'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.' Matthew 6:33
The 'all these things' specifically refers to food, drink, clothing, a spouse, a home, a job etc all the things we need in life.
The Old Testament book of Haggai others a great illustration as to what happens when people fail to put God first. In chapter 1 verses 2 though to 13 the people of Judah are putting their own well-being first and are neglecting the works of the Lord and God basically says look how hard you're working and yet you are not getting ahead. It's as if you are putting your wages in a bag full of holes! God is not only refusing to bless them, He is actively working against them.
'2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built. 3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the Lord. 13 Then spake Haggai the Lord's messenger in the Lord's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord.' Haggai 1:2-13
Just as these people were doing, many seek after their own prosperity and desires first and are more interested in their own welfare. But we should always put the things of God first.
We should put The Lord Jesus Christ first.
If God is against you, if God is not blessing you, you simply can not get ahead.
You will fail. You will experience one set back after another.
But if we seek first the kingdom of God, He will bless us.
Many people go to college or university to learn a trade or skill set that will allow them to make a living and don't get me wrong I am for working hard to get ahead 'Six days shalt thou labour,'
the Bible says, But we need to first learn how to live our lives and then focus on how to make a living.
If you know how to live you will always be able to make a living.
God knows of our needs. He knows we have bills to pay and that we need food and shelter and He promises to provide for us when we walk with Him.
Many people, Christians even, will put their career first. Once again, I'm not saying not to study hard and strive for a better job, 'learn the skills to pay the bills as it where' what I'm saying is before you do all that, pray to God daily, read your Bible daily, do some kind of evangelising (reaching the lost) or work within the Church and put the Lord first.
God can make you fail in any aspect of life.
In verse 5 of our chosen chapter God says 'consider your ways'
Verse 7 He says 'consider your ways.'
We've all had times in our lives where God has just blown upon our plans (verse 9)
Sometimes God will not let us succeed at something to keep us humble, yes that can happen too, but most of the time when you fail in life it's because you're not right with God.
I can tell you from experience (when I wasn't considering my ways and had my priorities all wrong) that if God doesn't want you to succeed at something, there is nothing you can do to get ahead.
No matter how hard you work or how good you think you are, If God wants you to fail you're going to fail. God can blow upon your plans anytime He wants.
If God is working against you it is impossible to succeed.
Whereas if God is with you and is blessing you it is impossible not to succeed.
In verse 13 when the people repent (change) it pleases the Lord and He simply says those beautiful words 'I am with you' that is all we need in life! God to say 'I am with you.'
From there the spouse you've always wanted, the home you need, the ability to earn an income that will provide your essential needs will be given to you.
Don't get so busy with the things of this world that your walk with God suffers. God is the one that gives you the power, talent and ability to succeed. I'm not talking about some fake prosperity gospel that says 'hey touch the screen and send in $1000 and God will bless you!' I'm saying that if you do right by God and put Him first then God will provide for you your everyday needs.
God will give you what you need. He will give you the talent and ability to do well at work and get ahead in life. I've experienced more of His blessings recently myself, as I've learned to put God firmly in first place in my life.
If God says I'm with you that is all you need. '...If God be for us, who can be against us?' Romans 8:31 If God is on your side nothing can fail, nothing can end in defeat for you.
So we need to spend more time working on cultivating our walk with God rather than trying to get ahead on our own merits.
Many people might think I just want to do a few things in my life first and seek the Lord later on.
But the Bible says 'Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,' if you're a young person reading this don't put off getting saved now thinking you can do so down the track. Remember '...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you' Get your priorities right!
If you're not saved, get saved today. Make the decision to call on the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour by putting all your trust and faith in what He has already done for you and you will be given eternal life. If you're saved but not putting God first in your life then now is the time to do so.
Don't neglect the local Church, in the New Testament it's not a physical building but a group of believers. Don't get so busy with the cares of this life that you neglect your true purpose and your walk with God. You need God's blessings.
If God is on your side you are always going to conquer. You will always have the victory.
As we see in verse 11 God can make farms fail to produce, He can send droughts and floods whenever He chooses.
If people forget the Lord God they are in danger of suffering any number of disasters in their lives.
Get right with God and all things you need will be added to you.
...all things work together for good to them that love God,
Finally, It's not just the things we do in our actions that counts but how we feel in our heart.
God needs to have the preeminence in our hearts and minds.
He must increase and we must decrease.
God must come first. If you're a Christian that should be the first way you identify yourself.
In my case Christian first, husband second.
Christian first, son second.
Christian first, brother second.
Christian first, friend second.
Christian first, business owner second,
Christian first, soccer coach second etc etc
'He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.' Matthew 10:37
This is a clear command in the Bible, to put God first, in doing so you will become better at those other things as God will bless you.
God love us, He cares about us. He wants to bless us.
It is an incredible thing we enter into when we get saved, we enter into a loving relationship with God who truly loves us and wants to see us succeed.
'But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.'