|Posted on January 8, 2013 at 7:50 AM|
Yesterday morning I had an encounter with Jesus as I was praying in the Sanctuary. As I was praying for the congregation I found myself lamenting about what seems to be an inability of the congregation to engage in intentional evangelism. This led to a number of things regarding Church growth and outreach. As I lamented, the Lord drew near and spoke. The Lord said, "Seek first the Kingdom." I countered with, "but Lord that is about finances, and worrying about what we are going to eat, drink and wear." To which Jesus said, "that text applies to everything." I was stunned as the implications and applications began to hit home. We all know this, it is not about doing the stuff (like Martha) it is about being with the King (like Mary) as He does the stuff through us. Seek first the Kingdom is about seeking the presence and reign of Jesus Christ who is the KIng of this Kingdom. It has become abundantly clear that when worship focuses on exalting and lifting up Jesus, Jesus will enthrone Himself upon the praises of His people and if there are those who are worshipping for the first time they will see and hear the risen Christ. As we spend more intimate time with Jesus, worshiping Him and exalting Him, He will become present in our daily lives and others will notice. Jesus said in John 12 that when He is lifted up He will draw all people to Him. So when we grow in intimacy with Jesus, which is a form of lifting Him up we will only want to do what He wants done. When we seek Him and love Him and lift Him up, we will be willing to tell others about Him.Another thing that came to mind, was instead of always harping on Church finances and givings and tithing - teach the people to love Jesus the King, and the financial things will look after themselves. The problem is that we have substituted intimacy with ministry and management. Seek the King and His Kingdom, grow in intimacy with the King and these other things will be taken care of.
I reflected on this concept throughout the day and when I saw how the Lord had used this principle of Seeking the Kingdom, I was able to recall a number of times of how the Lord used me to share Him with others. Seeking the Kingdom is about seeking the intimacy and Lordship of Jesus Christ the King. When we stick close, we will demonstrate what Jesus did in His own ministry. Jesus was so close to the Father that in John 5:19 it says that everything Jesus did He did because He saw the Father doing it. If this is true for me as an individual, it can certainly be true for the congregation as well. The challenge now is to develop a corporate sense of seeking the King and His Kingdom.
When the Lord said "Seek first the Kingdom" in response to my laments, I felt liberated from a load of expectations that are not necessary. Be encouraged today, Seek first the Kingdom and all the things you are waiting for, they will be taken care of.