For most of my life I’ve struggled to take care of myself. Beginning at age 2 ½ or 3 years old I occupied myself often. My father worked night shift and my mom worked day shift and they were unable to afford a caregiver for me. Being responsible at this young age gave me the false belief I was taking care of myself and this bled into every area of my life. The phrase, “God helps those who helps themselves”, was my mantra. It was a very twisted view of life and it held me back from receiving the love and guidance of my Heavenly Father.
During my childhood I attended church and a Christian school, but never heard a message about complete dependency on God. Rules and regulations were highlighted, but not the message of being God’s beloved child. We have our part and God has His, but too many people either expect God to drop blessings on them or believe they must earn them by good behavior. God’s view is very different.
It’s God’s desire we seek Him first and foremost. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Many of us quote this verse without really understanding it. We like the part about all these things being added unto us, but we forget the seek ye first part. What does it mean to seek God first? It means we put Him on our schedule first and schedule the rest of our life around Him, not ask Him to join our life.
This is what was missing for a very long time. I sought God only when it was convenient or when my life had spiraled out of control and like Peter, I would say, “Save me Lord!” I held onto the promises in the Bible as if they were my right, but forgot the part God asked me to do. Many of God’s promises require action on our part. Our part is to seek God and ask His will and direction for our life. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” God’s ways are very different from ours and when we trust in our reasoning we miss out on some of the blessings God has for us. He doesn’t withhold them from us to punish us, but to guide us. We need to position ourselves to be more sensitive to Him, so we hear Him clearly.
The story of Nehemiah comes to mind. When He had the heavy burden for Jerusalem, He sought God through prayer and fasting and then received God’s special favor to do the impossible. The key is He sought God first. The disciples were given authority through Christ to do mighty miracles, but they became complacent and couldn’t cast the demon out of a little boy. After Jesus had cast the demon out, they came to Him asking why they couldn’t perform this miracle. Jesus replied in Matthew 17:21 “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Prayer and fasting when done with the proper motive does not earn us special favor, but positions us to receive His power.
Prayer and fasting alone are not enough; we must be willing to be obedient. God is looking for our hearts to be broken and turned toward Him; to understand our desperate need for Him and to know we are nothing without Him. When we walk in constant dependence on Him in this way, He will reward us with revelation of His Plan. When we take time to be alone with God, He has the opportunity to convict us of hidden sin in our lives and empower us to obey Him more fully.
The Sermon on the Mount is the blueprint of how to live the abundant life Jesus died to give us. I encourage you to study it in detail and asked God to give you revelation to understand it more fully.
Are you seeking God’s face today?