"But seek first the kingdom of God." Matthew 6:33
A verse I have known since childhood. But something that only challenges me more at time goes on. No, it is much more than a challenge. It is extremely hard. A battlefield. My every waking moment seems to be spent on relentless pursuit of my kingdom. My "righteousness".
I am not mine. I have no claim on anything good that I possess. Every fiber of my being belongs to the King of a better kingdom. My only righteousness is that of Christ. He has covered my filthy rags with his spotless, seamless garment of radiant purity. The King cannot turn me away, for "my life is hid with Christ on high".
Why then does this earthly life only seem to get harder? Why am I so unable to further the Kingdom I love, the Kingdom where my heart rests? The more He grows me, the more I see how much farther I have to go. How frequently I fail. How much sin still must be wrestled with and defeated. How much I still cling to my kingdom and the fleeting pleasures of this world. This grip must be broken.
This world is not my home. I am a stranger and a pilgrim in this barren land. "I am weak, but Thou art mighty. Hold me with Thy powerful hand." This must be the cry of my heart. I know I have nothing to offer the kingdom but feeble hands. Can he use the weak and wounded? The frailty of being in the flesh weighs me down, calls me to take the easy road again. I must say no to its pleas. I must "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14).
Yes. He is able.
For His kingdom to be established in me, mine must be destroyed. And this battle will not end or become easier while I yet live on this earth. The more ground I gain, the more opposition I will face. This is why it is so hard. But also why it is so good.
By grace alone, the King of Glory who rescued me will indeed make me into His likeness and bring my salvation to completion. He will not break this bruised reed but will bring glory to His name through me!
Until that day...
His Kingdom must be the cause my heart beats for.
Let it come in my heart and in this world.
And may He use me as He sees fit.
"For here we have no lasting city. But we seek the city that is to come." Hebrews 13:14