Jesus comes among these people and proclaims a totally different, but worthwhile goal. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Instead of being inward and self-seeking, Jesus is pointing to the necessity of putting first what belonged to God (His kingdom), and His character (righteousness). God’s kingdom by definition, requires that we seek to be under His rule and authority. Those who conscientiously pursue God’s control in their lives find that God will aid them in their pursuit. “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We find God’s help as we first seek Him.
Seeking God’s righteousness is an acknowledgement that I have none of my own. To begin with, we are not saved (justified or made perfect before God) by our own works, even if we think they are right (See Romans 3:10; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9). Seeking God’s righteousness is finding my complete satisfaction in what God has done for me in Christ, who has become my righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). If in any degree I seek a satisfaction in anything or anyone apart from Christ, then I am NOT seeking “first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”! This does not mean that the persons and things God places in our lives are not intended to fulfill His will and pleasure, but it does mean they are not first.
What is your first pursuit?