“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”, Mat 6:33 

There is great confusion within and around Christian communities because of this verse. Not that it is this verse of Scripture’s fault, but Christians’ fault. Christ means what it says or what it is able to state only, even if people do not absorb what it attempts to bring to them so they may find a way to understand something else from it, something it does not say.

People desire things very badly. Many come to follow Christ so that they may have a way of achieving those things. They care not about the shame of being called Christians as long as they get whatever they are aiming at eventually – even when their aim is heaven because they are very unhappy people on this earth. And they call it faith and trust and abnegation of some kind. They acknowledge only as far as claiming God has a duty to make them happy or fulfilled people. In other words, they serve themselves of Christ, who is a great King, to get to these goals they may have settled in their minds during a life of day-dreaming or planning. Christ becomes the means to them and not the goal, even if He is the way.

There is no greater happiness than to be in Christ, there is not indeed. But we are not after happiness, but after Christ. Were Christ in a very poor, unhappy place, we would go there to be with Him, rather. The question any Christian should ask is, “If Christ was not in heaven, what would I be doing there or why would I want to go there for?” That’s the whole truth about this Kingdom Christ is proclaiming. People usually pray before work so that work will be blessed. They pray for their marriage because the aim is a blessed and happy marriage. And that's not wrong unless motives are wrong. Were we truly honest, we would most easily perceive the aim is to serve ourselves with or of Someone who has the power to bless whatever we do or have. The end-goal is not Him, but those things which may perish and vanish soon. We want to keep those things for eternity and use Christ as the means to that end. Not that it will work out, or that we acknowledge it to be so, but it is the overall truth about facts. Unless people change their motives and theirs hearts to love above loving themselves, they will never see the real splendour heaven has.

Paul said “That I may know him”, Phi 3:10 (and many people praise him for that since they admire such an attitude because they themselves have it as unthinkable for them; admirers are usually hypocrites). We should live in such a way that we should always bear in mind all things serve Him. I mean that work is instrumental, marriage and blessing should be instrumental so we may come to know Him more and better the way He is, the way He works, the way He blesses and the reasons for it happening as it happens, so as to be made to stand it to live closer to Him the way He lives and how to learn to do so, and that alone. When we pray that God be with us at work (if He really hears that prayer and comes to work with us), or when we do not know how to carry out things the best way or are afraid to be presumptuous and unhealthy when we know and therefore consult God before anything we may do for Him, we must have in mind that those things are able to teach us all the more how to be dealing with Christ on a daily basis. We need to learn to cope and to stand with Him for eternity, knowing that eternity means every second of it and not merely the length of it all. If things are difficult to get to or to sort out and it, therefore, causes us to draw nigh and plead at His feet for whatever will solve or bless things out right there or eventually, it means only we will near Christ to know Him the way He is by pleading and by becoming forced to plead from Him. And Christ is not playing games with any of us at all: if we will not near Him to know Him as He is, we might loose both Him along with the blessing as a whole. Why would one want a blessing without Christ?  Thank God His blessing and reward is with Him, though, Rev.22:12, Is.62:11. Work is instrumental, not Christ. Christ is the goal. We are using work (or whatever else) to get more acquainted with Christ through it and with the ways He deals with us were we to live in His Kingdom, under His rule. That way a King is served.

This is why an overall prayer seldom works out in the long run of life. Prayer is to become constant because eternal life is constant. We live on a daily basis just to come to know and acknowledge Christ, according to the details of an overall Will which we need to know about, and of which we need to sort the way out to be able to do it the way things are done in heaven. Jesus taught us to pray that the will of God be done here on earth the way it is carried out in heaven. And Jesus, when He commissioned His disciples to go into the world preaching the gospel, He told them to teach them the way to become able to keep His commandments. It means there is a certain way we must become acquainted to and, also, there must be a human way to try to do things or Christ would not have prayed that way at all. We read about it being so in Col 2:19, where it says things “… will grow with the growth of God”. There must be another kind of growth God is rejecting, one which “works out according to the elements of this world”, Col.2:20. Amen.

Back to messages-index

José Mateus