“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33 NLT)
1. You won’t get very far in following Jesus if you don’t have some idea of what “the Kingdom of God” means, because Jesus talks about it constantly, and commands you to seek it.
2. Most Christian spirituality has practically pursued this as meaning, “Go to the church and all you need to know of the Kingdom is there.” That’s a very inadequate answer, and you don’t have to be an exceptionally deep Christian to know that.
3. The church should be pointing at the Kingdom all the time, both inside and outside of its own boundaries.
4. The church should be actively helping you to seek the Kingdom of God. For starters, the church should know that it isn’t the Kingdom and should be able to keep you from making that mistake.
5. The church should be teaching what the Kingdom is; mentoring you so that you will increasingly recognize it and understand how you participate in the Kingdom of God in various ways.
6. Wherever possible, the church should be facilitating and encouraging the Kingdom of God, primarily by proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom and inviting people to enter the Kingdom of God now, by faith in Jesus the Messiah.
7. The Kingdom is a present dimension of the world we live in, a world where God is actively present and at work, but it is also a coming reality, not here in fullness. Seeing the Kingdom in its present form and not insisting that it take its final form ahead of schedule is a critical balance for the follower of Jesus.
8. One of Jesus’ most important teachings about the Kingdom is its presence in the last, least, lost, little and obscure. This signals a huge change of perspective for the Christian living in post-evangelical times. We must be sensitive to the presence of the Kingdom in places that our movement treats as unimportant, even “God forsaken.”
9. We are commanded to actively seek the Kingdom, not just wonder where it might be and talk about possibilities. We are to look for it like a person looks for a lost valuable or a hidden treasure. Wherever Christians are, they are not commanded to wait until the Kingdom comes to them or they are suddenly transformed to the place of seeing the Kingdom. It is in seeking it, in the world as well as in the community of believers, that the Kingdom is discovered.
10. God’s provisions are promised in the context of seeking the Kingdom, not in seeking provisions or comfort. We can take care of ourselves, or we can seek the reign of a redeeming, rescuing, recreating God in the world, and he will take care of us along the way. Would you rather have much without his provision or what he blesses and gives you in the course of seeking the Kingdom?
11. Scripture is full of people seeking God’s Kingdom. Study them! Learn from what they learned. God taught them in the midst of the adventure.
12. Do not expect to take up this quest and return the same person. Seeking the Kingdom is a taking up and a casting off; a journey of trust and a facing of fear. But it how God describes life! Not accumulating or being culturally acceptable, but on the way to seeing the Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.