Written by: Precious Ohanson
Matthew 6: 33 (KJV)
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Seeking without longing for something more. Is that even possible? If the scripture only told us to “seek first the kingdom” and omitted the later part, are we actually going to still seek? The question I ask myself is: if there were no promises of anything to be added unto me, will I have decided to seek after the kingdom of God in the first place? What is my confidence really in? The kingdom of God or the things I hope to be done for me as a result of choosing to seek Him. Are we more into the first part: “seek ye first,” or the second part: “and every other thing will be added unto you.”
Today, I was deeply inspired by someone who I met after church. This person, whom I will call John, told me about his missionary trips to places where people wouldn’t dare to go. John described how him and a friend carried their bags one day and decided to journey to the country of Congo. With no affiliation with any missionary organization and only having the gospel of Jesus Christ with them, these two brave men left the United States and found themselves on the outskirt of Congo. They went to live amongst a group of people called the Pygmies. The pygmy people are a colony of people who live away from civilization. They are an ethnic group who are known to be unusually short genetically and historically. They are not Dwarfs, they are just a tribe of small humans.
As I think about these people, I ruminate about so many other secluded tribes that exist in the world and wonder if and how they will ever hear about Jesus. Would we ever be a John that would dare to go not just to the civilized parts of the world to make known the gospel of Jesus, but to the seemingly impossible territories where our lives might be in danger. You see, what I didn’t mention was how John’s friend was kidnapped for weeks but through the grace of God escaped the hands of rebellious forces plaguing the nation. The more I spoke to John waiting to hear sounds of regret and fear, the more my expectations were cut short. Why? John was so sold on the gospel. I could see in his eyes that it was something he was prepared to die for. John was seeking first the kingdom of God without any expectation of the later part of the scripture. There wasn’t any hope from him for any thing to be added unto him, he was more focused on the seeking part and was willing to die without ever getting to live out the remaining part.
John reminds me of Paul in the bible. Paul was an exceptional man whose determination to journey from city to city to tell people about Christ impresses us. However, what this impression leaves in our hearts is a feeling of falling short that we may never be able to do that. We may never be able to drop everything and just go from place to place preaching God’s word. We might not be a John or Paul exactly, but we can partner with missionaries by donating to the work and with that we would be part of what God is doing through them in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. The zeal and fire in John are what I pray for. A zeal that consumes me to the point I do not look for something more…I am just content with doing that which God has called me to do through His word.
People like Paul and Abraham were able to start sentences with “for I am convinced” and “being fully persuaded” (Romans 4:21; Romans 8:38) because they were men of convictions. I learned a long time ago that to be a man or woman of conviction is to be able to put your life on the line for the sake of those convictions if need be.
So, how deep is your conviction? What or Whom are you convinced about? Can your conviction waiver or be challenged?
As I sit here the question I ask to myself is: How do I get off the bench and what do I do next?