“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. We are to seek only after the Kingdom of God--His Word, His laws--and His righteousness--His character and His will--with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and He will supply all our needs!
First, we have so embraced the world's (especially America's) view of prosperity that even when our needs are met, we feel lack and continue to focus on "more"! Look at Acts 4 and see true prosperity in action:
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common...Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
There was no lack! There was no one whose focus was "I'm going to get mine!" Their actions showed they were obedient and generous.
Second, Pastors and leaders, when you see lack in your ministry, when you see a pattern of sinful behavior in your followers you must take your blinders off and examine yourself first, then your family and your leadership. What you see in your congregation is a symptom, but you must find the cause. The cause and the cure will be found in leadership. That requires turning a discerning eye to yourself, your family and your leaders. Discernment, is seeing something through "God's eyes", seeing as God sees it. Your congregation will never go beyond your level of spiritual growth. If they hunger for a greater level of maturity, they will move on to another pastor who can "grow" them into greater maturity in their walk with God. I have had pastors watch the offerings drop dramatically and blame the people for not being obedient and tithing. Then there are tithing messages preached, sometimes even to the point of manipulation, to get the offering plates full again. Instead, leadership must first take the blinders off and be brutally honest with themselves. Has there been complete financial integrity? Have the offerings been used with integrity, honesty and according to God's Will? Or has it been used according to man's will?
Third, another issue is that often we make our plans, make commitments, take on debt; and then ask God to bless and supply all we need to fulfill our plans. When it doesn't, we "work it", we try to make it happen. We try to take on the burden and do it in our own strength. That is all so backwards from Kingdom living! Go back to Matthew 6 and read it again. When we do things our way and in our own strength, we are out of Kingdom order.
Recently, God has shown us how Matthew 6 Kingdom living is supposed to work when we are doing things in His order. We received unexpected money first and THEN an unexpected expense came up. It was just the amount we needed to take care of everything in that situation. Another time we made a difficult decision about our insurance that was going to increase our expenses almost $200 a month. That very week, unexpected money came to cover that expense. It was a confirmation that we had made the right decision, which came while we still could go back and change our minds.
We aren't perfect and we don't need to judge others, but we do need to judge ourselves. As leaders, we must take off the blinders and shine the light of God's Word on our actions, decisions, our very soul---our mind and our emotions--and determine that we WILL seek His righteousness for our lives. Our righteousness is like filthy rags. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Seek His righteousness--His strength through the Holy Spirit; not our own.
Are you a leader? Even parents are leaders and can apply these principles to their marriage and family. Who are you leading? It is your responsibility in the Kingdom to be a walking, talking, living, breathing example of what living in the Kingdom of God is like. Aren't you tired of having to apologize and explain away the actions of a spiritual leader who is living like the world and falls?
Don't you want to "be all that you can be" in the Kingdom of God?
Spiritual leadership in the Kingdom of God is truly the "toughest job you will ever love" and the peace that comes with God's prosperity (not man's) is priceless.
Matthew 6:31-33 Acts 4:32, 34-35 Isaiah 64:6