A Kingdom-First life is a life of character. What is character? Character is that ingredient in a person’s make-up that determines their actions in any given situation, circumstance or relationship. Whether they become angry, bitter, resentful, happy, sad, forgive or seek revenge or any other description one might use to describe one’s decisions.
When Jesus said to “seek the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness – His way of doing and being right (correct),” He was describing the government of God, the plan of God, the method of God. He further indicated that knowing this and following the Kingdom method would lead “to doing and being right (correct).” This appears to be one of the greatest needs among humanity today.
Everywhere one looks a void of character is obvious. Government in America and everywhere else acts independent of God’s way of doing and being right (correct). No longer can we trust government to do what is right. Government enacts laws for its citizenry that it does not obey. Good citizens in legislative and enforcement positions believe “there is a higher good” that allows them to violate the laws they swear to uphold and enforce. No longer is right sufficient. They must do wrong to create right. God is not enough. Times are different now. The law is perverted.
Our challenge is not sin. When one looks on the opposite sex, is attracted physically and enters into an extramarital relationship, lust is not the problem. It is a character issue.
That person knows it is not right (wrong) to pursue such a relationship. Their character must be strong enough to say NO. The fallout is devastating and reaches others for generations to come. How do you develop Kingdom character? Seek His Kingdom first, and His way of doing and being right. Lay down your own desires, your own wants, your life, and take up Christ’s.
Character is not determined by fear of getting caught. You can walk into a room full of thousand dollar bills stacked to the ceiling, and know no one will ever know you were there and you will walk out leaving every bill where you found it because you know what is right. Not because someone might see you, or someone may find out. You can be completely sure, one hundred per cent positive no one will ever find out, but you in your life have chosen to be a Kingdom-First person. You seek God’s method of doing and being right. There is nothing you desire that compares to God your Father, and your relationship with Him.
There is such arrogance today. Everywhere there is such lack of character. It is an “in your face” kind of arrogance. It is commonplace to see in the news this person and that person are having a child who have lived together (some for just a short time, and many who before that lived with many others before, and had children with them) but they have not consummated or sealed the relationship before God and man by taking the vows of the covenant of commitment found in marriage. And marriage has become expendable. When marriage is a part of the relationship, the termination of the covenant is regarded as “just the way it happens today.” Things have changed. God does not care if we divorce. But the God of the universe, the Creator of Heaven and Earth declares, “He hates divorce.”
He declares He does not accept our prayers and sacrifices because we have not honored our covenant that we made with the spouse of our youth. And earlier in the same Word, He reminds us that He is God and He does not change. He points out it is good for us that He does not change or He would have destroyed us.
What are we telling our children? What are we saying to the young and impressionable who are looking, who are searching for the right way, the correct way to live their lives? They want to make right decisions. God created us with that desire built in us. We long to do what is right and be in a deep, abiding relationship with our Father. The Father who does not change, who is constant, the one who is steadfast and reliable. It is easy to see what they are hearing. Their character that is being displayed by their life choices clearly indicates the messages they are hearing and the guidelines they are learning.
Never before has there been more young people living together outside of marriage. And for that matter, never has there been so many older persons living together outside of marriage.
They compare their failure to honor the covenant of marriage to buying a pair of shoes, or buying a car. “You don’t buy a pair of shoes until you try them on, or you don’t buy a car until you drive it.” Older people say, “ I can not afford to lose my Social Security.” God is no longer their provider. Social Security has become their source.
What is your source? Does your character reflect the values and principles of the Kingdom of God? Join me next week as we continue with Part 2 of this discussion of character.