It is so easy for us to get caught up in our own stuff. We have much going on that requires our focus—families, jobs, health challenges, to-do lists, managing details, helping others, etc. I could go on an on and not list all the necessary, even good things that draw our attention. I’m afraid that too often though we get so distracted by our stuff that we miss what is most important.
Jesus taught us to pray in the model prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In other words, life is not ultimately about us or for us. There are bigger, more important things going on than our stuff—God’s kingdom and will being accomplished here on earth. What does that look like in our daily lives? I think simply it looks like us focusing on spreading the good news of the kingdom of God (God’s reign through Jesus in our lives) and pursuing his purposes of love and holiness in the world around us.
The beauty of Jesus’ request in Matthew 6 is that we can pursue the will and kingdom of God in the everyday things of life. God has a place for you to expand the influence of his kingdom—your family, your job, your to-do lists, your stuff. He doesn’t necessarily want us to do away with all the things that get our attention. Rather, he wants to be central in the way we relate to all of these things. Here are some questions that will get us started in evaluating how we are at focusing on the kingdom of God in the midst of all our details:
- Do I use my influence in my home to help my family know and live the good news?
- Does my character and conduct at work exhibit the integrity Jesus expects of me?
- Am I relational as I go through the day? Do I see the people around me as individuals who might need compassion, grace, kindness, or encouragement or am I so busy that I don’t even notice them?
- Do I pray for the things God is most interested in (salvation of others, spread of his gospel, provision for missionaries, spiritual growth for others) or the things I’m most interested in?
Bottom line—let’s participate in God’s plans and purposes today.