The Point of Purity Podcast

Episode #77 - Success

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Episode #77 "Success!"


I think it’s safe to say that you would love being prosperous and successful in life – right? Whether it’s at work, in your finances, or your marriage, your friendships, on the list can go. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not. However, we must keep in mind that prosperity and success, as the world defines it, is not to be our primary goal.

Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is episode #77, and in this week’s episode, we talk about Matthew 6:33 as we discover together how to enjoy true “Success!”

I submit that the top priority of every Christian must be to know God and to honor and glorify Him as Lord of your life with every fiber of your being. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that whatever we do, we are to do it all to the glory of God. But hey, don’t take my word for it. 1 Corinthians 10:31 commands, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” And Colossians 3:17 equally commands, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

To do this, we must begin by carefully examining our priorities. Or, as I like to say, asking myself the question “who is sitting on the throne of my heart?” In fact, to help you with the answer, let me ask you three very important questions. 1) What is most important to you? 2) What drives you throughout the day? And 3) what truly excites you?

The bottom-line is that your answer to those three questions reveals where your heart is, where your priorities truly lie, and where you will choose to put the majority of your time, attention, and energy. If you are putting your life’s emphasis on anything other than glorifying God and knowing Him, you will fail to achieve your ultimate goal.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says we are to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I want you to consider carefully what Jesus is saying here. First and foremost, the things we are to pursue, the things we are to seek after, the things we are to prioritize are God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness. The problem you and I run into here is that in our self-centered King Me world we are trying to build our own little kingdom, so seeking a different “king” to reign in our lives is low on our priority list, if on the list at all.

We tend to put King Me on the throne daily. We try to manufacture events and control circumstances in such a way that we are able to experience constant happiness and satisfaction. You know I’m right. And as a result, we become a slave to King Me – all of our thoughts and energies are directed toward fulfilling the self-centered will of King Me.

Occasionally, we may even try to fit a thing or two of God’s into our already-packed agenda, thinking that we are doing a good thing. Yet God says the way to true contentment, peace, and godliness is by dethroning King Me and seeking God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness for our lives – His rule, His way, His authority as our highest priority.

Ok, let’s draw our attention back to Matthew 6:33 and think for a moment about the verb “to seek.” We are to “seek first His kingdom and righteousness.” “Seek” is a word that carries the idea of craving something so much that you focus all your thought and attention on finding it, so as to acquire it. It’s like a heat-seeking missile that, when fired, has a singular target or goal, and won’t stop until it reaches it. Nothing can deter it from its purpose. Just like that missile, you are to seek after God’s kingdom and righteousness to reign in your life. In other words, you seek after it at any cost – bending your entire will toward getting it, submitting yourself completely to the pursuit of it.

There are a lot of things out there that you can seek after – money, prestige, fame, happiness, pleasure, and so on – yet, out of all the things you could seek for and occupy yourself with, God says you are to seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness. That is to be your primary target!

It is important to emphasize that Jesus uses this verb “to seek” in the present tense, active voice, and imperative mood. If you recall from previous episodes, when something is written in the present tense, it means the action being described is occurring in actual (or real) time. In other words, it is happening right now; it is happening right now; it is happening right now – constantly, never ending, always in real-time. Present tense. When God uses the present tense to command us to seek His kingdom and righteousness first, He is telling us that this is something we are to never stop doing. We are to moment-by-moment and day-by-day focus ALL of our thought and attention on submitting to God’s kingdom and righteousness in our heart and life.

Now, the next thing I want to point out is that when something is written in Scripture using the active voice, it means that YOU are the one doing the described action. YOU have to do it; no other human being can do it for you or to you. God’s command in Matthew 6:33 to seek His kingdom and righteousness is given specifically to YOU. It is something that you alone must be constantly doing every day of your life. As much as I (or anyone else for that matter) may want to do it for you, we cannot. Nor can you accomplish this task for anyone else but yourself. Active voice.

The exciting thing here is that you do not do this in your own power. If you did, it would end up being all about you instead of God, and you would end up failing miserably. Don’t forget that our ultimate goal is to do everything for God’s glory, not our own. As the Apostle Paul declares in Philippians 4:13, we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength. As you submit to Him, the indwelling Holy Spirit gives you the power, ability, know-how, and desire to seek His kingdom and righteousness in your life.

Ok, so we now come to the imperative mood, which simply means that this is a command from God. Now think about this: when God gives a command, our response and responsibility is simple – obey. If you choose to not obey, or to delay your obedience, you are sinning (1 John 3:4). Do you grasp the seriousness of this? If you are not daily, actively focusing your will, your thoughts, and your actions toward the goal of submitting to God’s kingdom and righteousness ruling in your life, you are sinning. You are defiantly disobeying God. You are that moron, that foolish man in Matthew 7 who is trying to build a godly life on shifting sand. Don’t do it!

Finally, we must also note that to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness means this: you are denying your King Me desires while craving after and pursuing His rule, His will, and His authority in every aspect of your life – including both your public life AND your private life. Whether it is at work, at home, at the mall, out on the golf course or basketball court, at the beach, or on vacation – wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing – you are to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness in that event or place.

Seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness involves completely immersing yourself in the understanding of His will and walking in total obedience to your Lord and Savior at all times. Before being prosperous or successful in any other endeavor, you should first desire, more than anything, to be prosperous and successful as a Christian – by striving, in every part of life, to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness. Only then will you experience true, genuine, lasting prosperity and success. And then you will be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me.” (Acts 20:24)

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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.

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