Matthew 6:33 is a verse that many are familiar with. It’s a verse that reminds us not to worry for the physical things we need in this life.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
It’s a great verse and a great promise, to be sure! But as I read this recently, I was struck with the blatantly obvious instruction here, and the question surely must follow – have we done it? I mean, do we truly seek first His kingdom and His righteousness? Surely, it’s worth dwelling on that for a bit!
I think it’s so easy to read that verse and consider all the things that will be added unto us – food, drink and clothing (in the context). But, notice carefully that this thinking is not seeking YHWH’s kingdom first – it’s actually our needs that we’re putting first! Wow – what a twisted and sinful way of applying these important words!
I understand that there are times when we need encouragement and reminders that our Father provides all of our needs. Perhaps this will increasingly be so in the Western nations (but remember that we’re only just beginning to experience what many others have already endured before us). These facts, however, do not negate the imperative to seek YHWH’s kingdom and righteousness first.
It is my opinion that the promise of this verse actually goes much further than the direct context. I believe that everything we want will be given to us if we follow the instructions given! Sounds like a prosperity teaching, doesn’t it?! Well, it only sounds like the prosperity doctrine because our thoughts are so easily directed toward ourselves.
The truth is, if our entire being is focused on seeking first the kingdom of our Elohim and the righteous ways that He has set before us, then it will directly impact our very being from the inside out! Clearly, that means our desires will also change and be in line with the will of our Father. This is exactly what we are told in v21 of the same chapter:
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
So my point here is that when we’re seeking Him and His ways first, we are going to be transformed. Our desires are going to become much more in line with YHWH’s, and the things we once wanted and lived for will greatly diminish in value.
I believe that’s what the last half of Matthew 6 is really pointing to, and verse 33 is the climax of these thoughts. We are told not to build up material treasures on earth (v19), that we cannot serve two masters (v24), then directly told to “take no thought for your life” (v25). Yeshua goes on to explain how the Father provides the needs of His creation, showing us that our focus does not need to be on these things.
Of course, we are also clearly told in Scripture to work in order to provide for our needs. Although some would say this contradicts what we’ve been looking at here, we must realise that it can’t – and doesn’t. I believe this passage is talking about our priorities, our attitude and our life focus, which then directs the internal desires of our heart. Whatever we seek first, and wherever our treasure is kept will dictate the direction we take in life.
If we are seeking the kingdom of God (Elohim) then we are, in a practical sense, looking to build up His kingdom. And to build up His kingdom, our eyes need to be on our King and not on ourselves. We live to please our King, to see what He requires of us and perform our tasks diligently. Seeking His righteousness goes hand in hand with these thoughts. A righteous life is one lived according to the instructions we have been given by our Father through His word.
Ultimately, this important verse in Matthew 6:33 is teaching us that when we seek first the kingdom of Elohim and His righteousness, then He promises us that we will receive everything we need to perform the tasks He has for us. In other words, our every need will be met.
The question then remains for you and me – are the rewards that Yeshua promises in this verse something we desire? If so, then we have our clear instructions here, with a life of seeking Him. But, if not, then we may as well quit fooling ourselves, and those around us, with our religious appearance. The times are getting darker … and this life is not a game!