“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
–Jesus the Christ (Matthew 6:33, NIV)
I once read a quote from Francis Chan. He rhetorically asked, “Shouldn’t all of our decisions be based upon what is going to have the greatest impact for God’s Kingdom?”* It’s a great statement. Something that you might put on a coffee mug. Or a t-shirt. Or something you’d tattoo on your arm. But it has to be more than just a cool statement plastered on a bedroom wall. Is the statement actually true? Should we really consider every decision we make and base them on what is best for God’s Kingdom? Chan’s statement makes a few important assumptions that we need to hurdle. And if we can’t hurdle them, the statement is doomed to just end up looking great on a youth conference t-shirt.
The first assumption is that the advancement of God’s Kingdom is of utmost importance to a follower of Jesus. Not our careers. Not our personal reputations. Not even our families. God’s Kingdom agenda should be at the forefront of our own agendas in this lifetime. This is not to say that our careers or our families are not important. They certainly are. But they fit into the bigger agenda of Kingdom-building rather than the other way around.
The second assumption is that every decision we make has some sort of value. A decision can be made in accordance with God’s will and desires or it can be made apart from them. This ties in with the fact that our time here in this world is limited. Having a limited amount of time means we can only make a limited number of decisions each day and in this lifetime. And so we need to increase our batting averages when it comes to making decisions that reflect significant Kingdom value.
The third assumption is that we are always encouraged to make the decision that is best for God’s Kingdom. This is probably the hardest assumption to take in. It takes a lot of effort to ensure that every decision we make is in line with the will of God and we will probably find ourselves falling short of it all the time. But we can’t deny the fact that Jesus actually expects us to live this kind of Kingdom-devoted life. Jesus did command us to love God with all our hearts, all our minds, all our souls, and all our strengths. So it’s not such a far-fetched idea to say that Jesus encourages us to always take the high road—to make every decision count by basing them on what is ultimately best for God’s Kingdom.
Is this possible? Well, yes. We do have the power of the Spirit to help us. Although it won’t be an easy road ahead, we should start thinking about it in the hopes that we’ll begin to slowly increase the number of decisions we make in favor of God’s Kingdom and agenda.
*The quote is taken from the introduction to David Platt’s book Follow Me. Francis Chan wrote the introduction.