“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV).
Have you ever wondered how to put God first in your life?
You may have heard that Jesus promised us that all our practical needs will be met if we will just seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness. But how do you do that? How do you put God first every single day of your life?
Here are a few ideas that will help you put God first. This is certainly not an all-inclusive list, but I hope that reading it at least gives you the general idea.
The most important thing to know is that Jesus and His Holy Spirit will help you as you attempt to seek first the Kingdom of God.
In John 16:7-13, Jesus said this:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:7-13 NKJV).
When Jesus went back to Heaven after His ministry in bodily form here on earth was over, He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us. If you have given your heart to Jesus Christ, making Him the Lord, Savior, Boss, and Master of your life, then God the Holy Spirit lives inside your heart right now.
God the Holy Spirit is in you to help you. He is in you to comfort you. He is in you to convict you and disciple you, taking you from glory to glory, faith to faith, and strength to strength.
And He’s in you to help you want to obey God–as well as to carry it out.
Philippians 2:13 tells us this:
“… for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 NKJV).
Did you catch that?
God is working in you both to will and to DO whatever His good pleasure is. That means you can’t even want to do His will without His help; however, since you DO have His help, He is now working in you to help you want to do whatever His will is. He helps you want to obey Him, and He helps you carry it out too.
So if you desire to seek God first, and seek His Kingdom, then here are a few ways you can begin doing that:
1. Every day, first thing after you wake up, get alone with the Lord for at least 15 minutes of prayer and Bible study.
I understand that every person might need to empty their bladder upon waking. However, after that, seeking God first means you go directly to spend time with the Lord in prayer, worship, and Bible study. You use the very first part of your day:
- to pursue Him;
- to learn more about Him from His Word; and
- to petition Him through prayer for His help in whatever you need.
Spending at least 15 minutes a day alone with God in prayer and Bible study will change your life.
The Lord convicted me about this many years ago.
At that time, my daily habit was to wake up every day and eat breakfast first, get ready to go to work, et cetera. Only after I had eaten, showered, and made myself presentable would I grab my Bible and seek God.
One day, the Lord showed me that seeking food first was an idol in my heart. I cared more about my tummy being full than I did about giving Him first priority. I was heartbroken when He showed me this, and I decided right then and there, with His help, to put my time with Him before my daily morning routine. I have never regretted that.
(I do however want to say that if you wake up and you have a medical reason for needing to eat first–like, you are shaking and your glucose has tanked overnight, such that you might faint or become ill if you don’t eat right away–you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating. But, if you’re only doing other things to satisfy your flesh instead of your spirit, that’s when your priorities are messed up.)
That said, let’s review Matthew 6:33 again:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV).
Seeking God first every day in prayer and the Word is the absolute best way to put Him first in your life.
If you will give God the first portion of your day–at least 15 minutes, and maybe even a lot longer–you will have a much better day, every day.
You won’t miss the time; the Lord will redeem your time. He’ll give your time back to you in spades. Also, if you will give Him the first part of your day, you’ll be more centered in Jesus throughout your day; you’ll be nicer; you’ll feel better; and you’ll be in a better mood all day long.
2. Dedicate the first part of the first day of the week to seeking Him.
The same way you give the Lord the first part of your day, give Him the first part of your week also. Dedicate every Sunday morning to Him. For example:
- Get up and get to church so you can worship and fellowship with other believers, being strengthened by the hearing of the Word.
- Spend extra time with God in the Word and prayer on Sunday mornings.
- Maybe you might even want to consider fasting every Sunday morning, just as a way to pull apart from the world and consecrate yourself to Him.
All of these things will make a tremendous impact on your relationship with God for the better! Give God the first of your week, every week. Doing so sanctifies the rest of your week and makes the whole week work out better!
Want to be closer to God? Get this book!
7 Prayers to Pray Over Your Character
If you want to be more like Jesus, get the book and pray these 7 prayers every week! You can use it as a rotating prayer plan. Memorize the key points of the prayers and cry out to the Lord daily! He will transform you as you pray, and you will draw ever closer to Jesus.
3. Give God your tithes–the first 10% of your gross income–and your offerings.
Remember what the Lord said in Malachi 3:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts;
“And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:8-12 NKJV).
When you give God the first 10% of your gross income (which all belongs to Him anyway), giving Him the first part sanctifies the rest. In other words, giving God the first 10% puts His blessing on the rest of your income.
