When I finished my first bible class in church as a 13 year old boy, I was given a bible with a greeting on the first page from my bible teacher, quoting Jesus famous words from his sermon on the mount, “seek first the Kingdom…” Matthew 6:33.
At this point in life I did not understand what that meant, and 20 years later I still did not fully understand what it meant. How come? Well it has not been taught in Church so often.
It was only 5 years back I became aware of that Jesus is talking a lot about Kingdom, and I do not really grasp what he is saying. So I decided to seek to understand the Kingdom, put it my first priority.
An common understanding of this verse is that we should seek Jesus first in our life, but that is not what Jesus is saying.
It is interesting to note that in the sermon on the mount, Jesus is referring to the Kingdom 7 times, mixing with how to practically live life on earth to reflect Heaven. No other word in his sermon is as important as the Kingdom, except how to stay blessed as a result living for the Kingdom. And then as a summary of his sermon, he wraps it all up with, “seek first…” – he says: Gods nr 1 priority is the Kingdom, and it should be also our nr 1 prio.
- Seek, means to search for, dig into, pursue, study, understand, explore, find out.
- First, means to put the Kingdom nr 1 in our lives. Put the highest value on the Kingdom. Set it as our highest goal and focus in life.
- Kingdom here, is the Greek word basileia that is equivalent to the Hebrew word mamlakah, used in Genesis 1:26, as dominion. Both words means, dominion, sovereign rule, Kingdom, reign, or royal power. In this sermon, Jesus is referring to Gods Kingdom, Gods government, Gods rulership, Gods dominion over earth. Heavens influence, Gods administration on earth.
- Righteousness, means not to live a good holy religious life, but is actually referring to a juristic, legal term, to be in alignment with the authority, to be right positioned, to follow the laws of the Kingdom.
”For God is not a God of disorder but of peace...” 1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV
The absence of God is disorder. ”And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2 KJV
Before God started to structure earth, it was no order, it was without form and void.
But before God even started to bring structure and order he sent His Spirit, to move upon the disorder, to prepare it for structure. This is exactly how God is working when bringing order and structure into our lives. He first moves with the Spirit, then he starts with structure using words of command.
Religion is always doing the opposite, first try to bring structure and then the Spirit might come.
”And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20 ESV
Many years back, I had some meetings in Africa. I remember one meeting in particular. I had closed my talk and invited to the altarcall, people came forward to receive salvation. But what shocked me was the fact that even before I had led them in sinners prayer, the Spirit came over them and they started to talk in tongues, laughing, crying. I learned something that day. When God wants to bring structure, he starts with his Spirit.
Why is God sending his Spirit over all flesh, even before they have recieved Christ? Yes, to bring us into alignment with the Kingdom righteousness.