Seek First the Kingdom

by Creflo Dollar | 10 Feb 2020

Summary

From a young age, the world drills into us the message “work hard and make a living.” Most people have unquestioningly accepted that mindset, but it reinforces self-reliance instead of reliance on God. When we struggle with the double-edged sword of trying to live up to the world’s standards or face condemnation, we miss out on God’s promises to us. His plan for us includes prosperity and abundance when we trust Him and seek Him first. True success only comes from God’s favor, which is not something we can buy. Everything He has given us through His grace can only be manifested by faith. Prosperity should never be our goal; our goal should always be to seek God.

  1. What we focus on can either bring good or evil.
    1. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22, 23).
      1. It is important to have the right attitude about finances before focusing on God’s plan to bring money to us. The issue is about trust, not money.
    2. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him (Proverbs 28:22).
      1. The “evil eye” Jesus referred to in Matthew 6:23 belongs to the person who has made seeking riches more important than seeking God. It happens when our focus is divided between the things of God and getting rich.
      2. We give strength to whatever we focus on. If we focus on our weaknesses, we give strength to them.
    3. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5).
      1. We cannot stop birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from building a nest in our hair. In other words, we have the authority to cast out the thoughts that do not conform to God’s will, and actively focus on those that do.
      2. The apostle Paul had the right focus. This one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Philippians 3:13).
    4. We must have a single focus on God as the source of everything good in our lives.
      1. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father which is above (James 1:17).
      2. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
      3. When we make God our source things begin happening for which we cannot take credit. With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27).
    5. We must beware of a divided heart.
      1. When we seek God first, prosperity comes as a byproduct.
      2. If we say we trust God but we think we are our own source, we are dividing our focus. A house divided against itself will not stand (Mark 3:25).
  1. God’s priorities and the world’s priorities are different.
    1. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
      1. We need to get our priorities straight; God first, followed by everything else. When we do this, everything else we want will show up in our lives.
      2. When we seek Him, the things we want and need in life will seek us. Grace found David when the time came to anoint a king (1 Samuel 16:10-13), and grace found the woman at the well (John 4:4-29).
      3. We do not need to be flawless for God to use us; Moses, David, and Paul were all murderers. We must not delay God’s call because of our past.
      4. When we are under grace, we will not want to keep sinning like we did in the past. Grace will teach us to live holy, righteous lives (Titus 2:12).
    2. We must change the way we think about money and prosperity.
      1. If we say we trust God, proof of our faith comes through our actions. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17, 26).
      2. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). When you love something, you trust it. When you trust in money, then it becomes the root of all evil. The root to all sin and evil is not trusting God.
    3. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but is heart is not with thee (Proverbs 23:7).
      1. What we think determines our hearts. Our beliefs influence what we say and do.
      2. All of us think about money, but some people need to allow their minds to be changed in this area. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
      3. We must think soberly by lining up our minds with the Word of God (Romans 12:3). By comparison, intoxicated thinking is when our thoughts are out of alignment with the Word.
    4. We make a mistake when we think that we should not labor; it is good to work. However, the real reason that we work is to have what is needed to help others. Our focus should be on others, not ourselves.
      1. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
      2. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth (Ephesians 4:28).
    1. Trust in God activates His promises.
      1. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38).
        1. God’s kind of prosperity comes when we shift our focus from getting and maintaining “stuff” to living so we can give. The highest form of giving is to help share the Gospel.
        2. Joseph was a good example of someone who trusted God. He gave to Potiphar, to the jailer, and to the Pharaoh. Because Joseph was a blessing to others, God took care of him and blessed him accordingly.
      2. Prosperity is not about material possessions. It is about how much flows through us to bless others.
        1. There will always be plenty left over. God blessed Abram (Genesis 12:3) so that Abram could be a blessing.
        2. A blessing is the instrument of God’s favor, to allow Him to flow favor into someone else’s life. The issue is whether we will let Him use us this way.
        3. After Abram won the battle of the kings, he declared his trust in God as his source by refusing to accept any spoils of battle for himself (Genesis 14:22-24).
        4. Because of Abram’s trust, God blessed Abram and told him He was his shield and exceeding great reward. He also promised Abram what he wanted most—a son (Genesis 15:1-4).
      3. God evaluates prosperity by how much of a blessing we are to others. Prosperity is a measure of His presence in our lives.
        1. Although Joseph was a slave, God was with him.
      4. And God is able to make all grace, every favor and earthly blessing, come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient, possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation (2 Corinthians 9:8, AMPC).
        1. This specifically refers to money. God can make over-the-top blessings come to us.
      5. Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine (Proverbs 3:9, 10).
        1. Giving of our first fruits honors God and gives Him priority. He is more valuable than our substance. He promises we will see an increase when we do this.
        2. We should not let our relationship with money get in the way of our relationship with Him.
        3. When we trust God to take care of a situation and nothing happens at first, there is always tomorrow. God’s grace is greater than anything we are going through, and the trouble we see today has an expiration date. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

For more on trusting and seeking God and how to put this concept into practice, click on the link below for the DVD Seven Steps to Trusting God.

http://bit.ly/SevenStepstoTrustingGodDVD

Scripture References

Matthew 6:22, 23, 33

Proverbs 28:22

2 Corinthians 10:4, 5

Philippians 3:13

James 1:17

John 10:10

Matthew 19:26

Mark 10:27

Mark 3:25

1 Samuel 16:10-13

John 4:4-29

Titus 2:12

James 2:17, 26

1 Timothy 6:10

Proverbs 23:7

Romans 12:2, 3

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Ephesians 4:28

Luke 6:38

Genesis 12:3

Genesis 14:22-14

Genesis 15:1-4

2 Corinthians 9:8, AMPC

Proverbs 3:9, 10

Psalm 30:5