Tithing–the practice of giving God the first 10% of your income–pulls your income out of the world’s financial system, which is cursed under sin, and places your income squarely in God’s financial system, which is blessed.
When you tithe, the Lord will rebuke the devourer (the devil) off your finances. He will open the windows of Heaven for you and pour you out so much blessing that you don’t even need it all.
You can read more here about the sixfold blessing of the tithe. And, just know that seeking God first in your finances by giving Him the first 10% is a HUGE way to put God first in your life. Tithing puts Him first, quite literally, in your finances. And your heart will follow your money (which, again, is God’s money anyway).
As Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
4. When you begin to pray, thank God first and praise Him second. Ask for what you need after that.
The Bible says we are to enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. See Psalm 100:4:
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4 NKJV).
When you start to pray by thanking God, you are telling Him that you are grateful for what He has done for you. When you then proceed by praising Him, you are honoring Him for Who He is in your life.
Doing both of these things before you proceed to asking Him for whatever you need is a BIG way to honor Him and seek Him first. This strategy will also help you enter into deep prayer–prayer that really touches your heart, and which you know really is touching God’s heart, too.
5. Make sure your priorities line up with God’s priorities.
As we walk through life, we have to make potentially millions of decisions every day. Questions flash through our brain every single moment. For example:
- Should I look at this thing–or not?
- Should I eat this thing–or not?
- Should I go there–or not?
- Should I date this person–or not?
- Should I ignore my spouse so I can have yet another night on the town with my friends?
- Should I put this TV show first, or put time with my child first?
- Should I scroll through my phone in the morning instead of spending time with the Lord first thing?
Every decision you make matters. Every decision you make can lead you closer to God or pull you farther away from God.
Therefore, you need to know what God’s will is for your priorities. And after you get your priorities in order and memorized the way God wants them to be, don’t proceed to Priority 2 until Priority 1 is taken care of. Don’t proceed to Priority 3 until Priority 2 is taken care of … and so on.
If you aren’t sure how to align your daily priorities, read how to get your priorities clarified here in my free article series about divine alignment.
6. From moment to moment, train yourself to obey His commands in that moment, instead of listening to the dictates of your own flesh.
Every time you go to make a decision, you can think, “What does God want me to do?” You can train yourself to think and pray before you act. You can train yourself to think and pray before you speak, too.
If you will do that, then every time you go to make a decision, you will walk in the Spirit–not in the lusts of the flesh.
In Isaiah 30:21, the Lord promises you His guidance from moment to moment when He says this:
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21 NKJV).
Also, Psalm 32:8 records the Lord promising this:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you” (Psalm 32:8-9 NKJV).
The Lord will help you obey Him from moment to moment if you will listen to Him. And His mentoring and guidance will make all the difference for you!
Getting to Know the Sevenfold Holy Spirit: A 12-Day Devotional Guide
Get the book and focus on communion with God’s Holy Spirit for 12 days! Remember that He is your Helper, Comforter, and Advocate. You can’t truly know God without knowing His Holy Spirit!
7. Fast and pray.
“Fasting” means to abstain from something in order that you may pray and seek God without being distracted by that thing. Fasting is literally offering up a sacrifice to God–the sacrifice of the food that you wanted to eat–so you could pray and seek Him with your time instead. And when you fast and pray, God will always honor your sacrifice.
Fasting and prayer dethrones your flesh and enthrones the Lord Jesus Christ in your life.
Fasting will help you seek God first because:
- It literally takes you away from food, even for one meal, so that you can seek Jesus first; and
- While you fast, even for one meal, Jesus will change your heart. He will help you love Him more and be more passionate about serving and obeying Him.
Fasting and praying is the #1 way I know to get the spiritual stupor off of you.
If you feel spiritually dull and hard of hearing …
If you don’t feel anything at all when it comes to Jesus …
If you aren’t burning for Jesus, but you want to …
… Then take to fasting and prayer. Click here to learn essential tips for a successful season of fasting.
Friend, seeking God first is a daily decision.
It’s actually a moment-to-moment decision. However, if you will seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, you WILL find that the Lord will add “all these things”–absolutely everything you need in life–to you. He provides all our needs, but we have to meet His conditions. And His condition, in this case, is seeking Him first.
Will you make the moment-by-moment decision to put God first today? Simply pray and ask Him to help you. He will lead you moment by moment, working in you both to will (to desire) and to do (to accomplish) whatever is His good pleasure.
Is the Lord speaking to you about how He wants you to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? If so, leave a comment below!