Seek the Kingdom. Watch with Jesus.

After what seems like a long season of healing—our God is faithful, merciful and good—I am, by His grace, ready and might I say, quite eager, to start sharing my life again.  Here I am, Lord, send me!

There is a declaration deep in my soul that has come out of this season . . . I am not moving forward without Him.  And I hope that after a lengthy period of dealing with a pandemic situation and quarantine and illnesses and restrictions and fear and a loss of life-as-it-was, I hope that you have promised yourself the same . . . you’re not moving forward without Him.

Let’s take a brief look back at where we’ve been.   We have looked to the Lord fervently, to the best of our ability, in these times of trouble.  Our theology of maturity has told us that there’s no better opportunity than a season of difficulty to finally bring believers to their knees in desperation. Our personal weaknesses, having surfaced in our inability to change or control circumstances overtaking our lives and our family’s lives, have actually been the very force to catapult us into that maturity. 

We have, indeed, found ourselves with our faces either on the floor in humility or turned to the heavens asking for light to shine through the clouds.

Praise the Lord that you and I haven’t done this alone.

We have the stones to prove it.  The stones of His presence when we felt as if we couldn’t see Him in the pain.  Stones representing the undeniable evidences of His provision. There are stones of answered prayers, of the hope we received from His Word, of the moments of pure praise, and of courage given from friends who have sought Him in these hard times, too.

With those stones gathered and a newfound resolve in place and, what does the next season hold for you and for me?  When we declare that we’re not going to move forward without Him, what exactly are we saying?

Two simple principles that we can apply come to mind and I want to share them with you.

Seek the Kingdom

There are many different things, people or promises we could choose to fix our hearts and minds on.  This world is a mess and we desperately want it cleaned up.   Our individual lives oftentimes resemble a mess.  One that needs to be swept real good and then Swiffer-mopped. Twice over. Even on our we-almost-have-it-somewhat-together days, the reality is, as fallen sinners, we’ve each got our hurts, habits and hang-ups that need to be dealt with and taken somewhere.  The worries and cares of the world need to be taken somewhere.

We can’t clean up messes on our own nor can we look to other sources for results.  Our hearts and minds need to be fixed on Someone.   Let it be the Person of Christ!  In our declaration, we are consecrating the personal practice of seeking “ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33). We’re getting back to the basics.

The basics of loving Him and serving others in His Name.  That, my friends, is seeking His Kingdom.  And the verse says we do this first.  What that exactly looks like for you and for me may be different.  But, if I may encourage you by saying so, there are some non-negotiables.  Like staying grounded in His Word as we learn more of, and let saturate, His character.  Like praying every day, hopefully all throughout our day, as we are made whole in His presence. And lastly, continually applying His finished work on the Cross to our broken lives and circumstances, as He makes us into the persons He wants us to be.  We want and need to be about His work.

Watch with Jesus

Secondly, in resolving to not move forward without Him, we are affirming that we will watch what is taking place in our lives and the world around us with Him.  With the emphasis on the word with, we again are encouraged that we are not alone. How true and how comforting.  However, the key to the emphases is really this:  that we see what He sees.   We watch what He watches.  He and I, you and Him. 

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told the disciples to “watch with me” (Matthew 26: 36,40) as He prayed and prepared for the excruciating pain and suffering that was to be experienced on the cross.  He was commanding them to stay awake and to be alert on His behalf—not without Him but alongside Him. Not gazing upon this or that as the eyes might wander (or close and fall asleep) but to watch with Him, looking intently into the situation that was about to unfold.

Herein lies the second action step.  Another take-away.  We are to be actively engaged, in observation with Jesus Christ, all that is taking place around us.  Beginning in our homes and with our families—our loved ones—and then beyond in our community and in our world today. He’s holding the binoculars and asking us to take a long-lasting peek at His view.  Guess what? He’s got it all under control and we can rest in His plan. He’s inviting us to live out each day of our lives looking for ways to point others to Himself so that they may have that confidence, too.

Moving forward, it’s becoming as plain as this to me:  I want to seek the Kingdom first and I want to watch with Him.  He is moving and working in the people around me.  When a small seed of faith is planted, let me seek and watch.  When the daily grind is distracting, still let me seek and watch.  When the inner wars are overtaking, I need to seek and to watch.  When the victories are celebrated, let me seek and let me watch. 

We want to experience this moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, in the every day. Who would want to move forward any other way than this?

Filled in Every Season: The FALL Call to Actions are to Seek the Kingdom and Watch with Jesus. Join Jamie on the JHTM Facebook page as she shares her journey with Jesus. She wants you to follow along with her in this season, to be pointed to Christ and His Word, and to be encouraged in the call!

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