Thursday, November 3, 2011

Seek Him First

Matthew 6:33 “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
Some of you are aware that my husband and I have made some pretty huge changes in our lives. I will spare you the details, and give you a quick review. Back in April the Lord clearly spoke to me and told me to quit my job and dedicate my days to writing for Him. At first I thought He was kidding- or that I was mistaken. For me to leave my job was a huge financial loss to our family. But God kept telling me the same thing, and in various ways was continuing to confirm it to me. So, Brett and I prayed and we stepped out in faith.
At first, it was easy; things were going as “planned” and life seemed to be moving right along with what God wanted. Then it happened, our finances took a nose dive, and everything that requires maintenance began to break down. My dryer, my washer, my car, Brett’s truck just to name a few of the “little foxes” that were causing us to doubt the choice we had made. The money was going out, but nothing was coming in. I began to pray for guidance and understanding, calling for prayer from all my family in Christ. Every day I was before the Lord God, crying out for His provision, calling to Him for deliverance from the bills that were piling up. I really thought that He was not listening because we had made a mistake and “misunderstood”. I kept hearing, “did God really say?” (Sound familiar? Genesis 3:1)
We prayed, we struggled, and we began to get rid of things that we did not need, trying to cut down on the cost of living for our household. Then the food began to run out, and the money was still not coming. Brett and I figured we had about 10 days of food left and 20 days before we could get to the grocery store- still trusting the Lord to provide for us. Then it came to me one day, as I was crying and begging God for His help and provision. He asked me a question “Did the Israelites, on their journey to the Promised Land ever go without food? Did the souls of their shoes ever wear out?” I replied, “No, you provided.” So I was encouraged to trust and depend- but the inevitable became more and more a reality. Food was slim and bills were not going to get paid.
That same day that the Lord asked me the question, I read Matthew 6. Jesus was telling us to not worry; we are so much more valuable than any other creation that God will not let us go without. But, there needed to be some life changes. First, we needed to walk in obedience and trust God- thought we were, but my constant worry over the dwindling bank account was not trust. Second, we needed to realize and accept the fact that we had not been good stewards over the things God had blessed us with, and begin to simplify our lives. We did, we started to get rid of “things”; stuff that we had acquired over the years that were meaningless and had no real need for anymore. (Can you say, Yard Sale?)  We also came before the Lord, asking for His forgiveness. Third- we needed to hit the “reset” button on our relationships with Him and seek Him first, in everything.  So, we have.
I must say that the last three months have been some of the most difficult, and yet, they have been some of the most joyful days of my walk so far. You see, we have a tendency to get focused on what is happening, and forget to focus on the One who is making “all things work together for our good”. (Romans 8:28) Brett and I were not walking the walk the Lord has destined for us. We could not see the bigger picture because we were too focused on the current events. So, what has changed? What do we see now that we could not see before?
Brett and I have a heart for missions, whether it is here in our homes, or out there in the world- but the heart for others to know and to experience the love of Christ is our purpose as a married couple. We would never be able to fulfill the call on our lives if we are bogged down with the responsibilities of taking care of unnecessary things. The less we have, the more we will gain. Seeing that and realizing that has changed the whole aspect of the “need” in our lives. We have re-evaluated every aspect of our lives. We have also followed the Lord’s leading and found ways to generate income while being at home. (Not a work from home scheme) We have started pet boarding in our home, as well as picking up dog walking and other ways to bring the blessings God has for us home. My mother-in-law called this a “God Breeze” a direction or idea from God that brings blessings. (Liked that analogy!)
When we are going through a trial it is very easy for us to become focused on what is “not” happening, instead of focusing on what “will” happen. We are to “seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness,” trusting and knowing that He will take care of us. Our God is the God of all riches, on earth and in heaven. He does not desire to withhold any good thing from His children. But, He also asks something of us- He asks us to “seek Him” and to follow what He tells us to do in obedience. The less we have, the more we gain! I encourage you today to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to show you what you need to let go of. Do you and your family need to hit the “reset” button? If so, pray and ask for the Lord direction and leading. Put Him first, and everything- yes, everything will be added unto you- in abundant ways.
Today, I can say with confidence that my God has provided above and beyond all that we could ever have asked for. Not only did the Lord provide the finances, but He has also provided food and household needs without us even asking a single person! (He even provided laundry soap and toilet paper!) Our God is so gracious and merciful; His provision is rich and full for those who would “seek Him first”. May you and your family be encouraged and blessed by the goodness and the riches that we have through Christ Jesus and our Heavenly Father.
“Seek you first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” This is a promise fulfilled!