In the king James version of the Bible, ‘seek ye first the kingdom of God’ appears in Matthew 6:33 as follows: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Because the King James was written in an English that is now hundreds of years old and can frequently lead to confusion for the reader, I’ve placed the verse, in its context, below as it appears in the New International Version.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 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 6:25-34)
The application of these verses is huge. While we as Americans will, most likely, not be in a position to actually be without clothing or food, it’s our employment which pays for clothing and food. It is quite likely that at some point, sooner or later, you’ll lose your job and be in a financial crisis until you find another.
These verses are also very applicable to relationships. Among young Christians in their 20’s and 30’s, not having a spouse can be a really big deal and something that some people get really focused on. “When is God going to bring me a husband?”
Take a second look at those last few verses in the context of finding a job and finding someone to marry.
So do not worry, saying, `Where will I get a Job?’ or `When am I ever going to meet someone and get married?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
As you go about your life, present your concerns to the Lord in prayer, and also give thanks to Him for the employment He’s going to give you and for the husband/wife He’s going to give you. And when you’ve finished praying get up off your knees and get out there applying for jobs. Get up off your knees and start getting involved in church where you’ll meet people. Carry yourself with a sense of comfort knowing, through faith, that God always fulfills his promises (though seldom in our timing).
So how do you Seek ye first the kingdom of god? By mentally and emotionally making your relationship with Jesus a higher priority and of greater concern then finding a husband, a wife, a job or anything else you may be worried about.
(photo credit: flickr creative commons, rpscott123’s photostream)