Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
We find pleasure in going after our degrees, we also find pleasure in acquiring the best job that pays a tidy salary and we take pleasure in moving up the ladder of success to acquire even more money. We find pleasure in owning our own homes and decorating them with the finest of furniture and accessories. We find pleasure in owning our dream car and in parking it in our dream garage. We even find pleasure in going to the gym and developing well-toned and muscular bodies, and acquiring and courting the opposite sex with the intent to get married.
There is nothing sinister or evil about the pleasures mentioned above. However, there is a tendency to get consumed with these pleasures and the like.
Jesus spoke to us explicitly in the Book of Matthew 6:33 saying
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”What does this phrase mean to us as believers? This is actually a command given by the Lord Jesus as He taught His disciples on Kingdom living. By this command, Jesus meant for all believers to have the Kingdom of God, and its advancement, first and foremost in their hearts. This is supposed to be what we live for. All other agendas are to fall below in rank into second and third places.
We, as Jesus’ disciples, are to look for every opportunity to win souls into the Kingdom of God, and we are to promote this new life that Jesus paid the ultimate price to give to those of us who would dare to believe. By doing so we build up and strengthen the population of the Kingdom of God. This is our mandate …. but, we have an adversary, the devil, whose aim is to de-rail our purpose and destiny if it takes the last of his strength to do so.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour 1 Peter 5:8Do you know that we were also cautioned and schooled in how to deal with the devil’s tactics? In the Book of James 4:7 we were instructed to
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.This we ought to do and continue to keep our focus towards our mandate from God.
God takes the work of building the Kingdom seriously, as well as our obedience to His Word He takes seriously. In the Book of Revelation 3:16-17 the Lord addressed the Church at Laodicea.
So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked
In the Book of Haggai, God spoke in anger against His people because of how they shifted their focus. They had left off from building His House and were overly concerned and occupied with building their own houses and making themselves comfortable with goods. He told them that because they had moved in their positioning and focus, that they ought to “consider their ways”! In other words … they should take stock of themselves. In verse 6 of chapter 1 God said this to the people because of their shift in focus…
In short, because of their lack of obedience to God’s Word, they would not see nor benefit from the blessings due to them.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does not change. His Word does not change. His purpose for His people will not change. We are the ones that need to conform to His will for our lives and not yield to that which satisfies our flesh. When we give satisfaction to our flesh instead of being obedient to the Word of God, it leads us away from God. Paul the Apostle tells us in this way -
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Romans 8:6-9)These verses of Scripture are pretty straight forward and clear. Carnal in the text means pertaining to the flesh. Spiritual in the text does not mean spooky nor does it speak of having attributes of a ghost. Rather, to be spiritual simply means to follow after the teachings in the Word of God, and observing to do them without compromise. It is plain to see that if you prefer to live after the flesh, pleasing the flesh and that which it wants to do … no matter how many times you go to church per day, you would not be counted as one that belongs to Christ Jesus.
Our pleasures should lie in fulfilling God’s command of putting the Kingdom of God first. This would cause us to make other disciples of Jesus Christ. How so? You may ask. Surely, as we follow explicitly the Word of God and seek the advancement of His Kingdom, we will become witnesses to the Grace of God upon our lives and the Holy Spirit will be stirred up in us to draw men and women unto Jesus through us. God will then be glorified and He will make tangible all the blessings that pertain to life and godliness as is promised in His Word.
God’s power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowing the One who called us to his own glory and goodness.
Halleluia to the Lamb of God!