God has put something on my heart for the past couple of weeks, so I wanted to share it with all of you guys. A verse from Matthew 6:33 has been marinating in my spirit, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” As I was reading in 1 Kings 6 and 7 this scripture took on a deeper meaning.
Have you ever been in a season where you have done everything in your power to make something happen and you feel like you are at the end of your strength? Maybe you are having health issues and you have changed your diet and lifestyle, but you still don’t feel good. Maybe you have a situation at work where you have showed up first, left last, and spent countless hours pouring into this project that is still giving you fits. Maybe you have a child, or a family member that you have been trying to help, but things just don’t seem to be getting better.
We pour our hearts and souls into so many things just like these everyday. When we work and struggle and our situations don’t seem to change it leads us feeling hopeless and burdened.
In 1 Kings 6 Solomon has a mounting task set before him. He has been called by God to build the house of the Lord. The writer of Kings describes the splendor of house and the intense amount of work done to make this dream a reality. The house is described as having cedar from floor to ceiling (1 Kings 6:15), being overlaid in pure gold (1 Kings 6:21), and having intricate carvings of flowers, angels, and palm trees (1 Kings 6:32).
As Solomon was beginning this great endeavor the Lord spoke to him saying, “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel” (NIV, 1 Kings 6:11-13). Solomon accepts the word of the Lord and continues to labor in his work of building the temple.
The chapter ends with Solomon completing this great task, a task he labored on for seven years (1 Kings 6:38). After he finishes the work that God gave him, he then goes on to build a palace for himself in 1 Kings 7. When I read this, it struck me that Solomon lived without a house of his own for seven years as he sought first the kingdom of God. He put his relationship with God before personal comfort, or gain.
Now obviously, seeking first the kingdom of God will look different for us today. I challenge you to ask yourself though, am I putting my work before God, or am I putting God before my work? Do you wake up and check those work emails, neglecting to have a quiet time? Ask yourself, am I putting my health before God, or am I putting God before my health? Are you working out, cooking, or obsessing over your health crisis before you spend time with God in the morning? Ask yourself, am I putting my family before God, or am I putting God before my family? When you first wake up do you carve out time to be with Jesus, or do you rush right into the daily tasks of caring for children, your spouse, or your significant other?
You see, when we labor on our house before God’s house, we miss the divine favor and blessing that comes with obedience. So, if you get anything out of the devotional today remember this. Seek first his kingdom and all these things will be added to you.