We as humans are constantly looking for fulfillment in our lives. We look for it in our jobs, relationships, reputations, and hobbies. But we never really find it. We find some semblance of satisfaction, but it is always never “enough.” We keep telling ourselves that if we could just get the guy/girl, the job, the respect, THEN we could truly feel fulfilled. But Jesus preaches a different truth: seek my kingdom first, and ALL ELSE will be added to you.
I recently ran across an article on ESPN “What a title will never fix for Steve Kerr and Bob Myers.” In it, Steve Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors was interviewed. Steve Kerr has had a very successful NBA career both as a player and coach, winning six NBA titles. But even for someone as successful as Kerr, success has not lead to fulfillment.
“For a lack of a better way of putting it,” Kerr said, gesturing toward the court, “this is all bulls—. It’s so much fun, and it’s rewarding to be part of a team, and to have a quest and to try and win a championship. It’s great thinking we’ve established this legacy and hung a banner, and all of that is very important in terms of bringing joy to the fans’ lives — that’s where the true importance of what we do lies — but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still bulls—. I’ve found that out.”
I apologize for the language used in the article, but I wanted to illustrated a point that ultimately the author of Ecclesiastes lays out for us. And that is that life centered around anything outside of Christ is vanity. It never leads to fulfillment.
So if success, relationships, reputations, wealth don’t fulfill us, what can?
Seeking His Kingdom first.
When we seek something first, we put it in the forefront of your mind. It is our motivation and our driving force. It is the lense through which we see our lives and make decisions.
Colossians 3:2 says “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
When we set our minds on the things above, we gain a new perspective. One that is not all about what we can accumulate here on this earth, or how we can make ourselves happy. We begin to see the heart of God not only for us, but for all of his creation. When we seek His Kingdom first, all the things that used to come first, now are secondary. And we begin to enjoy the simplicity of life, the conversations, the things that were once so insignificant. We begin to see how God is using you, and that ultimately He can use your wherever you are.
We will never be content chasing after things, relationships, success, and titles. I know. For the longest time I can remember wanting girls to be interested in me and wanting to be in a ministry job. And I have those things now. But they actually don’t fulfill anything in me. Sure, they are nice to have, but ultimately if I put my trust in those things, those people, I will be disappointed.
This is how God designed it. He desires to fulfill us, but only after we stop chasing after fulfillment through other avenues.
So how do we seek His Kingdom first, and set our minds on the things above? By daily setting our minds on God through prayer, Scripture, and community.
The key to seeking God first isn’t clinching our fists and determining to do better. It isn’t through appearing religious or by having all the right answers. It comes from an understanding of our own futility outside of the grace of God. He is holding us up, breathing His breath into us each and every day. And we have to understand too that first and foremost, God is seeking us out. He is chasing after us. That is the only way we can pursue Him. We love ultimately because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
We can be content because now in Christ, we don’t have to make a name for ourselves. We don’t have to chase after the vain pleasures of the world. We can be content in seeking God’s Kingdom first. Now just a little disclaimer. Seeking God’s Kingdom first is not a passive pursuit. It is active. Setting one’s mind on the things above is hard work. We are not called to laziness but holiness.
I encourage you to seek first God’s Kingdom, and to set your mind and heart on the things above. Only then will you find the true fulfillment and content attitude that God created from the beginning for you to experience.