04 Jan What Is Your “Why” For The Kingdom Of God In 2018?
As the new year on the Gregorian (Roman) calendar begins, believers are setting goals for business, health, and all personal aspects of their lives. For most, it is a time to rededicate themselves to the aspirations and dreams they have for their own lives. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, I would like to humbly, yet boldly ask you an imperative question … What is your “why” for the Kingdom of God in 2018? This is to say, what is your number one priority in 2018? Is it finances, health, power, status, or any other worldly thing? Or … Is it ultimately for the Kingdom of God?
Now, with this profound question in mind, let us review what the Word of God, the Holy Bible, warns and proclaims to us about how our priorities should be aligned with God’s will and purpose. In doing so, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, will guide us through the new year in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, and ultimately, blessings and favor.
In 1 Kings 3, as Solomon commenced his role as king of Israel, the Lord God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” (v. 5)
And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You (obedience); You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.” (v.v.6-9).
When the Lord God asked Solomon what He should give him, Solomon replied with a humble, servant’s heart, requesting discernment and wisdom, not wealth, health, prosperity, or any other worldly thing. How did the Lord God respond to Solomon’s pure righteous request?
“The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have NOT asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So IF you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” (v.v.10-14)
In this amazing revelation from the Lord God, He blessed Solomon more than any other, because Solomon’s petition to Him was pure, holy, and righteous, and not a prayer for worldly things that will surely pass away (1 John 2:17). The Almighty not only blessed Solomon with great wisdom and discernment, but also the things he did not ask for: riches, honor, glory, power, and status throughout the land. Nevertheless, at the end of the Lord’s gracious blessing, He gave Solomon a contingency to these incredible blessings: “IF you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” This substantiates the fact that the Lord God is first and foremost concerned about our obedience to his laws and commandments, and then all other things will be added to us according to His sovereign purpose and will.
Messiah also provides us with great wisdom about how our priorities should align with the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Most certainly, our goals, aspirations, and desires of this life should FIRST consist of the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, and THEN, all of the worldly necessities that we need to survive in this world will be added to us, according to His will.
Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“
As we journey into the new year on the Gregorian calendar, let us review a great example of how to obtain favor that correlates to what we have discussed above. The prophet Jeremiah provides us with a great understanding of what all of us desire … FAVOR from the Lord God.
In Jeremiah 39, as Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his armies, viciously attacked Jerusalem and the children of Israel because of their transgressions and abominations against the Lord God of Israel (Jer. 1:14-16), God’s prophet and servant, Jeremiah, found favor with the Almighty, because of His faithful obedience and also because of his priorities were aligned with the Almighty. As Nebuchadnezzar’s armies destroyed Jerusalem, they killed many of the children of Israel who were disobedient, including king Zedekiah’s sons in front of Zedekiah. Afterwards, Nebuchadnezzar commanded Zedekiah’s eyes to be “plucked out,” and He was taken into captivity to Babylon with a remnant of the people. However, in contrast, the pagan, evil king pronounce this declaration about God’s faithful prophet and servant, Jeremiah!
Jeremiah 39:11-12, “Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, “Take him and look after him, and do him no harm; but do to him just as he says to you.”
Wow! This is one of the most incredible and favorable declarations in the Holy Bible that proves God’s sovereignty, righteousness, and divine authority over all of mankind, including evil kings like Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:20-22). Because Jeremiah was faithful, obedient, trustful, and had his priorities aligned with the Kingdom of God, the weeping prophet had great favor with Nebuchadnezzar. Think about this: Nebuchadnezzar was an evil king who God used to judge the children of Israel for their worldly ways and misaligned priorities (Jer. 25:8-11), but the Lord God influenced Nebuchadnezzar, who obviously did not know Jeremiah, NOT to destroy, take into captivity, or cause harm to His faithful servant and prophet (Jer. 1:1-10)! Can you imagine this awesome scene? What favor!
Therefore, let us revisit our “why” for the kingdom of God in 2018 …
- Are we going to petition what Solomon wisely asked the Lord God of Israel?
- Are we going to live out the example the prophet Jeremiah so boldly did to obtain favor with the Lord God?
- Will our priorities and goals align with Messiah’s almighty words in the Gospels?
- Have we only set goals for our personal aspirations and goals for this world … for our kingdom on this earth? Or … Have we prioritized our goals with the Kingdom of God as the utmost priority and responsibility that we have been called upon this earth?
- Are we going to be God’s fishermen (Matt. 4:19) and laborers (Matt. 9:38, 20, 1 Cor. 3:9) in the field for the Kingdom of God, or for our kingdom on this earth?
Beloved, I pray that you will join me in prayer for God’s remnant to stand firm on God’s laws and commandments and not fall into the deception of worldly goals, aspirations, and treasures that will surely pass away (1 John 2:17). Please do not take this out of context, as their is nothing wrong with being successful in any occupation one may have, as it can be used greatly for the Kingdom of God! The ultimate point is that we should search the Kingdom of God first and foremost, and then all of these things will be added to us just like the Lord God spoke to Solomon.
May the Lord God of Israel bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift us His countenance upon you, and give you peace (shalom)! (Numbers 6:24-26). In the name of Jesus the Messiah, Be shem Yeshua Hamashiach, Amen, Amen, and Amen!
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