Seek God First

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. – Jesus (Luke 12:31)

There is never any reason for us to worry about the necessities of life. Our concern should never be about them. We should never, ever concern ourselves with the idea that we won’t be provided for; that is, as long as we are putting the kingdom of God as first priority in our lives.

In Luke 12:31 we have a promise from Jesus Christ Himself: if we put God first, He will give us everything we need.

We in America may not understand this scripture the way that the people of Jesus’ day understood it. We live in a society were most of us have no idea what it means to be in real lack of life’s necessities. We think the world is ending because we don’t have the latest iPhone, but in Jesus’ day (and even in certain parts of the world now) there was a real possibility of going without food and water and even clothing. Many times throughout history people have died in droughts and famines, literally starving to death or suffering from disease due to malnutrition. And so it was tempting for many people to put serving God on the back-burner in order to make sure that their family was always being provided for.

Providing for your family is, no doubt, a godly thing to do (1 Tim 5:8), but neglecting God out of fear is just as bad as neglecting your family out of wantonness.

It’s hard for me to ever see anyone in America starving to death, but it could happen. More likely, though, we would be tempted to worry about how we might make the car payment or the house payment. Or more likely, we may be tempted to worry about providing proper housing in a nice neighborhood, or proper schooling, or health insurance. We may be tempted to take the extra hours at work even though we know it will hinder us from serving God because of these reasons.

Despite the reason, there is no reason to worry. If we take the opposite approach and seek God first, He will be sure to meet every one of our needs.

My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ – Phil 4:19

Elijah the prophet first appears in the scriptures in 1 Kings 17. He boldly explodes into the text by declaring to the evil king Ahab that drought will come upon the land because of the wickedness he has led the people into.

Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word! – 1 Kings 17:1

We learn nothing about Elijah, but that he is boldly doing the will of God. So close he was to God that he had the confidence to declare a drought on the land and the audacity to say it would end on his word!

And then, in the next two verses, we see something very interesting. God tells Elijah to go to the Brook Cherith. Why?

Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food. – 1 Kings 17:4

God was going to provide for him during the drought!

This is a living example of exactly what Jesus is teaching us in Luke 12:31. We don’t see Elijah worrying about what he is going to eat or drink during the drought. We only see him doing God’s will, seeking His kingdom. And then, without Elijah even asking, God sets up supernatural provisions for him at the Brook Cherith. Even to the point of ravens bring him bread!

And in a few verses further we see an even more extreme circumstance. A widow lady, with a son, have only enough flour and oil to bake one last loaf of bread during this drought. They planned to eat it and die.

Wow.

Can you imagine being in that circumstance? Literally at your last meal? No grocery store. No garden. No Swann’s man coming to your door. Last meal until you begin to die a slow death of starvation.

This is where this widow woman was. And then comes to her the great prophet Elijah. And what does he do? He asks her to give him some of that final meal first!

The audacity!

Elijah said to her, Dont be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use whats left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. – 1 Kings 17:13

Why does the great prophet ask for bread for himself first? Could he be so egotistical to think that his life was more important than this woman and her little boy that he would deprive them of the first portion of the last bit of bread they possessed?

No, he was only asking her to do what he had just done himself: Seek God first.

Her act of giving bread to the prophet first was a tremendous act of faith in God. No normal person would give up the last bit of bread to a traveling preacher. This woman was a woman of faith. She worshipped the God of Israel and was an extremely special woman. She was not even an Israelite, but God chose her as the source of Elijah’s sustenance. Even Jesus mentions this woman.

Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijahs time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. – Luke 4:25-26

She added works to her faith to make it a living faith by giving that bread. Her faith was made perfect and she received a miraculous answer to her dire situation. (See James 2:17, 22)

this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!
So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah. – 1 Kings 17:14-16

She had every reason to worry, but worry would have done her know good. She decided to seek God first. It was the right decision. Her and her son were provided for many days. She even received her son back from the dead because of her trust in the living God of Israel!

What has God called you to do? Are you doing it? Or are you neglecting God out of a fear of coming up short when the bills are due?

You make a great mistake if you think that providing a comfortable life for you and your family is top priority. “Seek FIRST his kingdom” is what Jesus says. God is to come first. Bring your family with you on this journey. God will provide for you all as you seek His will.