the kingdom of God only, they are not in front of you as something you pursue. When we seek only the Father, everything we need, want, desire, dream about will pursue us, as we pursue the Father.
To seek God only takes a lot of trust, you have to put all your attention on Him only. No pursuing your career, a spouse, a promotion, prosperity, nothing. Everything must be literally behind your back and the only thing in front of your eyes is the Father. Most people cannot do this, many will not agree with this, some will not have the courage to try it. But to those who have ears to hear, the Lord promises you, if you pursue Him only, obey His voice always, your reward will blow your mind. Because when our worth is found in the love of God, when our fear is swallowed up in the presence of God’s perfect love, when our trust is in the heart of God, we will find the rewards of God taking us over. The Father is looking for those who only want Him, not in words, but in hearts desire, because then whether we are in a job or without a job, whether we are married or not, our needs our met in God alone.
I close with the words of the Apostle Paul, “I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me!” (Philippians4:12-13)