On Earth, as it is in Heaven

Week Thirty-Seven Q&A:  How does the Holy Spirit help us?  The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, and He enables us to pray and to understand God’s Word.

A fanatic is a person who, having lost sight of his goal, redoubles his efforts to get there. It’s kind of like a golfer without a green, a basketball player without a hoop, or a runner with no finish line.   He’s just running around getting nowhere. 

For Christians to make progress in their sanctification journey—in learning to please God, we need to have a clear idea of our goal.  And even though the Bible makes that goal clear, many of us have never given any thought to what it is, or how we can achieve it.  But Matthew’s Gospel lays out our goal clearly and emphatically:  “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33

In order to “seek” something, effort is required. It involves a diligent search.  Remember the woman in Luke 15 who lost her coin and swept every crack and corner of her house to find it?  Seeking is not passive.  It involves work—persistent work.   We need to understand that we’re not called to just sit back and wait for God to drop what we’re supposed to be seeking into our laps. 

Looking more closely at our goal, notice that Jesus said that we‘re to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness “first.” In his book entitled, Pleasing God, R.C. Sproul explains that, in this verse, the word “first” doesn’t just mean “first” as in a series of things.  Sproul says that the Greek word protos is used here, and the correct translation of protos is “priority.” So, if that’s true, a better translation of Matthew 6:33 would be something like “Make your first priority or ‘above all else’ seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  

Okay, so we’ve established that after we’re justified, above all else, we are to seek (work persistently at) the kingdom. Seek righteousness, because Jesus made it clear that those are the priorities of the Christian life.  But let’s get practical here, what does “seeking the kingdom” mean on a day-to-day basis?  I’m going to call on R.C. here again.  Dr. Sproul says: “To seek God’s kingdom is to fulfill the crucial petition expressed in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10).  And to obey His final command:  ‘You shall be witnesses to Me’ (Acts1:8).”   If we put those two commands together, our objective (our goal) is to seek the kingdom by bearing witness to the kingdom. 

Our sanctification journey then is the process through which each of us, in gratitude, seeks to show the world what the kingdom of God looks like.  We do that by being obedient servants of the King, just like Jesus was. We work at freeing ourselves from our old sinful nature (and its resulting behavior), and seek to replace it with our new nature that desires to live each day here on earth as it is [will be] in Heaven.

 So asking, What Would Jesus Do? then doing it, is one of the most practical steps we can take as we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, work to achieve our sanctification goal, and moment by moment, each and every day,  “seek the kingdom of God.”     

Written By Jim De Horn