A famous verse that most of us can quote from memory but lately I’ve been thinking about it in a different way. If I am not seeking God’s Kingdom whose kingdom am I seeking? The answer to that question is not easy for me to take because the only other rival kingdom is my own. My kingdom is often camouflaged to look like God’s Kingdom but if you strip away the thin veneer it is my kingdom through and through. How do I know? Here are four signs that I may be seeking my own kingdom.
- My kingdom is not a kingdom of peace - but of worry. I find myself anxious about so many things because when I’m in control (which is one definition of seeking my own kingdom) I’m full of fear.
- My kingdom does not satisfy my deepest dreams and desires. When I run hard after what I think I need it vanishes like an ethereal mirage. But when I turn aside to the narrow road – the way less traveled – I find the satisfaction my soul yearns for.
- My kingdom is one of confusion. Wisdom is promised to those who seek God’s kingdom but confusion and uncertainty is the reward for those who seek their own.
- My kingdom is lonely. Jesus said: "…wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Matthew 7:13 NIV Funny thing about the broad road, no matter how many people who are on it with us we always feels alone. But the opposite is true of the narrow road, when we’re walking with Jesus no matter where we are or what our circumstances might be, we’re never alone.
So what do I need to do to ensure I am seeking God Kingdom and not my own? Here are a few questions to ask ourselves.
What legacy does my work leave?
Jesus said that everything he did was for the Father’s glory … can that be said of our work? Or in other words – in 1000 years will the life we are so diligently building for ourselves matter? I have heard it said that there are only three things that are eternal; God, man (for God made us eternal) and God’s Word. If we want to make sure we are seeking God’s Kingdom we need to be committing all we do to those three areas.
Am I trying to meet someone else’s expectations?
We often quit seeking God’s Kingdom because we are caught up in working on other’s kingdoms. When Jesus was 13 years old and was found in the temple at Jerusalem by his parents his astonishing response was, “Didn’t you know that I would be at my Father’s business?” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we too were caught doing God’s business rather than fulfilling the world’s expectations?
Am I doing what I was created to do?
Similar to the last question this question goes to the heart of our purpose. There are a great many things we can do – we can take on many tasks in God’s Kingdom, but what is it we were designed to do? If we can’t answer that question then we may be an underperforming servant in the Kingdom of God. This results in frustration, anger, feelings of worthlessness and sadness. The Apostle Paul said: “This one thing I do” not these hundred things I dabble in. If you are unclear as to your purpose and place in God’s Kingdom then it is imperative that you stop the mad dashing about and let God tell you what he has specifically designed you to do. When he does, and you get to that task, you will find a fulfillment and a sense of rightness in the depths of your soul that is beyond wonderful.