Have you ever desired something right now, but at the same time heard a soft voice telling you to wait, as there is more in store for you if you do wait?
These days, we have such easy access to things! We can get whatever we want very quickly. We want to have things so quickly that often we are willing to pay more to get them faster! In the West especially, our culture is shaped by a “get it now, pay later“ attitude.
Somehow, I think of this “culture“ but often I realise that I do not like to live like this. Because I know that it’s not really healthy and over the long term it damages my expectation of what I really could receive when I wait for it. In this context it can come to a conflict of two sides: the “I want it now” side and the “If I wait, I get what I need and not what I want” side.
There is a huge difference between these statements. Life can take different directions, depending on which statement you choose. You can be limited by getting what you want, or be prosperous when you get what you want.
Having been chronically ill for almost 27 years, I’ve had many opportunities to learn to have a mind-set of “`What I want is not really what I need”!
I`m going to tell you a story, which takes me a lot of courage to share, but I believe heaven will one day reveal everything anyway! 🙂
For many years when I was very young, I had a crush on a particular girl. In my limited mind-set, I thought that she was the girl I wanted. To cut a long story short, it didn`t work out as expected. At the time, I didn’t understand why it didn’t work out, but a few years later I came to realise that we had two completely different callings and purposes! And today for the Kingdom’s sake, I`m glad it didn`t work out!
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (NLT – emphasis my own)
I have read this paragraph many times and if you`re a Bible reader and/or a churchgoer, I`m sure you`ve read/heard this many times. But what does it actually mean to seek first God`s Kingdom?
1. Be Patient
Being patient in a world that is driven by a “get it quick” culture is sometimes very challenging and we often forget to be patient. But our timing is not God`s timing, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts go beyond what we think what we should have at any given moment.
I love what it says in Galatians 6:9: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.“ (NLT – emphasis my own)
In other words, if we stay patient, keeping up the work that God has entrusted us to do, things will happen at just the right time, plus we will get more than we could imagine than if we try and get it early by ourselves.
In the book of Genesis, we read about God calling a man named Abraham to be the “Father of many nations”. It’s not clear how old Abraham was when God spoke to him about the calling, we only know that it started to be outworked when he was in his nineties. In the years between God speaking and the calling being fulfilled, Abraham had the patience and faith to believe that God would do for him what He had promised.
Sometimes we have to wait as long as Abraham did before something that God has spoken to us about actually happens. But I believe, the longer we have to wait, the bigger the impact and the more it goes down in history!
2. Enjoy the Journey
When I was a kid; all I longed for was my 18th birthday. Why? Because this was the day when I could learn to drive a car. Before my 18th birthday, I was sometimes so excited about it, that I didn`t enjoy the vehicles I was already allowed to drive.
The day appeared and I could finally do what I’d been longing for. But, as often happens, when the thing you have been waiting for finally happens, my excitement was over pretty quickly! It wasn’t because driving wasn’t exciting any more, but because I’d already moved on to the next thing I wanted – my own dream car!
Through this and many other experiences, I`ve learnt to enjoy life. No matter in what season I`m in; when the days feel good or bad; or whatever circumstances I have to go through. I believe that the more we can enjoy life in the less fortunate situations, the more we can enjoy life when living in our fortunate days.
Enjoy the journey even when you feel like you’re sinking, nothing happens or when all things are working against you!1 God has the last word and one day, as it says in Romans 8:28: “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” (AMP – emphasis my own)
Whatever happens along our journey, we can enjoy it and we can be assured that God will work things together for good! How good and comforting is it to know this?
3. Stay Excited
Seeking first God`s Kingdom means staying excited about what`s going on right now and about what is coming next! We are all on different journeys and our paths are going in thousands of different directions but with one destination – to be the individual person God has called each of us to be, and to one day be like Him!
In Ecclesiastes 12:1 it says: “Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honour him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” (NLT – emphasis my own)
Don’t let your circumstances overcome your excitement for life; overcome the circumstance with your excitement – day by day! There is nothing better to have excited people in this world; they bring energy, passion, enjoyment, refreshment, creativity and a willing spirit into others’ lives!
I don`t know about you, but no matter what is going on in my life, I want to be a person who seeks God`s Kingdom first – knowing that everything I need will be given to me. I want to endure the journey with patience, joy and excitement each day, as I walk towards His promises!
I hope that you have been encouraged to seek God`s Kingdom first; and inspired to keep on moving forward and eagerly awaiting the better things God has promised you!