When I was a young adult, my unchecked will had gotten me into some painful circumstances. During this time, I was experiencing bouts of hopelessness and discouragement. I had been living by my own agenda and had not been pursuing God’s will in my life. Yet, the Lord continued to outstretch his unfathomable grace to me over and over again.

It was at this point in my life, my mom taught me a valuable lesson that continues to influence my faith in profound ways. It was a beautiful fall day, my mom and I decided to go visit family in rural Missouri. As we drove down a gravel road, I shared with her some of my uncertainties. With intentional love and conviction, my mom spoke life into me by quoting Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything shall be added unto you.”

It was a pivotal moment that the Holy Spirit used to transform my thoughts.tTo this day I continue to apply this scripture in seeking God’s will for my life and to bring him glory. What does seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness look like? It means prioritizing love over survival. When someone hurts me, my initial response is not to forgive; or when I am sitting in horrendous traffic, my first inclination is to lose my patience. When we seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, it’s his righteousness that brings about the beauty we see in others.

We become more loving, patient and kind to others when we are connected to him. Dallas Willard stated, “The kingdom of God is the range of his effective will; that is, it is the domain where what he prefers is actually what happens.” Let us all aim to live within God’s preferences. When we walk through valleys and trials, let his righteousness guide you.

Lord, I confess my unrighteousness to you and repent of my sins. Forgive me when I have failed to promote you and your righteousness, and when I have chosen my own desires over yours. Thank you for your mercy and making your righteousness available to us through your word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Challenge: As you go about your day, reflect on the ways you’ve sought his kingdom first and what were the outcomes. In what ways can you continue to seek his kingdom and righteousness?

Tags: Godly Influences righteousness Matthew 6