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Seek First The Kingdom
Thursday, March 11, 2021 by Dr. Paul D. Norcross

Today's triumph is often built on yesterday's trial. But how can we speed up the process and overcome these trials faster? Jesus taught the answer. It has to do with the kingdom of God.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

To many believers, the word "kingdom" generically means “things above,” something Godly, or some future place in heaven. But the kingdom of God is more specific than that. The kingdom refers to the presence of God. It is the presence of God which we are to seek first, and His righteousness. It is not a place. It is His presence behind the veil.

  • It is the kingdom presence of God that is within you (Grk: entos = inside of you). Luke 17:20-21. We also know this as Christ in you, the hope of glory. But this is not a “thing.” It is Jesus Himself, and also the Father through the Holy Spirit. We must treat them as the persons they are, and their presence within you not merely as distant Biblical facts.
  • The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:20, Matthew 12:28. 
  • The kingdom of God is not in meat and drink, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17. 

Put simply, the kingdom of God is the presence of the King that is acquired legally when you became born again, but is activated through the relationship you seek and that you keep with Jesus Christ.

It is out of this personal interactive relationship that one-ness arises. This one-ness is the kingdom presence of God within you. It is what Jesus prayed for in the Garden (John 17), and what He was talking about when He said that He was going to prepare a place for you (John 14:1-3).  He was talking about the kingdom “place” of His presence where you can meet with Him at any time.

Notice that righteousness also arises. Romans 14:17-18 declares this exquisite connection between the kingdom presence of God and righteousness:

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. (Romans 14:17-18)

Righteousness

The Scriptures clearly declare that you are the righteousness of God (Romans 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9, 1 Corinthians 1:30). Getting our soul to believe that we are as righteous as God is has been a regular chore for many believers. So let these verses soak in your heart!

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (1 Corinthians 1:30)

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Philippians 3:9)

God made us righteous.  Our performance, or lack thereof, contributes nothing to God making us righteous, only our faith in Jesus Christ to believe what God’s word says!

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Romans 3:22)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:22)

One of satan’s primary attacks is against your sense of right-standing and acceptance before God. Don't quit trying and reminding yourself of your righteousness! And yet there is an easier way. 

The easier way results from seeking (and enjoying) the presence of God. Hebrews 4:1-11 speak of this as resting in Him. In this place of rest in His presence, we find our struggles to "feel" righteous cease. Instead, we experience times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19). 

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11)

So what is the path of all life? What is it that makes us righteous? What is it that we are to seek first?

We seek first His presence, a daily personal fellowship, that "better thing" that Mary found, that daily manna of hearing and communing with Jesus Christ for which will be invited to sit with Him on His throne - all this is why we seek first the kingdom presence of God. It is the path of life. The Holy Spirit stands ready to guide you into this place, with the person of the all truth, Jesus Christ.

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