Day 37 “Thy Kingdom, Not My Kingdom”

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  -Matthew  6:33

Yesterday, we explored the topic of persistent prayer, and how this world needs more persistent prayer warriors.  This thing called prayer can be the most effective tool that we have in our spiritual arsenal.  Disciplined prayer warriors can change the world, and I believe we at a place in history that requires more prayer for our world than ever before!

As we ponder this idea of prayer, we inevitably search our thoughts and our hearts for the Seek First the Kingdommost important things to pray for.  Our families are brought to mind.  Our personal concerns and our stressors are also brought to the forefront.  When we pray these things are important and good to pray for.  We also should remember that we are Kingdom people, and as Kingdom people, our priority to Christ and His Kingdom should also be high on that list.  When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray the spirit of humility and servanthood were spoke:  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…”

How can we make God’s Kingdom a priority today?
How can we emphasize God’s will not our will be done today?
Is there a rebellious spirit within us that struggles with these components of submission to God today?  It is not easy to humble ourselves in this way.  We might fight against submitting our will to God’s will, but knowing He cares and loves us and desire to light our path ought to bring comfort and peace even if we struggle with trusting Him.

Seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness is never easy, but does bring us peace when we shift the focus from “me first” to God first.  There is a lightening of the burden when we allow God to carry it for us.  We don’t have to go it alone.  We have One who stands ready to help and to love us.  He comes to our level and desires fellowship and provides assurance and hope.  Thus, when we pray today…seek His kingdom before we seek ours.  As we talked about yesterday, be persistent in these conversations…and start off with accepting His kingdom first and seek after it with your life, heart, soul, mind.

Prayer:  Lord I long to live for your kingdom alone.  Help me in this discipline of pray and submission to you.  You know that this is not easy for me.  I struggle with taking control and selfishness.  I want to seek after you and your righteousness today.  I will not worry about tomorrow, but I will seek your kingdom in my life today.  Grant me your strength for what ever comes my way today.  Walk with me and help me when I become distracted and frustrated.  I pray for those that I will come into contact with today, allow me to show compassion, grace and love to all those I meet.  Lord, your will be done in my life today.  -Amen.

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A Kingdom Priority

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

I wonder sometimes how often we make seeking God’s kingdom a priority in life.  Do we make it a priority some of the time but not all of the time?  Or, do we simply wait until it comes to us like on Sundays?

How important is God’s Kingdom to us after all?
I don’t mean “Heaven” in the clouds, I mean here on earth.
Jesus even said, in reference to Himself as well as God’s presence, “…the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21)  This means that God’s kingdom isn’t so much about a place far, far away, but rather a presence within and near us every moment of every day.
Jesus
There’s a very interesting portion in the New Testament when Jesus does something rather peculiar.  This is after His death and resurrection.  He appears again before His disciples and breathes on them.  Now, picture this for a moment with me.  God’s Son who was present at the beginning of creation.  Who was there when human life first began.  Who may have been the very one to breathe life into creation, now does it again.  It’s recorded in this sort of obscure verse we sometimes neglect – John 20:22 “And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Think about that for a second.  A former dead guy, now gloriously resurrected (but not fully in human form anymore) breathes onto His disciples.  The One who was there at the very beginning giving and breathing life into Creation is now breathing new life into His disciples…and then He says “Receive the Holy Spirit“.

brethIt seems to me that the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t some far off place, but a place that has been closer than we could ever imagine.  If we are to actively seek God’s kingdom here on earth and bring His Kingdom to others still lost in the world, then we have to make His Kingdom a priority in our lives EVERYDAY!

Seek first His Kingdom – and all these things will be added to our lives.
Jesus is still breathing life into His Church.
He wants us to be His and His alone.
We are called to bring His Kingdom to those without hope.
We are called to be His very hands and feet, His ambassadors into foreign sometimes hostile places.

Is His Kingdom a priority in your life today?
What can we do to make it a #1 priority in all that we do?

