December 7, 2018
The Deep Relief That Comes From Seeking Him First
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Two weeks ago, I accidentally stepped on a wooden toothpick that was lying on my bathroom floor. (Don’t ask me what a wooden toothpick was doing there in the first place.) Oh my goodness, did that ever hurt! I knelt down to find the toothpick…missing the wooden tip. Yes, I now had a chunk of a toothpick lodged in the side of my foot. I spent hours trying to squeeze, tweeze, poke, pluck the splinter out. It nagged and hurt and throbbed. This little piece of wood was a no more than a centimeter, but I thought about it so much! It affected so much of my day-to-day: what shoes I wore, the activities I could do, what occupied my thoughts and my time. I kept thinking, “It is amazing that something so minuscule could affect your life so much!”
A splinter is a small thing, but when it’s lodged in your skin, everything gets off-kilter and uncomfortable. A small thing with big ramifications.
As the week went on I found myself reflecting on spiritual applications of this weird and unfortunate event (among other activities, like swabbing my foot with honey, baking soda, salt, banana peels…you get desperate!). One thing that came to mind as I thought about it was how a sinful habit or ungodly thought pattern can seem small but can affect your life in incredibly significant ways.
As our verse says, Jesus calls us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and He tells us that our needs will be provided for. This calling to “seek Him” isn’t an option. If we’ve signed on to follow Jesus, we are to go after Him and the way He wants us to live before anything else.
There are so many “little” ways I get this wrong. Caring more about checking my iPhone than checking in with prayer. Going to friends for advice instead of going to Scripture. These are “little” choices, but if they fester and remain, we will feel the effects. Our bodies and hearts were not meant to work this way. We were made to worship and seek Him first.
Is something off-kilter, not-quite right in your heart? Is there a habit you need His help to remove? Are you seeking the Lord first and trusting Him to provide? Maybe like me, you’ve come out of a season where you haven’t been faithfully reading the Bible. Do you feel it, how life feels awkward and not-quite-right?
God is so gracious, and a week after I stepped on that toothpick, He answered my prayers. I woke up one morning and the splinter popped right out! I nearly cried in relief!
Our God is so good. Sometimes those aches and pains are reminders that something needs to go, to change. We will never reach perfection this side of heaven, but in His grace, He heals those tender and sore places and helps us to serve Him with a willing heart.
God, please be gracious to us. We want to serve You, but we need Your help. Fill us with Your Spirit, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus,
Now It’s Your Turn
I don’t know, sweet friend, what feels “off” in your life, what tender and sore places need His healing. As you read Jesus’ words to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV), what does that look like to you today? May we all renew our minds in His word, and come to Him in prayer — before anything else.
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Jessica Smartt is an author/speaker, a wife, and a homeschooling mom of three kids living in beautiful North Carolina. Jessica is offering GiG followers her e-book, How To Introduce A Child To Jesus, for FREE. Grab your copy here!
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Originally published Friday, 07 December 2018.