Build Your Kingdom Here

Prayer: 

Dear Lord, breathe new life into these lungs today.
Help us when we have neglected Your kingdom.
Guide us when we have lost our way.  Restore us today, O Lord.
Fill us with Your Holy Spirit again.  May we be Your people, Holy and true.
Remind us of what is most important in our busy lives.  May we earnestly seek you in all seasons of life.   -Amen.

Something more to ponder today – To God be the glory!

Whose ‘Will’ is it?

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“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:10)

 

It’s from the ‘Lord’s prayer’.  You’ve probably recited it any number of times, but have you really thought about what you’re actually saying?

When we say to God, “Father you are holy” we acknowledge two things, the first is that He is our heavenly Father and that secondly He is holy.  Kinda obvious isn’t?  But when we get to the next line of the ‘Lord’s prayer’, what we begin to realize is that our prayer to God isn’t about what we can get from Him, but rather what we can give Him.

A few verses back Jesus even tells His disciples not to pray like the hypocrites who love to hear their own voices and want others to hear them as well.  Our prayers can be corporate but they should also be private conversations with God throughout our day.

Back to His Kingdom:

What we mean when we say “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is this: God you are God of my life and I want to be a part of Your kingdom.  We are also saying that God’s Will is more important than that of our human will.  Essentially what we are saying is ‘God I trust you and I surrender to you!’…but do we really?   I don’t know about you but letting go of the control that I have on my life isn’t something that I’m good at.  It’s a powerless feeling to let go, and yet when we pray this prayer or something similar to it,  we are implying exactly that.  If we don’t mean what we say then why are we saying it in the first place?

I liken it to parenting.  I’m a father of four children.  They mean the world to me and I am proud of each of them for who they are.  As their father I want what is best for them.  I want to see them succeed in every area of life.  In school, I want to see them get good grades and flourish.  In social settings, I want my kids to have healthy friendships and strong bonds and connections with others.  As future adults I want them to be wise with their resources and smart with their money.  I want to see my children succeed and so I guide them and provide them the wisdom that I have learned since I’ve been on this earth longer than they have.  In the same way isn’t that what our Father in Heaven wants from us?  He wants us to love Him first, but next there is that deep longing for us to succeed in this life!  He wants to guide us, He wants to provide for us and show us how to live better lives.  The key is that we have to listen.  We have to subjugate ourselves, or submit ourselves to His kingdom and His will.   When we view this submission not as negative thing or that we are losing our freedom, but rather we are gaining our freedom then it becomes clearer as to how important it is to submit to the will of God.

We don’t pray this line to mean, God wipe out all of my enemies and crush them with your kingdom.  We aren’t turning prayer into another selfish edict of our wills…but rather we are first saying, “Lord it has to begin with me…right here, right now…teach me, I am submitting to your will not mine anymore.”  When we can say this and actually mean it there is freedom.  When we find ourselves willfully submitting to His will great things can and will take place.  The world might become fiercer because of it, you might face stronger opposition in your life but you now are fully engaged in the workings of God and not your workings any longer.  Our Father in Heaven wants us to trust Him, and He wants us to allow His wisdom and will to guide our lives.  He wants us to succeed because He cares and loves us.

This isn’t some magic phrase that we say to make things work better in our lives.  This isn’t some mantra that we utter habitually and thereby willing our essence to perform amazing tasks either.  No, what we mean when we say these lines to our Father is “Here I am at your feet ready to submit all that I am to your kingdom and your will.”

What does that mean to you today? 

Have you submitted yourself, your will, your desires, you hopes and dream to Him?

It won’t be easy, but if you let Him reside in you and allow His kingdom and will to replace yours, you will be amazed that you didn’t allow Him to do so earlier.   Make it your private prayer today to say “Lord, your kingdom come (in my life) your will be done (in my life) on earth as it is in heaven.

-Blessings on your day today!

Prayer:

Lord I confess to you many times I have not allowed you access to my entire life.  I have held back and tried to force my will not your will to be done.  Forgive me and show me today how I should submit myself to you.  I know that you want what is best in my life.  I know that you want me to succeed.  Help me to follow you, help me to trust you with everything in my life.  I want to turn it over to you today.  This I pray in Your name, may your will be done and your kingdom come in and through my life.  –Amen. 

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